Thursday, July 25, 2013

Immigration is a constant drain on public services, says British PM as he attacks decade of 'completely lax' border policies

If all immigrants who came to Britain worked, that could well be beneficial to Britain, but large numbers do not.  Claims about benefit from the Office for Budget Responsibility ignore that reality

Immigration is a ‘constant drain’ on public services in Britain, David Cameron conceded yesterday.

The Prime Minister said Britain had suffered a ‘frightening’ decade of ‘completely lax’ border policies, which had placed huge strain on communities.

And he hinted at further measures to cut the number of people arriving in the UK.

His comments come after the Office for Budget Responsibility warned Britain would need millions more immigrants in the coming decades to offset the effects of an ageing population.

But Mr Cameron made clear yesterday that he wants to accelerate progress towards meeting his pledge to slash annual net migration – the number by which the population grows after both immigration and emigration have been counted – to the ‘tens of thousands’.

During a question and answer session with workers at the headquarters of Bentley Motors in Crewe, Mr Cameron was asked why Britain lets in immigrants who are a ‘constant drain’ while others ‘work hard’.

He replied: ‘I basically agree with you. There are some benefits from being a country that welcomes people who want to come here and work hard.  ‘But in the last decade we have had an immigration policy that’s completely lax. The pressure it puts on our public services and communities is too great.’

Mr Cameron said the Government has capped the number of migrants from outside the European Union by cracking down on bogus colleges.

He also highlighted action to reduce the so-called ‘pull factors’ that attract people to this country, such as restricting access to benefits and the NHS.  But he added: ‘I want to see it [net migration] coming down faster.

‘On housing, health, education and legal aid we are showing we are not a soft touch.

‘By the end of this Government, we will be able to look back and  say we may not have sorted out  the whole problem, but we have got a much tougher approach to immigration that’s fair.’

In the run-up  to the 2010 election Mr Cameron pledged to cut net migration by more than a half, from more than 200,000 a year to the ‘tens of thousands’.

Progress in reducing the numbers has been frustrated by resistance from the Liberal Democrats and by the difficulty of limiting immigration from the EU.

Last year the number of immigrants dropped by 89,000 to 153,000.  But the fall was accompanied by warnings that limiting immigration could harm Britain’s economy in the long-term.

Earlier this month, an OBR report warned an extra seven million migrants would be needed over the next 50 years to balance the effects of an ageing population.  The figure is equal to 140,000 migrants per year.

The report concluded that without a fresh wave of immigration  to boost employment and tax receipts, Britain’s public finances could become ‘unsustainable’.

The OBR’s analysis suggests that Britain’s borrowing as a proportion of GDP would rise to 99 per cent  if there is a steady flow of immigrants. But if there was a complete ban on immigrants, borrowing would rise to 174 per cent of GDP.


Nightmare on Immigration Street

Meet Sandra and Isaac (not their real names). Both hold advanced degrees and are in the United States on H-1B work permits, temporary workers’ visas which allow them to stay here as long as they are employed by a company that cannot find qualified Americans for their jobs. They pay income and social security taxes; they do not collect welfare or take advantage of other entitlement programs.

Sandra and Isaac, like many members of my church, are highly educated, law-abiding West Africans who would love to become Americans citizens or at least permanent legal residents. Unfortunately, their Green Card applications have been mired in decades of red tape. Yet a bill being debated in Congress right now would put 11 million people who entered the country illegally (or overstayed their initial visas illegally) on a “path to citizenship” that would add to Sandra and Isaac’s bureaucratic nightmare.

The proposed “reforms” being debated in Congress right now avoid the word “amnesty,” but would ultimately legalize over ten million illegal immigrants in exchange for a promise to increase border security. You do not have to be a policy expert to see that there are several problems with this approach. I will offer a partial list of my own concerns:

1. We’ve tried this before and it didn’t work. Our country actually enacted a similar “path to citizenship” under President Reagan. The 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act legalized over three million illegal immigrants with the promise that further entrance of illegals would be halted or at least significantly reduced. Instead, the number of people living here illegally has more than doubled since the passage of the law. Its original sponsors, Alan Simpson and Romano Mazzoli, have admitted that the law did not achieve its intended ends.

2. Allowing unlimited numbers of low-wage workers into the country will continue to undercut the wages and job prospects of the poorest Americans. It is not upper level managers or CEO’s who lose their jobs when we receive ten million low-wage laborers over our borders. Studies consistently demonstrate that black employment rises in response to enforcement of immigration law. While unemployment nationwide hovers around 8%, black unemployment remains 13.2%. Might employers find a way to hire some of those blacks if we decided to enforce our immigration laws instead of loosening them?

3. Many countries are using American money to prop up their own corrupt and incompetent governments. We all know that many illegal immigrants are sending money back to their home countries; the total amount is unknowable, but it is probably more than $30 billion a year. While this is a completely understandable and noble act on a personal level, its scale allows American prosperity to subsidize the often incompetent and corrupt leadership of illegals’ countries of origin. While this may bring some immediate relief to certain individuals, over the long term it merely prolongs the suffering of the masses of people who do not have relatives sending them money from more competently governed countries.

4. A new influx of individuals eligible for numerous federally funded entitlement programs will bankrupt our already strained system. Our entitlement system is already badly broken. According to a Congressional Research Service study released in 2012, Federal and State welfare spending was more than one trillion dollars in 2011. Obamacare is set to add 30 million new people (not including any newly legalized immigrants) to government funded health insurance. Even the most pro-amnesty advocates admit that the taxes paid by newly naturalized illegals will not come close to offsetting the federal and state benefits they are likely to receive.

5. Almost no one believes the bill will result in greater border security. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano admitted to Congress last year that terrorists who want to harm Americans enter the US from Mexico “from time to time.” A Rasmussen poll released in May showed that just 30% of American voters trust the government to take steps to secure the border if the immigration bill passes Congress.

6. The people who would be responsible for implementing and enforcing the new law oppose it. Representatives for employees of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services called proposed reforms “a dramatic step in the wrong direction.” The Senate bill, they say, does nothing to address border security, nor does it address how the millions of new citizenship applications can be processed in the timeframe required.

Why are both major parties toying with such a deeply flawed bill? Quite simply, Democrats will get a huge influx of voters, and Republicans will continue to provide various corporations with cheap labor. Republicans also hope to shed the image that they are anti-immigrant, although this is not what happened after the Reagan Amnesty in 1986. It is long past time for both parties to create an immigration strategy that can work.

Be sure to let your representatives know that they need to take a step back and apply real leadership and common sense, instead of pandering to various special interest lobbies. Your voice does have power – call or e-mail them today!


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