Monday, July 8, 2013

How 1.5MILLION Romanians have left their homeland in a decade as immigrants head west in droves. Britain concerned about new exodus

The population of Romania has shrunk by nearly eight per cent in a decade, largely thanks to emigration.  Figures from the country’s latest census showed yesterday that numbers have fallen by 1.5million over the last ten years.

The key reason is that many younger Romanians have departed to work in countries including Spain and Italy, leaving behind an ageing population and falling birthrates.

The census figures were published in advance of the new wave of emigration expected at the end of the year. In January Britain will open its labour market to  citizens of Romania and Bulgaria.

More than 100,000 Romanians and Bulgarians have already come to live in this country, but under EU freedom of labour rules their citizens will be able to take British jobs without restrictions from January.

In 1989, when Romania emerged from the Ceausescu communist dictatorship, the population was 23million.

David Cameron has come under pressure to maintain restrictions next year in spite of EU rules. Ministers are deeply aware of powerful indications that Britain faces a large new influx of migrants.

Romania and Bulgaria are both deeply mired in poverty compared to most EU countries.

A BBC Newsnight poll indicated in April that 8.2 per cent of Romanians and 13.6 per cent of Bulgarians are ready to consider travelling to Britain as a migration destination this year or next.

Britain is a much more likely destination country than Italy or Spain, which are both suffering very high unemployment as their governments enforce austerity to deal with the euro crisis.

Last month Police and immigration officials moved in to clear a ‘shanty town’ built by Romanian migrants in  a leafy London suburb.

A total of 68 mainly Romanian squatters were found living in huts built from waste wood and plastic amid the filth of a tip at the former Hendon FC ground.

Many were given papers ordering them to leave but the deportation orders cannot be enforced for 30 days

The Roma travellers were given papers ordering them to leave the site which had 'danger' notices written in Romanian

Just five of those at the camp, which was featured in the Daily Mail earlier this month, were found to have the right to work in the UK.

The rest were offered flights back to Romania at a cost of £50 per ticket to the taxpayer. Only 19 took up the offer.

Those who didn't take the ticket were told they would have to leave the country within 30 days, but were released on to the street to live rough or in shelters.

It could cost up to £15,000 for police to find each of them, monitor them and eventually remove them.

London mayor Boris Johnson recently said that the country should give illegal immigrants amnesty.

He said the government had to be 'honest' that when someone has been in Britain for 15 or 20 years 'authorities no longer really pursue you'.

But the Prime Minister has rejected the idea, warning last week that it would send out a ‘terrible signal of Britain as a soft touch’.

The coalition has sought to take a tougher line on immigration, unveiling a raft of measures to curb benefit tourism and deport people in the UK illegally.

Appearing on his new monthly radio phone-in on LBC 97.3, the London Mayor said: 'This is a chronic problem and if you look at what has happened in this country over the last 20 years, we have continuously failed to evict anybody.

‘If you look at the number of people who are staying here illegally and you measure that against the number that are meant to be on planes, it is absolutely astonishingly small.

‘The culture of human rights, the immense power of the ambulance-chasing lawyers who immediately come in and offer people protection against eviction, insert all sorts of delays into the procedure. It is blindingly difficult to get people on to planes.

‘They melt away into the maquis, into the undergrowth, and they are lost again. It is one of the reasons people lost confidence in the immigration system.’


Australia: Boats rancour must be cured

THE domestic political poison that contaminates asylum-seeker policy has seen its latest manifestation with Kevin Rudd's absurd claim that a change of government in Australia could risk armed conflict between Australia and Indonesia.

Rudd would know this is a blunder. He can be expected to change his language while insisting he is not retreating. It is a reminder of the sustained Australian ineptitude that Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has stoically tolerated in recent years and the complacency in our attitudes towards Jakarta.

The destructiveness in the domestic debate virtually guarantees that Australia cannot stop the boats. The payback mentality is desperate and ferocious. The political purpose on both sides is to prove the other side cannot stem boat arrivals. By seeking to ensure each side is doomed to policy failure that mutual failure becomes a national failure.

Hopefully, Indonesia will have the maturity to handle Australia's immaturity on this issue. When Rudd travels to Indonesia this week he should be ruthlessly assessed by one test only: his ability to pursue Australia's national interest, not the Labor Party's election interest.

Tony Abbott has previously failed that test. But that failure does not constitute an exemption for Rudd. In 2011 Abbott deliberately destroyed Julia Gillard's main effort to halt the boats.

