08 April 2006

Immigration Amnesty.

Excellent article by Malcolm Dean in SocietyGuardian proposing an amnesty for illegal immigrants. It is something I have long argued for.

Dean points out how the Tories have used the 'race card' in three out of the last four elections. The last election was particularly nasty, but for the first time the tactic probably lost the Tories more votes than it gained. This is the turning point on race politics that opens up the possibility of an amnesty on illegal immigration.

Dean also points out the benefits of such an amnesty;

"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."

Now that the BNP are fighting amongst themselves over their ridiculous policies (by the way, it must be illegal to exclude membership of a party on grounds of race, couldn't we sue them for this?), maybe this is the time to think about sensible policies on immigration.

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