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How should immigration be tackled?

11:45 UK time, Friday, 30 April 2010

The Liberal Democrats want to create an "earned route" to citizenship for migrants who have been in the UK for 10 years. How should we deal with immigration?

The policy has been criticised by both the Labour and Conservative leaders. Labour's immigration policy would continue to tighten the newly-created points-based system and the Conservatives are proposing an annual limit for non-EU economic migrants.

The Lib Dems have also defended their claim that 80% of immigration into Britain was from the EU, something which their leader Nick Clegg said showed a Tory policy to cap non-EU immigration was "complete nonsense". Senior Conservative Michael Gove dismissed this as "bogus statistics", saying only a third of immigrants came from the EU.

Do you think an immigration amnesty would be a good idea? Do you think a cap on immigration is achieveable? What immigration policies need to be discussed?

Compare the parties' election policies on race relations and immigration.

Key moments from the leaders' debate

This debate has now closed. Thank you for all your comments.


Page 1 of 9

  • Comment number 1.

    Instead of trying to think of ways of keeping them here, try thinking of ideas to send them back to there own countrys. I dont mind anyone coming to work and live here but they are the minority, mostly they are receiving housing and social benefits, enjoying the privelege of free healthcare etc. ITS NOT ON ! And I am sick of it !!!

  • Comment number 2.

    Will be interesting to see how UKIP and BNP poll this time, since immigration has become more of an issue than the politicos expected.

    None of Tories/Labour/LibDems has any policies beyond fiddling around the edges, and UKIP / BNP are now the only parties which reflect the views of those with a fairly robust anti-immigration stance.

  • Comment number 3.

    I'm voting Lib Dem, but i don't agree with this policy and I don't think theyll get it through a hung parliament.

    I think the original idea was to declare an amnesty for those fitting precise criteria in the hope that a lot of illegal immigrants come forwards hoping to benefit, the government would then be able to sort through the applicants , granting citizenship to some, but deporting many more who don't meet the criteria.

    Its a naive plan to find the 'lost illegals', mind you, I suppose its better than no plan at all which is what the Tories & Labour have for those illegals who have effectively disappeared from the authorities.

  • Comment number 4.

    I find the idea of allowing immigrants in, but only if they're contained within a certain area to be rather distasteful. I know Australia does it, but they have a massive country and being given a territorial visa for NSW is totally different than being given a visa for Bradford.

    As Cameron pointed out, are you going to have passport controls on motorways?

    It's just another naive policy that one would expect from an inexperienced Lib Dem joke of a party.

    The ONLY way to deal with immigration is to remove ourselves from the obligations Labour signed us up to. Which basically means ANYONE from the EU can come here at ANY time and in ANY number. If a million people from the EU decided to move to the UK tomorrow, we would legally have to accept it.

    If the left wing have their way, Turkey will be in the EU. The same Turkey that's gradually becoming more and more radicalised through its Islamic government. That's 75 million Turks who could have free access to the UK and EU.

    The idea that migrants do jobs that Brits won't do, is a nonsense. Pure propaganda in order to justify immigration.

    Labour allowed the floodgates to open for left wing IDEALOGICAL reasons and nothing else. Of course the extra votes generated by the immigrants for Labour was an added bonus.

  • Comment number 5.


    The Lib Dems will give amnesties to people who are making positive contributions to our economy and society.

    I have been an immigrant in three other countries. I benefitted tremendously from living and working in the US, France and Switzerland. I hope those countires benefitted from my contributions to their societies as well.

    Having the freedom to move between countries is a great advantage that can work in the interests of all people.

  • Comment number 6.

    Good idea, many of these people are working in the black economy in the uk so lets get them on board so they can pay tax and ni like the rest of us

  • Comment number 7.

    Immigrants from outside the EU is only part of the problem. I'd like to see the end of the number of east european immigrants who come here from within the EU! In my town Romanian people are standing outside every supermarket selling the big issue! They are contributing nothing to this society but receive good health care etc. As for the free movement of people, if i go to Romania to work will my family get the same standard of free health care,education and benefits as they get here???

  • Comment number 8.

    I admit that at face value it seems daft, but the fact is that there are hundreds of thousands of people here illegally, who are working in the black market without paying taxes. This is particularly true in London (as Boris Johnson has noted). Since no government anywhere has EVER been successful in identifying, capturing and deporting these people, I'm not sure what other solution there is.

  • Comment number 9.

    It is very difficult to have a sensible debate about immigration when most poeople get their information from hysterical, slanted and often simply untrue coverage in the right wing press - especially the Mail and the Express. I have lost count of the times I have seen references in those two papers particularly to "Labour's open door immigration policy" and "uncontrolled mass migration". Sadly, the Conservative candidate in my constituency (and the sitting MP) repeats this kind of language in his campaign literature, and when pulled up about it says "But that is how people feel". People will feel like that if they are fed xenophobic propaganda every day and hear it repeated it by mainstream politicians who really should know better. Current Government policy on immigration is actually pretty good, although most voters don't understand the first thing about it. But I prefer the Lib Dems' approach.

  • Comment number 10.

    The 80% figure is misleading (like anything a politician says). The true figure is closer to half that, so a limit on non eu immigration makes perfect sense. We just don't have room for every economic migrant who wants to come here, we don't even have room for every war refugee, given the vast numbers displaced in Africa.

  • Comment number 11.

    Not good. First it says breaking the law will be OK. Second the Country is more than full. Third EU Countries can send as many of their people to the UK as they feel fit. Fourth when Turkey join the EU that's another 70,000,000 that will want to come here. It is far to many. Close the borders now and return the illegals at least back to their own Countries. Talking about immigration is now OK is it?

