Public gives thumbs down to amnesty for illegal immigrants
10 December 2008. Amnesty for the estimated 700,000 illegal migrants already in Great Britain would cost up to £2billion in the first year as they qualified for benefits, says pressure group Migrationwatch UK. That figure would probably double after their children or family members joined them.
Those granted an amnesty would be immediately entitled to apply for social housing, adding at least half a million to the waiting list (which is already over 1.5 million for England alone). They would also be entitled to bring over their families, thus moving up the queue which is largely based on “need”. Meanwhile they would be entitled to Housing Benefit which is included in this calculation.
Seven out of ten adults disagree that there should be an amnesty for illegal immigrants, a new YouGov poll has found. The research, commissioned by Migrationwatch UK, found that only one in ten people agree with the idea. In London, the poll found that 64 per cent opposed an amnesty. Just one in six Londoners supported the idea of an amnesty, which was recently proposed by Mayor Boris Johnson; only one in twenty strongly agreed.
Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migrationwatch UK, said:
“Clearly the British public can see that to reward people with a meal ticket for life for breaking our laws is an absurd proposition. It will only encourage others to come and take their place in the hope of a further amnesty. That is exactly what has happened in Italy which has granted five amnesties in the past twenty years and Spain which has granted six.
“Claims of “a huge increase in tax revenues” are ludicrous when benefit payments are taken into account. So proponents of an amnesty are left only with their claim to be advancing the cause of social justice. However, the real victims are British workers whose wages are held down or perhaps their job opportunities taken by people who came or remained here illegally of their own volition.
“As we enter a recession, competition for work by illegal immigrants should be reduced, not encouraged. The government and Opposition are absolutely right to oppose this ill-considered scheme. The only amnesty worth considering is an amnesty on departure – allowing people already here illegally to leave within a defined window without fear of arrest for immigration offences.”
Last month, Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, claimed an amnesty would hugely boost tax revenues.
Conservative Mayor Boris Johnson revealed that his advisers were examining a possible amnesty for certain illegal immigrants on the grounds that, in practice, they could not all be deported. Both Labour and the Conservatives oppose an amnesty, with Immigration Minister Phil Woolas branding it a “naive” idea.