Calls for calm in the wake of excited coverage of NAO report
16th March 2011: The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) has claimed calls for stronger visa restrictions on skilled migrants, their families and dependents, not go a long way in preventing overstaying.
Such a move may, rather, promote irregularity; and may also cause further damage to the UK’s flagging economy.
The JCWI has also issued a call for calm in the wake of excited coverage of a report from the National Audit Office (NAO).
A press release from the NAO admitted the figures were unclear and that of 181,000 failed applicants, the UKBA “cannot be sure how many have left the country”.
Additionally the NAO states it “expects to revise this estimate downwards”. The press has picked up on this figure and bandied it about with enthusiasm.
In a press release, JCWI said: A more sober look at the facts suggests this is in fact a very small number, amounting to 0.003% of the UK’s population. Calls for even stronger visa restrictions on skilled migrants and their families and dependents will do nothing to stop overstaying. In fact they may encourage irregularity and whilst also causing further damage the UK’s flagging economy.
Habib Rahman, JCWI’s Chief Exec, said “Once again, hysteria over a spurious headline figure is serving to undermine an informed and reasoned debate on immigration to the UK. The Government needs to step back from these headlines and look at what really serves the economic interests of the UK – that is a flexible demand based immigration system.”