  • Comment number 12.

    First of all the debate would be helped if politicians and the press stopped conflating a number of wildly different issues:

    1 - EU worker immigration. Is there any scope for a cap, or do we just have to live with this?
    2 - Economic migrants have a positive role to play but the number needs to be matched to UK needs first and foremost. If we are getting enough or more than enough migrant workers from EU countries then do we impose very strict limits on non-EU countries?
    3 - Genuine asylum seekers should not be confused with economic migrants. Should asylum seekers be allowed to pick and chose their country. If someone is fleeing Iran and has got a boat to France are they still at risk? Do they have a right to then seek asylum in another country.
    4 - In view of the opportunity to be a genuine economic migrant or asylum seeker, what it wrong with instant deportation for those who chose to enter the UK illegally?

    We need a calm adult debate about all of these points, which are of concern to many UK citizens. Such a debate should be possible without those (on the left mainly) resorting to accusations of racism (another conlation).

  • Comment number 13.

    Immigrants are welcome if we have the resources for them. Unfortunately we are out of jobs as we have a large workforce out of work. Immigration was implimented to fill a gap in the workforce. We have no gap so redirect immigration around the original pricipal.

    I dont want immigration stopped perminently, just until the brits are working in britain and we have a need for more workers

  • Comment number 14.

    We live in Thailand pay taxes support the local government have work permits as EVERY PERSON coming here to work HAS TO .you cannot just arrive and ask for money. There is no social security no free health care What you do is WORK. Hong Kong the same ten years working you have to pay your tax you have to pay your own health care. We are British people who have never asked for anything out of that country. Meaning England. If you choose to live there then pay. Immigration is immigration wherever you live. Make them pay or kick them out. We will never ever return there, to deal with idiots like Brown. NEVER.

  • Comment number 15.

    An amnesty is not a good idea, it sends the wrong message.

  • Comment number 16.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 17.

    Immigration should be linked to our problem with overpopulation and immigration from anywhere should be reduced to give us a stable but slowly falling population, which will reduce the need for agricultural land being swallowed by housing, fewer cars on the roads, easier to recycle waste, less pollution, less bureaucracy to force people to live cheek to jowl, it would be less painful to do something now than wait until the population will be forced to accommodate the over populace in there spare rooms etc.

  • Comment number 18.

    well.. I dont agree with Nick clegg about the amnesty, its true that from worlds all 4 corners everyone wants to come in with thier families to 'engaland' because being soft touch , plenty of benefits & they know that this governement wont deport them, our governements immigration policy is shambles and they are doing this against the will of the british people..Nick clegg's acceptance only can lead to more and more flocking here.

    then Gorden brown & labour's policy of points system is doomed to be failure,those economic immigrant workers come fro India are virtually taking over all the IT / Engineering sector working in britain,never mind companies are outsourcing to india as well, how our children are going to be trained to do work in the future? those wants to come in know how to bend the rules, 1 comes 2 comes 3 comes and the office will be full of them and they dont leave at the end of contract, thats the big fat truth that they want to bring in thier families while they will go permenent here, do we have the resources to have these many people here, our children going to find training / work here, absolutely not.. you are lucky if you do get a call for an interview , why???

    according to the debate there are thousands of eastern europeans here, either taking away the job of british people by accepting 1/10th of the salary OR endup claiming full benefits for them & thier families,

    this is creating tentions within the community and the host people are very worries & the other hand racism is on the rise,resentment is usually shown for the non-white skinned people in general, there is uncontrolled mass immigration is going on for the last number of years & this country is already over crowded,

    howlong would it take a party leader & the government to propose OK we will get rid of the 700,000 odd illegals ( including dont want to go home over stay visitors + over stay students ) using the police,UKBA backed by the army to clean up the huge backlog, what kind of income the ministers are getting from these people, what maes them to keep these illgals here? i dont understand

    eventhough i dont agree with most what BNP's Nick Griffin talks, somewhat i agree with him about the immigration concern, he is RIGHT on it.

    we cannot have all the dick,tom and harry from all around the world in this small island, we must get rid of the people they should be here at once and then close the borders only allowing very limited amount of people in the country, we already have got enough ghetto's and religeons , plus benefit payments to do to many ! the question is which leader has the bone and balls to do this?? God helps the United Kingdom

  • Comment number 19.

    By having television debates from which the smaller parties are excluded, immigration is not tackled. It is sidelined.

  • Comment number 20.

    I was appalled to hear from an MP that it will be millions of costs involved in gettign rid of illegal immigrants, comon there are lots of people are ready to work for UKBA for free, atleast I am,

    bring back our boys from afghanistan/Iraq, conduct a massive search operation here in england , check each and everyone for papers, use our navy ships and load them at once, its cheap to do it !

    close our borders, make sure to have an agreement with EU about how many can come in and the length of stay & stop benefits payements to non-british people !

    enough is enough

    the longer this problem drags the more chance of fascism going to prevail in this great country, i see Nick griffin and his boys are laughing thier way.

  • Comment number 21.

    Tory and Labour are saying what people want to hear and not how they are going the fix the issues that they face; Cameron in particular is a first class panderer.

    Lib Dems have taken up an unpopular position in an attempt to try and tackle a problem that we can't even afford to tackle in the way the other two parties propose - it costs in the region of 10k per illegal to find and deport them.

