Thursday, June 14, 2012

Row in Britain over 75,000 visas handed out each year to foreign students who never go home

Foreign students who fail to return home at the end of their courses push the country’s population up by 75,000 every year, a report revealed last night. 

The study by the Migration Watch think tank claims 25,000 remain here illegally.  The remainder either take jobs or are given permission to settle down with a partner or undertake further studies.

The report undermines the view of 68 university chancellors who say overseas students should be taken out of the Government’s migration statistics.  The number of students coming into the UK is logged, but the figure for those leaving is not.

In a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, the Universities UK umbrella group argued that because students went home at the end of their courses there was no need to log them at all.

Lib Dem Business Secretary Vince Cable has also pressed the Home office to take a more relaxed attitude to student visas.

In a speech yesterday, he again said: ‘One of our biggest and most successful export industries is higher education. If we are to strengthen it there must be confidence that bona fide overseas students are welcome here, and have the opportunity to work on a managed basis.’

But Migration Watch argues that removing students from Britain’s net migration of 250,000 – which is the difference between the number of people entering the country and those leaving – would ‘destroy public confidence in the Government’s immigration policy’.  Mr Cameron has pledged to cut net migration to ‘the tens of thousands’.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migration Watch, said: ‘Foreign students are valuable, but the present system is far too easily abused. Sadly, the student route has become the back door to Britain and it is wide open.’

The study says that since 2002, two million non-EU and 500,000 EU students have been admitted to Britain to study for more than a year.  But because they are not counted out, the Government ‘has not the slightest idea how many have actually left’.


Arizona prepares to enforce strict immigration law

Arizona is already gearing up to enforce its strict immigration law as it anticipates a favorable ruling from the Supreme Court sometime this month, with Gov. Jan Brewer issuing an executive order this week telling police to bone up on the details of the law.

Mrs. Brewer ordered that training materials produced to help police understand the law and its limits should be distributed throughout the state in preparation for a ruling.

The materials, created by a state board that sets standards for all law enforcement, include a DVD designed to help police understand the circumstances that would let them question someone about immigration status.

That power has been the most controversial part of the law, SB 1070, which Mrs. Brewer signed in 2010 but was largely halted by lower federal courts as an infringement on federal powers.

In her order, Mrs. Brewer said the materials need to “make clear that an individual’s race, color or national origin alone cannot be grounds for reasonable suspicion to believe any law has been violated.”

Among other provisions, the Arizona law requires police to check the immigration status of those they have encountered during their duties and have reasonable suspicion are in the country illegally.

Immigrant-rights groups and civil liberties organizations said SB 1070 would lead to racial profiling, but that has yet to be tested in court.

Instead, the Obama administration sued to halt Arizona’s law, arguing it would set the stage for a patchwork of laws throughout the country and infringe on the federal government’s exclusive rights to set immigration policy.

The Supreme Court heard arguments in the case in late April and is expected to rule before the end of June, when its 2011-2012 term concludes.

During oral arguments the justices seemed to take a dim view of the government’s challenge to at least parts of the law, saying the state seemed to want to push federal officials to enforce their own laws rather than try to compete with them.

The Obama administration said it should be allowed to determine the extent of calls it gets from local authorities to respond to illegal immigrants, but the justices said the government can always ignore those calls if they want.

The administration appeared on firmer ground, however, when it argued Arizona should not be allowed to impose its own state penalties, such as jail time against illegal immigrants who try to seek jobs.

In her executive order, Mrs. Brewer said authorities should be prepared to update their police training materials with any guidance the Supreme Court gives on how to enforce the law.

She issued a similar executive order in 2010 when the law was to go into effect, and decided with the court ruling pending it was wise to make sure police were prepared.

“The governor thought it was an appropriate time to revisit that and make certain law enforcement across the state of Arizona is as prepared as possible for the partial or full implementation of this law,” said Matt Benson, a spokesman for the governor.


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