Public incensed at new migrant figures - communities are broken, says ALP MEHMET

By Alp Mehmet
Chairman of Migration Watch UK
Daily Express, 25 May, 2023

Over past two decades Britain has grown by eight million souls - nine out of 10 are migrants or children of migrants, writes Alp Mehmet

Thirteen years ago, the Conservative party was elected into Government on a manifesto pledge to reduce net migration to the ‘tens of thousands’, from around 250,000.

That pledge was repeated at every election that followed, including in 2019. Today, we learn that not only is net migration at an all-time high, but is more than double the level it was in 2010.

Over the past 20 years, the UK population has grown by eight million people, with nearly seven million (85 percent) due to migrants and the children of migrants. This happened with average annual net migration of about 245,000.

Ministers, officials and commentators have given many (frankly, lame) reasons and excuses as to why we have seen this explosion in net migration. Yes, there have been conflicts (some ongoing), including Syria, Afghanistan and Ukraine, as well as the problems in Hong Kong; and let’s not forget that the path to settlement for 3.5 million Hong Kongers and their dependants is open-ended.

But little of this bears scrutiny. The fact is that the loose points-based system, introduced after Brexit, and the regime for student and family visas were so devoid of constraint that net migration was always going to shoot up; as we repeatedly warned it would.

In 2019, the government expressed its intention to have 600,000 overseas students enrolled at our universities by 2030. That target was reached barely two years later, nearly 10 years ahead of schedule.

The claim was that all foreign students left on graduating. They don’t. Indeed, they can all stay for two years to work – in any job – and those here for a postgraduate degree have been able to bring dependents.

With regard to Nigerians in this category, in 2021/22 more dependents came than students. According to the Office for National Statistics 27 percent of non-European students stay in Britain with a long-term visa.

Meanwhile, the government lowered the salary threshold for high-skill visas from £36,000 to £26,000, while salaries for entry level visas (18-25 year olds) was set at not much more than the living wage.

The UK labour market test was abandoned, and the skills range and shortage of occupation list were extended to include many more occupations. As a result, the number of work visas soared from around 190,000 in 2019 to 420,000 in 2022.

The public will rightly be incensed that immigration has risen to such stratospheric levels. The impact on people’s future prospects, their environment and the nature of their communities has been immense.

The added pressure and strains on housing, GP surgeries, the NHS and schools has been all too obvious.

The integration of new arrivals has become all but impossible. All of this has happened without any discussion or the consent of the British people. Is it any wonder that 60% of them believe immigration has been too high and want it cut?

This is why we are launching our campaign calling on the government to cut immigration and inviting people to sign our petition. It is their chance to make their views known.

Alp Mehmet is the Chairman of Migration Watch UK.

Migration Watch UK have launched a petition aimed at cutting immigration and ending asylum abuse.

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