Now, local organisations can raise issues directly with immigration leaders

Debates, events being organised nationwide in March

`We should be talking about immigration issues’: Woolas

9th March 2010: Debates and other events are being organised nationwide in March to give local organisations and stakeholders a chance to raise issues and questions directly with national and regional immigration leaders.

In one such meeting, stakeholders in Wakefield had the opportunity to discuss immigration matters with the Minister for Borders and Immigration, Phil Woolas, at a regional ‘immigration debate’.

The minister joined Jeremy Oppenheim, the UK Border Agency’s regional director for the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber, for the question-and-answer session in Wakefield Town Hall. With them on the panel were Councillor Olivia Rowley, a Wakefield Council cabinet member and chair of the Regional Migration Partnership, and UK Border Agency deputy chief executive Jonathan Sedgwick.

The event, organised by the UK Border Agency, saw debate on topics like student dependants’ visas, failed asylum seekers, the voucher payment scheme, the role of refugee councils, the impact of legal migration on communities and the detention of children.

Woolas said: ‘Immigration is a topic which I know is at the forefront of the public’s mind, and it’s right we should be talking about these issues.

‘The audience at this debate are the people who work with the UK Border Agency every day, and we want to acknowledge that and listen to their suggestions and concerns.’

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