    Although I don't agree with the amnesty (it's an old American idea that has had mixed results across the pond), the Lib Dem proposal is the first clear-sighted and thorough position (and different!) that I have seen from any of the major parties in facing this issue head on. Tory and Labour are in fantasy land if they think just saying "illegal immigrants should be deported" is going to make a blind bit of difference; it hasn't for 20+ years. They've both had a shot at actually doing something and neither delivered on their basic position of "We don't want them here" because they can't answer the simple question of "How are you going to do it?".

    And don't say tighter boarder controls; immigration goes up regardless of how many billions are spent on fencing.

    This, by the way, for me, goes in the same bag as Cameron stating "Families are vital!" ... yea, no one is saying anything different, what are you going to actually do for them though? £3 a month?! I'll pass ..

  • Comment number 22.

    I'd support this policy for long-term immigrants that have otherwise kept out of trouble while they're here. We can always do with more productive citizens. But there's a good case for a small extra levy added to their income and council tax for the rest of their residency as they've been using services and infrastructure without contributing fully until now.

    If they've been involved in criminality, they should not be welcomed.

  • Comment number 23.

    The Lib Dems have lost the plot just what do they think the country is on about when we say we are fed up to the back teeth of illegals squatting here, to think they have thought it ok with the general public to let the hordes stay and have the benefits of this easy going country is ludicrous we want them gone and the sooner the better, Nick Clegg the man who had no idea how much a pensioner lives on is himself living in cloud cuckoo land if he thinks we will tolerate this and the sooner they use their energy thinking of ways to get rid of them the better, God almighty are our concerns falling on deaf ears

  • Comment number 24.

    " 1. At 12:01pm on 30 Apr 2010, SaveourCountry wrote:

    ...I dont mind anyone coming to work and live here but they are the minority, mostly they are receiving housing and social benefits,..."

    No, this is incorrect. Tisis why politicians don't like debates, because most stuff you read in the papers in incorrect.

  • Comment number 25.

    NO AMNESTY - It sends the wrong signal to others and rewards those that are here illegally for committing a criminal act ie; entering our shores without permission, overstaying their visas etc;etc;etc.
    Look at all those still trying to get into Britain in wagons, trains etc,
    most are young males, the flood of them hasn't stopped for years. I would suggest the only way they want to improve their lives would be to the detriment of the indigenous British population. I would say to them, don't come here looking for hand-outs and an easy life, stay in your own country and work hard to improve it, I've nothing against you, but I find it hard enough to live myself without propping other people up.

  • Comment number 26.

    What last night's debate showed is that David Cameron was more interested in posturing rather than having a genuine and adult discussion on the very real problems of immigration. This could come back to haunt him. I'm starting to think that we might be faced with 'Vote Conservative, get BNP'. It just makes me shudder.

  • Comment number 27.

    i have a good idea for al lib dim voters .If you want an amnesty for all illegal immigrants.Then ok.ALL ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS SHOULD BE SENT TO ONLY TO LIB DEMS SEATS.So those who don't want them and their spouses and probably their offspring flooding their already squeezed public services and communities then can be free of this lunatic policy.You can give them free EUROS as well.Just make sure YOUR council tax pays for it.See how "liberal" you all are then !

  • Comment number 28.

    I agree with SystemF's statement "The ONLY way to deal with immigration is to remove ourselves from the obligations Labour signed us up to".
    However NONE of the major parties want us to join the EEC, I assume on the basis that "jobs for the boys" and "jollies" to EU meetings will have to go.
    Leaving the EU is the only way that England or the UK will every get to grips with this issue.

  • Comment number 29.

    We should leave the EU we seem to be at their mercy they dictate to us about things that should be only our concerns and the decisions that we should make ourselves are taken out of our hands paying terrorists families benefits and allowing the dregs of european society to camp on our doorsteps are just a couple of things that get peoples backs up the Lib Dems should be getting in motion ways of getting shut of the illegals that are blighting many towns not giving the free accesss to them and if anyone in Government had the backbone to start this they would be hailed as heroes.

  • Comment number 30.

    It's not a good idea, as it encourages others to believe that if they get into this country they have a very good chance of being allowed to stay. To discourage future illegal immigration you need to come down hard on those that are caught.
    The same principle applies to Crime. If people believe there is a high likelihood of being caught and given an harsh sentence, they are less likely to commit the crime in the first place.

  • Comment number 31.

    #9 -
    Sadly, the Conservative candidate in my constituency (and the sitting MP) repeats this kind of language in his campaign literature, and when pulled up about it says "But that is how people feel".

    Unfortunately this is typical, trying to mislead people into believing their party actually has a "tough" policy on the issue, when they simply don't (and haven't had for a long, long time).

    Don't forget, this was all part of the much-vaunted revamp to shed the "nasty party" image, so they might have a bit of a rough ride if Cameron suddenly comes out with smoke-and-mirrors "tougher" immigration rhetoric in the last week of the campaign.

  • Comment number 32.

    To give illegal immigrants who have been here for a long time a chance to declare themselves and join the tax-paying society is not a silly idea at all. They are here, occupying jobs, forming families; are we going to send home their children, born here, or their wives who are legally here? Cleaning out the Augean stables is sensible. It carries no implications for the future and if immigration controls are secureely operated by a border force there will be no future problem of any size to resolve.

  • Comment number 33.

    No amnesty. It sends out the wrong message to illegal immigrants for others who then believe if they lie low for long enough then they can stay too.

    Perhaps the EU needs to rethink they way that borders are completely open for people to move around for jobs. I imagine the next country with workers trying to find jobs around the EU will be Greece (I do feel great sympathy with people trying to find work, but if the result is that people in their own countries end up on benefits when work they could have done has been taken up by someone from another EU state - this does not make sense).

