Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Immigration and Citizenship

Anti-immigration campaigners seem to like to have it all ways in their campaigns. They object to 'floods' of immigrants, saying it is not what people 'want'. They object (rightly, in my view, as it happens) to the Home Office unilaterally increasing the qualifying period from four years to five before a non-EEA national working in the UK can apply for indefinite leave to remain. As fees are payable for the necessary visas and work permits, they denounce this as an egregious tax on those who have taken the lawful route to immigration, when those who have taken the unlawful route apparently enjoy unlimited state handouts (I think those in asylum detention centres or receiving below subsistence levels of welfare benefits might beg to differ, but there we go). But now, as it is reported that levels of citizenship acquisition are at record levels, they denounce Government's policies on allowing access to UK citizenship by non-nationals, even though this is precisely the lawful route from immigration to integration praised in the previous article. Mere inconsistency, or full-blown hypocrisy? I leave you to decide.


Anonymous Daffodil said...

The first point is about expectations not being met, isn't it? People were encouraged to come to this country on a certain understanding which was not subsequently honoured. Doctor friends have been talking about colleagues who were encouraged to come to the UK to take the PLAB test at great expense only to find the promised job at the end not materialising, being blocked indeed. Making promises and then not keeping them is immoral, unlawful in some cases.

But the second issue - how many people should be allowed to enter the UK and who those people should be, is much, much more difficult. If everyone agrees that the UK can only accommodate so many new people at one time, a policy that involves limiting numbers is essential.

I don't think, therefore, that the two views are inconsistent or hypocritical. It is wrong to promise something and not deliver it. It is also necessary to limit immgration to this country. I'd rather the UK kept its promises and developed an immigration policy that it could enforce, that met its international obligations (more narrowly interpreted - the "refugee" definition is too wide and A3 makes a mockery of the judges), and set the UK up for a successful economic future to be enjoyed by my children and grandchildren. Not even the government, certainly not the opposition, are of the opinion that that is the case at the moment.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006  
Blogger BondWoman said...

But that doesn't answer the question as to why policies on citizenship acquisition (the lawful route to integration) are being criticised. We are not talking here about policies on initial entrance to the country, although I tend to disagree with you about the issue of the "limits" of integration.

Thursday, May 25, 2006  
Anonymous Daffodil said...

Ah ha, an Open Door policy, hey?

Friday, May 26, 2006  

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