This was the Malaysian deal negotiated by former minister Chris Bowen based on a consensus of advice from our border control, immigration and national security officials.

Returning boat arrivals to Malaysia by plane within hours of their arrival would have been a lethal disincentive.

Abbott sabotaged the bill to re-establish this policy after the High Court's decision against it, with most judges embracing a false view of the Migration Act and a false reading of earlier parliamentary intentions.

It is probably the most irresponsible single action by Abbott in the 2010-13 parliament.

It guaranteed that Gillard would not stop the boats and this failure became integral to her removal as PM. Destroying the Malaysian policy was second only to his carbon tax campaign in Abbott's dismantling of Gillard's authority.

The Coalition's justification was human rights. It refused to accept the Malaysian policy for humanitarian reasons and it went further, insisting it would enter offshore processing deals only with nations that committed to the UN Refugee Convention.

It was obvious that Abbott, sooner or later, would pay a price for such sabotage in the name of humanitarianism.

An angry Gillard began a political campaign against Abbott's pledge in January last year that he would turn the boats back to Indonesia. "It is time for Australia to adopt turning the boats as its core policy," Abbott said.

He was influenced by three factors: official advice that turning boats, if possible, was the single most effective response; the fact that the Howard government did this for a time without formal political approval; and the obvious point that Indonesia could do more to stem the boats.

Labor has been deeply hostile to Abbott's policy because of the risks involved, its belief Indonesia will not agree and its view that Abbott is a hypocrite rejecting its own Malaysian policy but declaring he will turn boats on the water.

The stakes are high. If Abbott succeeded Labor would suffer the ignominy for years. Abbott and his spokesman, Scott Morrison have defined the terms: they will not infringe Indonesian sovereignty or territorial waters; there is no tow back to Indonesian ports; Abbott will fly to Jakarta within days of any election victory for talks with President Yudhoyono; and this is the sort of policy you only address from office, not opposition.

This highlights Rudd's advantage as incumbent. If Indonesia will acquiesce in turning some boats then why wouldn't Rudd try it first? Alternatively, will Rudd return from this week's Indonesian visit asserting he knows that President Yudhoyono won't wear Abbott's policy?

That would represent an unwise injection by Rudd of Indonesia into our election campaign. If combined with more warnings that Abbott's policy would risk armed conflict it would be a reckless danger to bilateral relations.

Rudd needs to be careful. Labor's management of Indonesian relations is unimpressive; witness his fiasco over the Oceanic Viking and Gillard's contemptuous ban on the live export trade, which personally dismayed the President and was an insult to the Indonesian nation.

Moreover, if Rudd maintains his line of attack, Abbott has the obvious reply: that Rudd has given up and thinks the boats cannot be stopped.

Morrison's message from his Indonesian visit is that "the (boat) problem is getting worse". In this situation Australia needs a decisive shift in policy.

The firm signal by the Rudd government of a tougher refugee determination process is an essential step: witness the public endorsement by Rudd and former minister Bowen of the position enunciated by Bob Carr that boat arrivals are mainly economic migrants.

This is largely accepted in the case of Sri Lankans with the evidence overwhelming in the case of Iranians. An analysis shows low rates of refugee approvals at the initial stage with the high approval rate (upwards of 90 per cent) the result of multiple appeal stages.

In a paper delivered last week, refugee activist and lawyer Frank Brennan confirmed the need for a fresh approach. Brennan advocated a policy of returning asylum-seekers to Indonesia based on mutual co-operation.

Brennan said: "The 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees does not confer a right on asylum-seekers to enter the country of their choice or to choose the country which is to process their refugee claims."

He says the key provision is that contracting states cannot impose penalties on refugees because of "their illegal entry" provided they are "coming directly" from a territory where they were threatened.

In short, countries such as Australia have a "defensible view" to decide an asylum-seeker falls outside the scope for protection if such a person spends more than a short period in a third country.

Brennan said: "We are entitled to return safely to Indonesia persons who, when departing Indonesia for Australia, were no longer in direct flight but rather were engaged in secondary movement seeking a more favourable refugee status outcome or a more benign migration outcome." It is a critical point.

Brennan wants Australia to make its big play with Indonesia, not Malaysia. But that needs a new spirit of co-operation.


1 comment:

  1. These are quite staggering facts. Britain needs to act quickly and diligently before the next exodus happens i guess. Seems like once they enter the country its almost impossible to send them back. I been working with Canadian Immigration services for a while now and have never heard anything like this before.