  • Comment number 34.

    immigration, and eec, asylum seekers, should all be in the same pot
    each section is bleeding this country dry
    1/housing should be that the first to get help should be those born here
    2/jobs should be allocated to those unemployed
    if there is not skilled labour, then offer to train those who are unemployed
    3/ no state benefit for anyone coming to this country
    4/ families with more than 2 children to pay more
    they cost more on education, health,family allowence, waste,housing

  • Comment number 35.

    Your question seems to presume there is a inherent problem.

    Why ??
    Please explain yourselves, or are we reverse ''bigots'' for not assuming their is a problem.

  • Comment number 36.

    Withdraw from the EU. Unless this is done, EU law states we have to allow any EU citizen to come here to work and/or live. Once done, halt all immigration. Deport all illegal immigrants now. Deport all immigrants who have committed serious crime. Deport all unskilled/unemployed immigrants.

  • Comment number 37.

    I just wonder whether every unemployed person in this country who wants to 'work' are going to vote BNP or UKIP - That MUST scare the political establishment quite a lot!

  • Comment number 38.

    If I did something illegal I would have to face the consequences, that is why they are illegal immigrants they have broken the law of this county so having an amnesty is wrong.
    Have a border force that have the power to remove people not just arrest them then let them go to disappear again. If they want to appeal then let them do it from their country and not with legal aid from our pockets.
    Get tough, stop listening to the bleeding hearts that seem to be running the country.
    It is about time those in charge realise we live on an over populated island. To let more in will put to much strain on already over stretched recourses.
    I’m realistic and know they will not listen and we will still be having this conversation in 20 years time.

  • Comment number 39.

    If it were not so well known in the outside world that Britain provides free benefits, healthcare, education and housing, people would not be so eager to try to leave French shores to come here by any means.

    France is also a developed, affluent country (nearly four times as big as this one too); why do they not stay there? Because the French are not as generous with handouts as we are and neither are the other countries in Europe.

    We have got to put a stop to this constant hand-in-pocket culture, not only towards immigrants but to UK-born scroungers who contribute nothing to this country.

  • Comment number 40.

    I think a amnesty is only sensible course of action, that and a more vigoures repatriation program for people we would be better of with out might help also, by this I mean Seriuoes Criminals and mall-contents. I wouldn't object to it including members of the BNP, I suspect the middle of the Atlantic is the only place that would take them and then only after some birbery.

  • Comment number 41.

    Considering that there are nearly 1 million illegal immigrants (thats 1 in every 65 people), I would suggest doing random ID checks in immigration hotspots such as major cities. I wouldn't mind being stopped by police occasionally to prove that I can live here legally. This would have immediate results and a good chance that once one illegal immigrant is found, there is a chance that he/she will be living with other illegal immigrants who can also be kicked out of the country.

  • Comment number 42.

    Their proposals just cannot work - please explain to me how someone with no legal status, no official record, and who is completely off the record can PROVE beyond doubt that they have been here for 10 years? A witness statement from a mate?

    The stakes are high for illegal immigrants and so the amount of fraud will be sky high - whole backstreet industries will spring up providing false documentation and false witnesses. The chances of getting the right to remain by fraudulent means will just increase the number of incomming illegal immigrants... oh, and when the Human Rights lawyers get involved the courts will be clogged for years to come and no doubt the tax payer will get the "legal aid" bill.

    Once the numbers applying reach a level where the system cannot cope then wrong decisions will be made.

    This is bound to happen because there are big bucks to be made by the bad guys.

    The Liberal's proposals are unworkable and naive. They benefit no one except the illegals prepared to chance their arm and the lawyers who will make a fortune fiighting their corner!

  • Comment number 43.

    We might be all talking about it, but psst! does anyone know where they are......

  • Comment number 44.

    for those sit around lazy wont do that work wont accept this work fellow britains to come clean from now on,

    the country needs you, if you chose to become carreer single mothers at the expense of state, if you chose not to educate well yourself and turning in to nightlife drinking sex culture then I want every true britain who are proud of this nation to start WORK from now on,

    kickout the laziness and start working the so so 5 million complaining of no work here ! the immigrants manage to find one the next day upon arrival,

    now is the right time to start thinking why some people are clever and better off than Us ? will they do it?

    there is no point rubbishing brown/cameron/clegg really,

    if companies cannot find able people to fit in thier workforce they WILL endup bringing people from elsewhere like India ! or the work will be gone to china

    there is no point in pandering to BNP etc by reading dailymail etc,

    time for all the british people to take responsibility to educate thier children to the highest standard, start working & avoid signing on the dole and benefits

    if all british occupies the jobs here with a tough immigration policy ( remember Margeret Thatcher) the mess created already can be limited.

    I hope David Cameron will keep his word, I am voting conservatives this time.

  • Comment number 45.

    At the last election Labour attacked and destroyed Michael Howard because he put immigration onto the agenda. They are now trying to describe immigration and EU movement of labour as seperate issues. To the people who's lives have been changed beyond recognition it matters not from where the immigrants originate. It's not a racial issue. It's pure and simple volume, speed and impact on services. Brown says that a million people come in but a million go out. He might be right but they don't all go to a single European country. He talks of 'Getting real' he ought to take his own advice as should Phil Woollas. Listen to the people not to the quangos.

  • Comment number 46.

    Once the effects of the vast national debt kick in, this problem may tend to solve itself. In fact emigration of the useful may become a problem.

  • Comment number 47.

    Unbeknown to most people there is already an amnesty of sorts ongoing.

  • Comment number 48.

