Thursday, March 14, 2013

New U.S. poll on immigration

Slightly more Americans trust Barack Obama than congressional Republicans to handle immigration, but with neither side garnering a majority and vast differences in preferences between whites and nonwhites in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll.

Americans overall divide by 45-39 percent between Obama and the Republicans in Congress in trust to handle the issue; the rest are undecided or trust neither side. Whites favor the GOP over Obama on immigration by 47-36 percent, while nonwhites (blacks, Hispanics and others) prefer Obama by a broad 71-16 percent.

There also are sharp partisan and ideological differences in trust on immigration in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates. Democrats and Republicans each prefer their side’s approach by an identical 66 percentage points; independents divide closely between Obama and the GOP, 41-36 percent. Very conservative Americans favor the Republicans on immigration by 65 points and those who say they’re somewhat conservative do so by 33 points. Moderates take Obama’s side by a 21-point margin, liberals by 61 points.

Obama has made immigration reform a second-term priority, having beaten Mitt Romney in last year’s election by 61 percentage points among the growing proportion of nonwhites overall and by 44 points among Hispanics, while losing whites by 20 points.

In step with the president’s policy direction, majorities in recent ABC/Post polls have supported a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. His approval rating on the issue in February, while just 49 percent, was the highest of his presidency and up 11 points since the summer.


£100m a year to kick out illegal immigrants from Britain: Removing one person who has no valid passport or visa can cost £25,000

Booting out migrants who arrive without a visa or valid passport may be costing up to £100million a year.  At least 4,000 foreigners enter the UK every 12 months despite having no right to be here.

Each costs as much as £25,000 to remove – putting the potential annual bill at £100million.

Officials admit however that the illegals are often allowed to stay. Many will claim asylum, or be impossible to remove because they do not have a passport and will not co-operate with investigators.

Last night ministers warned that such individuals pose a significant risk to national security.  In many cases officials will have no idea who they are, where they are from or if they have a criminal or terrorist history.

Many are thought to come from countries it is difficult to return them to because of human rights issues, including Uganda, Afghanistan and Somalia.

Details of the problem emerged as ministers launched a crackdown on undocumented migrants. Fines for airlines that allow them on to their planes will rise from £2,000 to up to £10,000 per migrant.

Immigration Minister Mark Harper admitted the numbers abusing the aircraft route was ‘too high’.

‘Border security is vital for the UK,’ he added. ‘While it is right that the Government is in the lead on this, carriers and the transport sector as a whole have an important role to play.

‘The proposed changes to incentives and penalties are designed to ensure all passengers arriving in the UK have the correct documentation to get through our strict passport controls.

‘If a passenger arrives in the UK without a document which satisfactorily establishes their nationality or identity, they can pose a significant risk to the UK.’

The Home Office believes 4,100 migrants arrived on flights and ferries to the UK without proper documents in 2011.

Many carry counterfeit or forged passports that should be spotted when they try to board the plane. Others are allowed on to planes despite having expired documents.

Some flush their passports down the toilet during the flight to try to disguise their nationality and help them claim asylum.

Fines are levied in only around half of cases, and airlines may escape paying up if the passports are a very good forgery or if they have a proven record of carrying out effective checks.

The Home Office could not say how many of those who abuse this route into the UK are successfully removed from the country. Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the MigrationWatch think-tank, said: ‘It is high time these fines were increased. These are all going to become illegal immigrants.

‘They will want to undercut the wages of British workers and allow unscrupulous employers to compete unfairly with honest ones who offer decent pay and conditions.’

In 2009 the National Audit Office estimated that every failed asylum seeker costs between £3,000 and £25,000 to remove.

At first, many arrivals will be locked up in immigration detention centres, but they cannot be held behind bars indefinitely, and the courts may demand they be let out on to the streets if there is no prospect of prompt removal.

Officials suggest that the current fine – which has remained the same since the early 1990s – is now less effective at encouraging airlines to combat the practice.  Had it simply been increased to keep pace with inflation, it would be £3,500 today.  France and Germany levy fines of around £4,300 (5,000 euros).

The consultation document suggests a £7,000 fine will be of a ‘sufficiently high level to encourage carriers to perform better document checks’. Offending airlines could face even higher penalties. The Home Office estimates a new penalty charge of £7,000 would raise £63million over ten years.


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