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« Symbol of Britain’s Big Brother state | Main | Caudillismo and Political Leadership in South America »

Saturday, April 15, 2006


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The issue of illegal immigration and amnesty is also signifcant in the UK. People day there is between 310,000 and 570,000 illegal immigrants in the country. The figure is probably more like 900,000! Malcolm Dean from the Guardian makes a coherent argument for an amnesty solution.

"The IPPR report says most illegal immigrants are overstaying their visa, rather than entering clandestinely. What brings them to Britain is what brings legal immigrants - better pay and job opportunities here. Most come to fill vacancies across the skills spectrum but end up doing dirty, difficult or dangerous work that resident workers are reluctant to take up. One study last year found that 90% of low paid jobs in London were filled by immigrants.

There would be two benefits in regularising these workers. First, openly being able to work would mean income tax would be paid. Assuming the Home Office's median estimate of numbers (430,000), this would raise £485 million a year if they were on minimum pay, or £1.2billion if earnings reflected the median pay of legal immigrant workers. Second, this would avoid the astronomical costs of deportation - some £11,000 per case, according to the National Audit Office, or £4.5bn to return all."

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