    We need to tackle immigration head on. Other coutries even in the EU are not as tollerent as we are and it seems like every immigrant wants to come to the UK. We need to create a clear and fare system for all and we do need to tacke the illegal immigration problem with zero tollerence for the benefit of everyone. I srongly disagree with an amnesty for illegal immigrants that tells everyone that they can just come here and if they manage to stay for so long they can stay forever. It is a sad fact that as a coutry we cannot afford this. We have to accept that we cannot help everyone on the planet, afterall there are enough people that are already here that need help and with our economic difficuties as a country we are struggling to help them.

  • Comment number 49.

    My husband and I are both immigrants. I am an EU citizen, he is from outside the EU. We moved here approximately 4 years ago and have worked and paid taxes ever since. Contrary to what most people believe, we barely qualify for benefits. Only once we have received permanent residency, after 5 years of paying our own way here, will we be considered equal to UK citizens. Someone mentioned an extra tax on immigrants? Why would I have to pay more tax than UK citizens for less benefits in return?

    I wish people would get their facts straight before going on about benefit-hungry immigrants. All the name calling during the last weeks is very hurtful to the majority of law-abiding, hard-working immigrants like us.

    As for the fact that we take away jobs from British people - we wouldn't have gotten the jobs we hold now if our employers would have found British citizens who were more qualified to do the jobs instead of us.

    Finally, the beauty of the EU is that workers have a much larger labour market to move around in, and that many British workers can also be found in other parts of the EU. Immigration/emigration works in two ways!

  • Comment number 50.

    Re: 41. john3626: I can just see the furore in the press - random stops, ratial profiling, violation of human rights.

  • Comment number 51.

    Here's someting I would like to see across ALL European country: an initial qualification period for benefits in an EU country if you are a citizen of another EU country. The qualification period could be, for example, continual years residence and NI contributions)

    This should apply equally to Non UK EU citizens living and working in the UK as well as English in other EU countries.

    Fair and equal!

  • Comment number 52.

    We need a government who is not going to allow thousands of migrants
    travel from far-flung countries and only claim asylum when they get
    to the UK.
    If life is really that bad for them in their home countries they should
    HAVE to claim asylum in the first country outside their homeland.
    No if's, and no but's !!!!!

  • Comment number 53.

    The amnesty would work only if at the same time immigration policy was completely and utterly redefined, restructured and - most importantly - adhered to.

    Unfortunately politicians use immigration for financial and ideological purposes and so rules are bent and ignored and the system is left in chaos.

    We need a coherent policy which is attuned to the sensibilities of those people who are already here (people who pay tax and and work to keep the country running and have a right to their feelings being taken into account).

    Immigration policy needs to work for the good of the country rather than being influenced by such dubious reasons as annoying the Tories or providing cheap labour for rich business.

    An amnesty would clear out the current mess caused by the previous two governments' selfishness but not if in five years time we are having to have another one because nothing changed.

  • Comment number 54.

    43. At 1:18pm on 30 Apr 2010, Rays a Larf wrote:
    We might be all talking about it, but psst! does anyone know where they are......

    Good question:
    try spotting them here :- sunday markets selling illagal stuffs/ food processing factories / vegetable & fruit picking places / fast food restaurents like kebabish places / kitchens of popular restaurents like Indian & chinese / petrol stations / building work sites / privately run supermarkets / a lot of them driving private taxi's / street based carwashes emply lots of illegals.

    and some clever run-out-of-visas & migrants can also be found working as security guards at major stores as well as Prime ministers office working as cleaners & in the canteens of whitehall.

    a lots of illegals can be seen wondering in and out of the 'immigration specialised solicitors' offices !

    enough or you want more?

    I am giving away enough tips to the UKBA, will they act ? hahaha

  • Comment number 55.

    Amnesty is a ludicrous idea; it happened before, and low and behold, the numbers are up again. How about pitching U.K welfare payments which are made to Immigrants, rather lower than our neighbours. I suspect that many would go to warmer climates than ours once they dicovered that we were less than generous. Or perhaps we ought to stop all payments to those Immigrants who come from outside the E.U, since we do not have a real responsibility for their welfare.One thing is for certain, from the factory canteen to the Club dining room, U.K citizens are complaining about Immigration policy. It is a real issue.

  • Comment number 56.

    If they haven't been detected for ten years then they are either living via the proceeds of crime or tax dodging. And that makes them parasites and criminals.

  • Comment number 57.

    #42 -

    Your logic is equally applicable to deportation, which is why Tories/Labour are simply not even going near the issue of people ALREADY HERE illegally - it would cost them massive amounts of money (and they would have to repeal/change many laws) in order for such a policy to even begin to achieve anything.

    At least LibDems policy is to try SOMETHING on illegals already here, you can argue about pros and cons.

    Tory/Labour policy is to do NOTHING about illegals already here, apart from continuing with the status quo over many years, which seems to result in the odd one or two being deported now and again after a lengthy and costly legal process. That's simply a cop-out, and they should be brought to book over it.

    If (particularly in the Tories case) you're going to spout "tough talk" on deportation, at least have an idea on what you might ACTUALLY PROPOSE which changes anything.

  • Comment number 58.

    #49 - well said.

  • Comment number 59.

    Lets us be clear,illegal? does it mean illegal or something else I have missed in the dictionary. Rape is illegal, if enough people start doing it will be give an amnesty to them? I despair of our politicians they have no idea of what goes on in the real world, none at all. We need to put our house in order, fast.

  • Comment number 60.

    STOP PAYING OUR BENEFITS TO IMIGRANTS. This is the reason we have so many and will immediately make Britain an unatractive destination.

