“An amnesty would raise false hopes” said Minister Woolas 17 November 2008. An amnesty for half a million illegal immigrants hiding in Britain has been ruled out, The People online has revealed.
While the unions, the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, the Muslim Council of Britain, and the Catholic Church are backing the official pardon, the minister for Immigration, Mr Woolas, considers that "An amnesty raises false hopes and results in human misery. It starts out with the best of intentions and ends up with dead bodies in the backs of lorries at Calais.
"It encourages organised criminals to take money off destitute people who have no right to come to the UK."
"This does not mean that every illegal immigrant will have to go, especially if their children were born here. We will judge each case on its merits."
A report published by the Institute for Public Policy Research think-tank reveals that an amnesty would raise £1 billion a year in extra tax – money lost to the economy along with cash illegals would spend. Official figures estimate the number of illegals between 310,000 to 570,000; their deportation would cost £4.7billion.
Two-thirds of illegals work in London and the south-east, mostly in low-paid cleaning, catering and building jobs.
Muslim Council leader Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari said: "We are happy to accept their labour but not grant them rights."
On the continent, France has approved 152,000 amnesties, Greece – 397,000, Italy – 308,000, Spain 700,000.