Green party to reduce restrictions on asylum seekers
Liberal Democrats: Earned route to citizenship would affect small group
28th April 2010: Immigration issue is getting hotter by the day, with the Conservatives pledging introduction of a specialist border police force; the UKIP proposing a five-year freeze on immigration for permanent settlement; and the Labour insisting on issuance of identity cards to the immigrants.
The Liberal Democrats’ too insisted their proposal for an earned route to citizenship would affect a "small selected group”. The Green party said it would reduce restrictions on asylum seekers taking jobs.
The assertions came during a question-answer session with the candidates. Approximately 100 people —from across the political spectrum —from the South East questioned five Parliamentary candidates during the BBC’s South East Debate.
Each of the three main parties had sent senior spokesman.
Conservative-cum- shadow immigration minister Damian Green, standing in Ashford, Kent, claimed proper enforcement was the answer to illegal immigration.
The party, he insisted, would introduce a specialist border police force for not just improving the borders, but also to crack down on illegal working.
He said the biggest impetus for illegal immigrants was that it is too easy to work illegally in the country.
Liberal Democrat transport spokesman and the candidate for Lewes, in East Sussex, Norman Baker, claimed their proposal for earned route to citizenship for illegal migrants would apply to a small selected group.
Arguing in favour of a “proper border control force, he said they wanted to get rid of undesirable people – the drug and people traffickers.
The minister for the south east, Jonathan Shaw, standing in Chatham and Aylesford in Kent said people wanting to work in the UK under Labour would require an identity card, as it will help both the individual and prospective employer.
He claimed a reduction in the number of illegal immigrants coming to Britain; and added they had put in further enforcements around Calais and were working closely with the French authorities.
The UK Independence Party candidate for Wealden, in East Sussex, Dan Docker, said the party would impose a five-year freeze on immigration for permanent settlement, and would triple the border force, so they can expel the illegal immigrants.
He said they would still allow people to come in on work visas if they have special skills the country needs.
The Green candidate for Tunbridge Wells, Kent, Hazel Dawe said the party would reduce restrictions on asylum seekers taking jobs.
She said asylum seekers were not allowed to work and had to rely on benefits, while their asylum application was being dealt with, Almost 300,000 people had their asylum applications rejected, but could not return to their native country because they would face torture or death, she added.