    Close the channel tunnel the main crossing point.

    Search out and send home all illegal immigrants and EU migrants who are receiving benefits.

    Only allow in people from our commonwealth. Who are our family after all.

    Ignore all EU directives and their undemocratic laws.

    Leave the EU and invest the savings in Settling our debts and create training and good well paid jobs for British workers and end the cheap slave labough market which is fueling imigration.

    Send all people who want to be European through the tunnel and close it as the last one leaves.

    There the job is done!

  • Comment number 61.

    If you want to blame anybody blame Labour for the uncheked floods of immigration in the last 10 years demanded by the food companies and big
    supermarkets where now 50% of the staff are foreign / fake refugees (infiltrated by terrorists) that want to take away our way of life.
    All this for the sake of high mega profit ((3 Billion profit in one supermarket).

  • Comment number 62.

    Whilst I totally agree that immigration in this country has gone out of hand, I think it's too easy to blame foreigners for the unemployment situation and lack of available jobs. Isn't the real question why so many employers prefer to employ foreigners over the British and what it says about our workforce? The very people who claim their jobs are being taken by foreigners are usually those who can barely form a coherent sentence with even remotely correct English grammar and present themselves in a manner that simply isn't good enough to get ANY job out there. Given the choice, who would you employ? The moaning British slob who at 10am has barely started getting over last night's hangover or the hard-working immigrant who gets on with the job? I know whom I would pick... I just wish politicians had the guts to say that into people's faces!

  • Comment number 63.

    Whatever way you cut this we are hamstrung by the Human Rights act. Here's a scenario that occurs to me. Assuming that many illegals are keeping a low profile - then an amnesty based on the years residence is announced:

    1) Loads of illegals come forward - many with bogus tales of residency
    2) All bogus applications are rejected
    3) The lawyers gathering outside pick up these cases and take the Government to court
    4) The judjes look at them and say to deport "will deprive you of blah blah blah...of course you can stay, make yourself at home"
    5) The illegal gets to stay, and
    6) We the taxpayer get the legal aid bill

  • Comment number 64.

    · 56. At 1:46pm on 30 Apr 2010, Shaunie Babes wrote:
    If they haven't been detected for ten years then they are either living via the proceeds of crime or tax dodging. And that makes them parasites and criminals.


    And Gordon and Dave want to keep them as “parasites and criminals”.

    Nick Clegg wants to let them contribute towards society

    Sounds good to me

  • Comment number 65.

    "We promise ABC" "We will deliver ABC" - great, now make those election promises legally binding and insit that the public get unfiltered access to HOW it will be achieved and how much it will cost, then you will see a X on my card, until then, it's a dirty great "NONE OF THE ABOVE" written diagnoally across it.

  • Comment number 66.

    Where is the logic of allowing immigrants into the country when you have millions unemployed. The immigrants will be competing for what little jobs there are and of course what happens when they cannot get a job. They claim benefits. Ludicrous.

  • Comment number 67.

    49. At 1:26pm on 30 Apr 2010, EUImmigrant wrote:

    Dear, we dont have problems with one or two the problem we are discussing here is thousands perhaps millions are flocking to find work actually driving down our quality of life,

    eventhough you and your husband come here to work and paid all taxes but when you lose the jobs its again this countries tax payer have to bail you out,

    please stop blaming that there are no people here to do the job what you do, the problem lays with the governements serious attitude about not training our work force to do the jobs but instead pandering to the companies to bring in everyone around the world including thier families to do that work, one of the reason is british people will ask decent pay and employment rights but people comes from elsewhere dont.

    as you said you are from europe, like every other country for example Indian IT workers, Philipino nurses,you tell me how many thousands have entered this country to work and how many have left this country? what is the net contribution to this country apart from they all send thier monies earned back home ? while our Nurses cannot find work, our Doctors struggle to find work, our engineers are out of work because they cannot compete againt cheap imported indian IT workers, never mind all the call centre works gone to india.

    the companies here are committing a serious criminal damage to the very british people by not taking in our workforce and training them !

    i repeat its not 1 or 10 or 10000 or 100000 people, its millions in and another billions are on the way 'processing' thier visas

    all the lower end paying jobs have been taken by eastern european immigrants and illagals being used.

    where do you want the british people to find work, no matter host whites and the already settled millions of ethnic minorities now also at stake, fighting for jobs,

    what is right and what is wrong, we have been extremely fair to all, but the ship is sinking faster than many do really think.

    if BNP is the only way to get rid of mass immigration then decent citizens would go ahead with it, i never been a racist in my life, but this out of control policy cannot be tolerated anymore.

  • Comment number 68.

    I'm English and my husband is an immigrant and has lived in the UK for 13 years. he has worked and paid NI & tax all of this time. We are on a low income, get no benefits, have no children and barely use the NHS at all. This is not a problem. The problems lies with the feckless, workshy British that the working people are paying for. Most immigrants are not entitled to any benefits (except Child Benefit) until they have lived here for 2 years or worked under workers registration scheme continuously for 12 months. Most immigrants in UK work here, paying tax & NI. When my husband had a restaurant we employed mainly people from Eastern Europe. They were hardworking and keen and good at their job. The few English people we took on only stayed for a couple of week maximum as they were lazy, wanted Sunday's off (usually due to hangovers from Saturday night drinking), and had no people skills when dealing with the public. By the way, they were paid considerably higher than the minimum wage.

  • Comment number 69.

    1) Send all illegals to the country they last travelled through before arriving here

    2) Leave the EU so that we can close the doors on Eastern Europeans

    3) Test all applicants before they enter the country. Qualifications/skills that we need and a job are to be preerquisite. Alternatively sufficient savings to support themselves indefinitely.

