Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sheriff Joe: I’ll Put Released Illegals in Tent City

Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio says he has a solution for the federal government's mass release of illegal immigrants to cut costs ahead of the sequester: Send them to his "Tent City."

Arpaio - the outspoken Arizona sheriff of Maricopa County known for his tough stance on illegal immigration - says he'd take the prisoners free of charge at Tent City, his controversial Phoenix-based jail in the desert, where prisoners sleep in tents and are required to wear pink underwear.

"I'll take them. I have room in my tents. I would be happy to have them - and I wouldn't even charge them. I would love to take them in the tents," Arpaio told POLITICO.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials announced they're releasing an unannounced number of illegal immigrants held in immigration jails in order to cut costs as the country nears sequestration, the automatic $1.2 trillion cuts in federal spending that start Friday.

Arpaio doesn't buy it.

"I am always suspicious when the government that has billions of dollars has to say, 'We are going to release [illegal immigrants] because of budget problems.' I'm wary of that. They're utilizing a budget so-called crisis as the reason to kick these people loose. I do have a concern about that."


Migration to Britain at lowest level for a decade: Curbs on non-EU students and workers cut number of new arrivals by 74,000

Immigration into Britain has fallen to its lowest level in nearly a decade.  The number of people coming to live in UK fell by 74,000 in the 12 months to June last year as curbs on students and workers from outside Europe began to bite.

But there were warnings that the Government’s successes may be reversed when the labour market is thrown open to workers from Romania and Bulgaria at the end of this year.

In the year up to June some 515,000 migrants came into Britain, the fewest since 2003 which was the year before the borders were opened to Poles and other East European workers.

Falling numbers of immigrants reduced the key total for net migration – the number by which the population has swollen after both immigration and emigration are taken into account – to 163,000.

The level was down by more than a third in a year, putting Home Secretary Theresa May well on the way to achieve the Coalition ambition of reducing net migration to the ‘tens of thousands’ by the next election.

Immigration think-tanks said restrictions on migration from outside Europe, introduced by Mrs May as she tries to tackle Labour’s disastrous legacy and rebuild Britain’s borders, are now having a major impact.

Net migration of 163,000 compares to 247,000 in the previous 12 months, to June 2011, yesterday’s figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed.

The count reveals net migration falling steadily. It was 183,000 in the year to March 2012, according to figures released at the end of last year.

The net migration figures were last at 163,000 in 2008 when foreign workers left Britain as jobs began to dry up at the beginning of the financial downturn.

Otherwise the figure is the lowest since 1999, two years after Tony Blair came to power and opened the immigration floodgates, when it was also 163,000.

This time the falling level is not due to emigration – which in the year to summer 2012 remained similar to the year before – but to reductions in immigration.

One major drop came in numbers of students from outside Europe which were down to 197,000 from 239,000 in the previous year.

However, the figures give the lie to warnings from university chiefs, MPs and business leaders that student curbs would deter the brightest from coming to Britain.

In fact there was a 3 per cent increase in the number of visas issued for students wishing to study at universities in Britain.

By contrast, there were falls of 62 per cent in visas issued for other colleges and 69 per cent in those for language school students.

The figures indicate that visa restrictions have successfully curbed the misuse of the student visa system by bogus colleges operating as a front for economic immigration.

Immigration Minister Mark Harper pointed out that ‘the numbers of skilled people being sponsored by UK employers in sectors such as IT and science have also increased’.

Overall the number of people from New Commonwealth countries – such as India and Pakistan as well as African nations such as Botswana – coming to live in Britain in the year to June last year went down from 168,000 to 117,000.

A second big fall in immigration was a result of reduced numbers coming from Poland and Eastern Europe.

The ONS recorded 62,000 migrants from Poland and the seven other countries that joined the EU in 2004 in the year to summer 2012, compared to 86,000 in the year before.

It was the lowest inflow from Eastern Europe since the borders were opened to citizens of the eight countries in April 2004.

Most other EU countries exercised their right to delay opening their labour markets for seven years. The ONS report said that now all the EU borders are open to Poles and Eastern Europeans, they may have gone to other countries such as Germany.

In 2007 Britain did close its labour market to migrants from Romania and Bulgaria when those countries entered the EU.

However, the seven-year rule means Romanians and Bulgarians have the right to come to work in Britain freely from January.

The 515,000 immigration total was down from 589,000 in the previous year. It was the lowest figure since 2003, when 511,000 immigrants were recorded. Immigration peaked at 600,000 in the year to September 2010.

Mr Harper said: ‘Our tough reforms are having an impact in all the right places – we have tightened the routes where abuse was rife and overall numbers are down as a result.’

Sir Andrew Green, of the MigrationWatch think-tank, said the figures were ‘welcome evidence that the Government’s policies are starting to take effect’.

But he warned: ‘The main risk now to the Government’s objective is an inflow from Romania and Bulgaria next year.

'This adds to the case for making sure that the benefits system does not undermine the immigration objective so crucial to the future of our society.’


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