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  1. #1
    Senior Member cvangel's Avatar
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    Nov 2006

    U.K.:Earned amnesty would bring illegal workers out of shado

    SOUND FAMILIAR? I notice this writer presents the pro-amnesty positions of our Presidential candidates in his piece but not the strong opposition of the American citizenry.

    Safety first

    Earned amnesty would bring illegal workers out of the shadows, making life safer for migrants – and for all of us
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    * Will Somerville
    o Will Somerville
    o Wednesday July 23, 2008

    There are around 500,000 illegal immigrants in the UK. The government has given legal status in one way or another to between 60,000 and 100,000 illegal immigrants since it was elected in 1997, but it has had to do so on an ad hoc basis. With much of the public and the media suspicious of any type of amnesty for illegal immigrants, we have had regularisation by stealth.

    There is support for a more systematic amnesty but it is not widespread. Driven by grassroots campaigners, churches and trade unions, and supported by the Liberal Democrats, an amnesty law could probably count on the support of only 20% of MPs. Polls suggest a similar proportion of the general public would also favour such a programme – although substantially more would support an amnesty which included a record of employment and payment of taxes.

    The debate about illegal immigration has become increasingly polarised as supporters and opponents of amnesties rally to two distant poles, leaving little room for negotiation.

    Opponents say amnesties encourage more migrants to come to the UK illegally in the hope of gaining legal status further down the road. This is not just hypothesis. Surveys conducted at borders find that immigrants do enter countries illegally in the hope of gaining legal status later. But they also find that this is a minor factor when compared to the lure of economic opportunity.

    Amnesty supporters, meanwhile, claim the moral high ground. They point to the evidence of widespread discrimination against illegal immigrants and of (occasionally deeply shocking) infringements of health and safety and labour laws.

    Opponents point out that an amnesty policy cannot coexist with a deportation policy; that amnesties have often failed to work; and that they are frequently repeated despite being sold as a "one-off". Supporters underline the potential revenue benefits – an estimated £1bn – likely to derive from a regularisation. They also make a powerful pragmatic case: the financial and social price of deporting 500,000 people (at a cost of around £11,000 per person) is higher than the country is willing to pay.

    It is worth noting that, in comparison with other countries, the UK takes an extreme position on the issue. In the United States, Barack Obama supports an earned amnesty, while John McCain has sponsored amnesty legislation in the senate. In southern Europe, amnesties are an ongoing part of the political debate. Even countries like Germany, which were previously strongly opposed to such moves, are now beginning to regularise their illegally resident populations. All in all, since the French programme of 1980-81, approximately 6m people have been regularised across Europe.

    Other countries' experiences offer several important lessons in policy design. First, regularisations should not be presented as "one-off" programmes. To do so is to insult the public's intelligence and undermine the concept of amnesty as a permanently available tool of migration management. But they should be time-limited and deployed jointly with other migration policies, including tougher controls at the border.

    Second, when deciding upon the documentation that will be required of applicants as part of the regularisation process, the authorities need to be mindful of the threat of fraud. In Italy's 2003-04 regularisation for example, about 20% of inspected applications were found to contain false information. The 1986 US amnesty may have had even higher levels of deception.

    Above all, regularisation programmes must reflect the behaviour of employers and illegal immigrants or they will fail. For example, a requirement that an illegally resident person be able to demonstrate a record of formal-sector employment would result in the scheme failing to draw migrants out of vibrant informal labour markets.

    The earned amnesty proposal published this week by CentreForum, the liberal thinktank, seeks to overcome such difficulties. Nevertheless, the odds remain stacked against even the most modest amnesty proposals being agreed upon in the UK.

    One argument, however, has the potential to radically change the terms of the debate. It was made last year by the Bush White House and the US department of homeland security, but has yet to be made by politicians in Europe.

    The argument is that regularisation makes us safer. The security threats of the 21st century demand that we know who is in the country at any given time. There are currently an estimated 500,000 illegal immigrants believed to be in the UK, whose attitudes and activities are unknown to the authorities. By reducing the number of unknown people here, we can concentrate resources on those who pose a threat. To put this in context, the government will be spending around £260m a year by 2009 trying – and failing – to enforce migration law.

    Of course, there are some opponents of amnesty who will never be convinced. But if the pragmatists are to be won over, supporters of amnesty must seek to demonstrate not just that it makes migrants safer, but that it makes all of us safer. ...

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    In Germany in the 1970s, they were already screaming about guest workers who came, had children and wouldn't go back. Amnesty in UK may only get 20% vote--Good for them! Meanwhile, Bush McCain Obama are pushing the amnesty and more guest workers, ignoring the fact that there are 8-10 visa categories that address every business need. I worry for ths country, and am disgusted the shaft given to people that came here legally years ago.
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  3. #3
    Senior Member crazybird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Joliet, Il
    I wish we only had 500,000 to deal with. But no.....we have MILLIONS and MILLIONS!!!

    They give them the same line they give us.....BS.
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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