Sunday, September 9, 2012

Australia: Illegal immigrant arrests are on the rise across Victoria

MORE than 11 illegal immigrants are arrested in Victoria every week and the numbers are expected to continue to rise.  In the past financial year 612 people were arrested - up from 429 the year before.

Few of the illegal workers were likely to be asylum seekers who arrived by boat, with 517 arrested after overstaying their visa.  A further 95 were on the run following their visa being cancelled.

The figure was revealed last month as the Department of Immigration and Citizenship prepared to deport 13 illegal farm workers located in northwestern Victoria.  Nine men and four women, all Malaysian nationals, had been employed on farms as pruners.  They were caught in a 48-hour operation chasing illegal workers in the Mallee.

The detainees were transferred to Melbourne's Maribyrnong Immigration Detention Centre and nine to the Adelaide Immigration Transit Accommodation facility, pending their removal from Australia.

All had overstayed their visas and were living here unlawfully, according to the department.

Two other foreign nationals were given warnings, including a Malaysian national who was in Australia on a student visa but had not been studying.

The employer faces fines of $13,200 and two years' imprisonment per illegal worker.

In Australia there are an estimated 19,540 people who have overstayed their visa - an increase of 4430 from the 2009-10 financial year.

In response to the growing numbers of people overstaying their visas, last month the Federal Government announced a crackdown.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen promoted the dob-in line and encouraged anyone with information about illegal workers, visa overstayers or visa fraud to call 1800 009 623.


'Heads must come out of the sand': Tory MP warns about scale of immigration as he predicts population will hit 70 million by 2027

A Conservative MP has issued a stark warning on the scale of immigration to Britain, insisting 'heads must come out of the sand' on the issue.  Nicholas Soames, MP for Mid Sussex, warned MPs the 'stakes are indeed very high' with very difficult decisions to take against 'unforgiving' timescales.

The issue of immigration was, he said, of 'fundamental importance to the future of the country'.

He added that a Commons debate had been chosen by the Backbench Business Committee in response to a petition launched by MigrationWatch on the Government’s website last autumn, which received more than 100,000 signatures within a week.

He said: 'This is a clear indicator of the very great public concern about the scale of immigration to this country.'

The motion he added calls on the Government to take all necessary steps to get immigration down to a level that will stabilise the UK’s population as close as possible to its present level, and certainly, significantly below 70 million.

He noted that immigration was a 'natural and essential part of an open economy', but he added: 'We are at the present time experiencing the greatest wave of immigration to our country in nearly 1,000 years.'

Mr Soames, grandson of former Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, turned his fire on Labour, who he said had bequeathed the country a 'chaotic, ill-thought-out and deeply irresponsible policy' on immigration, which had 'changed the face of this country'.

He said the 2011 census results showed that in the last ten years, the population increase had been the largest for any period since the records began since 1801.

And if the net migration average of 200,000 a year continued, the country’s population would hit 70 million in 15 years’ time - a 7.7 million increase, with five million new immigrants and their children.

He said: 'In the coming 15 years we will have to build just for new immigrants and their families the equivalent of eight of the largest cities outside the capital.'

Mr Soames urged an overhaul of the points based system, stating: 'Common sense has gone out of the window, bureaucracy has taken over and the Government has got to deal with this urgently and they have got to get it fixed.'

He also called for an expansion in student interviews to ensure bogus ones were refused, a re-look at visitor visas and a strengthening of the removal system.

He said: 'The Prime Minister has given his word that this Government will bring net migration down to tens of thousands. Failure to do so will leave our population rising inexorably, pressure on our already hard pressed public services building up relentlessly and as a result, social tension mounting. We must stop this happening.'

'Common sense has gone out of the window, bureaucracy has taken over and the Government has got to deal with this urgently and they have got to get it fixed.'

Former Labour minister Frank Field spoke about Britain hosting the London 2012 Olympic Games, saying he was 'delighted' by the athletes who had come to make a new life and 'were so committed to us that they actually wanted not only to participate but to win for this country'.

He said he had feared the Games might present the opportunity for a terrorist outrage, but was pleased he had been wrong.

He said: 'We have so many people who come here and are so committed and yet at the same there are some, so far as we know, second generation, who harbour such terrible thoughts in their hearts about us that they actually want to take terrible action against us.'

Labour MP Diane Abbott (Hackney North and Stoke Newington) queried that, as a second generation migrant, what possible evidence there was that even a 'tiny fraction of a fraction of second generation migrants harbour terrible thoughts'.

Mr Field went on: 'There is not the case that unlimited migration of the scale that we've seen is such an economic advantage to this country as some of those proponents of open doors would wish us to believe.'

Tory Andrew Turner (Isle of Wight) said people had been 'sickened' by the extent of immigration under Labour.

He said: 'The number of migrants allowed into this country was far and away in excess of what we needed for economic growth and many people in all parts of the country were sickened by it.'

Mr Turner added: 'It was the intention of the Labour Party to admit far more immigrants than ever before.

'Their aim was to create a rainbow coalition. What they succeeded in doing was creating ghettos in many parts of the country.'

Labour's Roger Godsiff (Birmingham Hall Green) blamed businesses for the 'myth' that immigration always creates growth, he said.

'This myth is peddled, usually by elements of big business who do not want the responsibility for training young British school leavers and graduates,' he said.

The MP added: 'We have to address the issue of how many people we need in the UK to sustain our standard of living.

'If we don't address that issue then I fear that the community relations that have been built up in my city, in many other cities in this country, the good community relations that exist, will be put at threat.'

Tory Julian Brazier (Canterbury) said some immigrant communities had failed to assimilate, highlighting reports of attacks on British military personnel at the Olympics.

He said birth rates among immigrant communities tended to trend towards the national average of countries they arrived in 'with one very notable exception and that is if those groups don't become absorbed into the wider body'.

'For the first time over the last few years, we have begun to see the very unsettling picture ... of some groups not assimilating,' he said.

The success of British athletes in the Olympics and Paralympics had shown the 'full spectrum of people here', he said.

But he added: 'What was much less widely discussed though, and has only started to come out recently, was a whole string of acts of violence by people living round the area against service personnel - not only service personnel responsible for guarding the area but in one case against naval personnel from a visiting ship - to the extent that towards the end of it I understand instructions were given out not to be seen, if possible, in uniform too far away the site.'

Mr Brazier warned: 'We are now starting to collect some groups who don't feel British.'

The SNP's Pete Wishart (Perth and N Perthshire) said: 'This is a nasty, silly, ridiculous little motion. It's something that could almost be from a shady authoritarian regime.'

He questioned what 'all necessary steps' to reduce immigration could really mean.


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