    4) No benefits for 2 years after entry and taxed employment

  • Comment number 70.

    60. At 1:51pm on 30 Apr 2010, Stewart wrote:

    well said Stewart !

    the time has come to act, i am angry and applled at the government ministers, the state of the country is chaotic, our cities are crowded with every tom dick and harry from all over the world.. we have to que for each everything.

  • Comment number 71.

    Immigration control is where the idea of an ID card comes in. If the ID of people was verifiable it would be possible to deal with 'Illegals'. as it is no one has any idea of who is eligible to live here or not. But of course the only party that wants ID cards is Labour, who have experience, the others all rejected cards without thinking it through.

  • Comment number 72.

    There are many illegal immigrants in the UK - IF these people and FUTURE immigrants are to be allowed to stay in the UK there are a number of things needed to be addressed:

    1) ALL immigrants should be able to read and write our language to a reasonable standard. That should be a standard where they do not need interpreters or translations to understand immigration questions and questionnaires. There are immigrants who have been in this country for decades and still cannot speak the language of this country.

    2) ALL immigrants should be employable and have a sponsor who will provide employment for a minimum of 36 months and should have been in business (qualified by Customs and Inland Revenue that the business has been in operation for 24 months MINIMUM)

    3) Employment should be of a minimum of 30 hours and should be taxable and pay NI. - NO IMCOME SUPPORT OR OTHER BENEFITS FOR THE FIRST 36 MONTHS)

    4) Immigrants will not have an automatic right to bring wives or husbands and any children into the UK until the immigrant has been gainfully employed for a minimum of 36 months.

    5) All immigrants can practice their religious beliefs in a safe and secure environment, but shall comply with the "normal" basics of our country as a Christian country and respect our laws and legal requirements.

    6) The Burka, Hoods or Balaclavas those of religious needs should remember that they are guests in a Christian country and should respect that. These kinds of headgear should not cover more than 33% of the face in public and on any site where the owners require a full vision for security and for members of the public not feeling scared or intimidated by such headwear.

    7) All immigrants should be aware and respect the laws of our country (many of which need to be reviewed).

    8) All immigrants should have a full medical in the country of origin and should have to forward this for inspection some 3 months prior to arrival. Any long term or terminal illness should mean that refusal will result in the application being unsuccessful.

    9) Medical assistance under the NHS will be made available to all immigrants - the costs of which shall be recoverable against the immigrant’s native country's government.

    10) Education and training for immigrants shall be available to enable them to better their careers and to contribute to the benefit of the UK as a whole.

  • Comment number 73.

    This is the wrong way to deal with this probelm, Illegals are Criminals anyone in this country without permission should be deported , to passport country . NO EXCUSE, NO TIME, spent no matter what job they have or business they run, or hard luck story. They are illegal deport them, and family if any. Many are here are brought by world -wide criminals gangs to do crime or vice. or cheap slave labour, Deport them all is the only way to stop this happening.

  • Comment number 74.

    We are a country controlled by minority groups caused by immigration, what happened to majority rules? We have allowed immigrants to come and live in Britain with access to our health service without contributing a penny. I say bring back national service and see who is truly British.

    Can someone tell me why the BBC has stopped reporting on the Afghan war; is this because of the election? The troops need to know we are behind them; after all you are the British Broadcasting Corporation......

  • Comment number 75.

    for me immigration is actually a very clear cut issue (one might even say "black and white!"). there should be no bar on entry to an residence in the uk. period. thereafter citizenship should flow naturally (for those so inclined) from long term residence, usually 5 years but a limit that can be waved if the circumstances support such waiver.

    now i realise that many of you will think that is a crazy idea and that i am some kind of crackpot and as we live in a democracy you’re entitled to those opinions. equally i am also entitled to the opinion that people who wish to put any sort of barrier in the way of the free movement of people (a fundamental freedom to be defended if we have any hope of realistically tackling poverty, food shortages, the impending energy etc crisis on a global scale) on the basis of race, culture or country of origin are ignorant.

  • Comment number 76.

    No, it is not a good idea - it is a very bad one. An amnesty indicates the problem has become so big, government cannot handle it any longer so it is taking the easy way out. The UK Border policy makers, as a matter of course, should be looking to stopping illegal immigrants at the door and returning them. Those already here should sought out and similarly returned.

  • Comment number 77.

    This is what paranoia looks like:

    Doozie wrote:
    "If you want to blame anybody blame Labour for the uncheked floods of immigration in the last 10 years demanded by the food companies and big
    supermarkets where now 50% of the staff are foreign / fake refugees (infiltrated by terrorists) that want to take away our way of life."

    Give me strength and give him/her some wisdom.

  • Comment number 78.

    Some are suggesting that an amnesty for illegals would be one way to count the number of illegal immigrants.Obviously we need a case by case way of dealing with these people,because they are people,not just statistics.We do need some self-interest at work here though,illegals who do not integrate,who do not speak English,who do not pay tax but claim benefits,who complain about the type of free education their children receive,who break the law but advocate mob-rule type "justice",who preach hatred of Britain and the British but expect the full protection of the police whilst doing so.These are the ones that cause most division,in their own communities and in the nation state as a whole.These are the ones everybody could happily do without.Then the more integrated working immigrant populations(like the Chinese or Italians)could carry on and nobody except racist extremists would worry about them.I have family all over the world,immediate and extended,and I know that immigration must happen from all and to all,although I also realise,from history and from personal experience,that integration cannot be forced.Cultures which are so different in almost every way that matters,should not be forced to share the same postcode as if that would somehow be all that's needed to overcome the problems such a social engineering strategy causes.Multiculturalism does not seem to work,rather it seems to arrive at the opposite result from the stated,desired intention,it polarises instead of unifying,it breeds mistrust and fear of the unknown,the strange,the different.We must address this set of problems both pragmatically and compassionately,or we will only generate a new set of problems to accompany the present ones.The violent and the agitating anti-British should be repatriated,and if they were born here then we can give them a choice,integrate and comply with the law,or be incarcerated and made to work for nothing like most prisoners in most of our jails.If we can deport them to a country of their own choosing,and that country agrees,then we should do that.Immigration is at present,not necessary for economic growth,they just drive wages down for the indigenous workers,therefor are cheaper for employers,but they only spend an estimated 15-20% of their personal money in this country.That,coupled with the tax-breaks and exemptions amounts to millions which would have been in the hands of indigenous British people(Anglo-Saxons and Gaels)Politicians tinker too much sometimes but seem unable to act when its the people who want changes,they only seem to wield power when it's either an unavoidable response to some event or when its ideological,and party driven,this needs to change.Question is,can we force that change?Do we have power over politicians in any way like they have power over us?We need to find our voice,and shout out what we need,otherwise the politicians will blithely carry on like there's no tomorrow,ignoring us when they are in office and patronising us when they need our votes. Turkeys voting for permanent Christmas.

  • Comment number 79.

    EUImmigrant, you said "Someone mentioned an extra tax on immigrants? Why would I have to pay more tax than UK citizens for less benefits in return?"

    Yeah, that was me. Are you or your husband illegal immigrants? No! You're an EU citizen and he's your spouse. Fine by me. You're being defensive for no good reason.

    This discussion is about how to deal with people who enter illegally and have benefitted from a stable society with less chance of persecution, or better educational or economic opportunities, without contributing their fair share for common welfare. And an increase levy to balance out the advantages they've enjoyed to date is simply fair. Illegal immigrants wouldn't be here if residency in our nation didn't have value. We contribute and don't get that value for free, why should they?

  • Comment number 80.

    To legally work in the USA you must have a visa printed in your passport. That visa can only be applied for external to the USA and requires employer sponsorship.

  • Comment number 81.

    Fantastic. Now tell me if I stole Nick Cleggs car and managed to hide it from him for ten years would he then give it to me?

  • Comment number 82.

    To those who think UKIP are the answer.........any person from the EU who wishes to enter this country indefinitely (i.e. for more than a holiday), they must register for a NI number. Those from Eastern Europe must register on the Government's worker registration scheme. The numbers of people doing this have dropped significantly since 2006. The Government (thanks to Tory cost cutting in the 90s) do not collect any information on whether these people leave. From anecdotal evidence it appears a sizeable number of Eastern Europeans have. Academic research in migration suggests the harder you make it for people to enter a country, the less likely the are to voluntarily leave once they have got in (just look at America). Also, by withdrawing from EU free movement treaties, or even the EU itself will make it harder for any Brit to leave the country, inclduing the 'spanish retirement' bridgade. Be careful what you wish for.

  • Comment number 83.

    This question is a bit like the Trident one which is portrayed as the UK not having a nuclear deterrent. For once, go further than the punchline - Clegg is proposing a pragmatic way of tackling issues as opposed to others who continue to bury their heads in the ground. The UK is in a financial mess with uncontrolled immigration, and no fundamental indigenous industry left. This is the legacy of Tory and Labour governments - recognise reality then it can be dealt with, as Clegg suggests.

  • Comment number 84.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 85.

    AND AGAIN Clegg got his immigration figures / arguments wrong according to papers today: his 80% argument is double the official stats of 40% from Europe

    Again his credibility as a politician takes a large knock.

  • Comment number 86.

    Ireland (Radio 4 this morning) has 600 empty housing estates.... Immigrants, this way please......

  • Comment number 87.

    I have been on the re-housing list due to priority medical needs for nearly 4 years in my Labour borough. Perhaps immigrants should not be permitted social housing, benefits or free NHS care until thay have lived and worked solidly for ten years. And that no immigration is allowed unless there are no current UK citizens on unemployment benefits that can fulfill any job.

    Impractical, unfair etc etc, I know. But I'm just fed up and depressed about how labour have ignored and treats with contempt the working classes of the UK and treats us unfairly!!!

    Which is probably why the big-posh house round the corner in Rochdale Road (sic) has loads of vote labour posters and the flats and homes on the council estate have Conservative ones (albeit they are smaller posters)!

  • Comment number 88.

    Allow in those who come here to do positive service for the country.Keep out those who come to Britain to do harm or to live off the earnings of middle income Britain.

  • Comment number 89.

    An illegal immigrant means just that, and there should be no statute of limitations when such individuals are apprehended by the authorities. The offer of am amnesty will merely serve to encourage further illegal immigration, because if the individuals concerned hide for long enough, they will receive legal recognition. Our relatively generous welfare state should be available only to those that contribute towards it, either financially or through international reciprocal arrangements.To achieve this, our border policing must become more robust and intrusive; so too our vetting of incomers concerning any entitlement to our benefits and healthcare systems. Laxity in these areas, I believe, has made successful illegal entry into this country far too attractive. We must advertise the fact that the UK no longer is a soft touch, as far as illegal immigration is concerned. Blanket qualification for entry because of our history now needs to be re-visited, especially when several of the countries of origin involved can no longer claim poverty either economically or in terms of ownership of valuable raw materials. The bottom line is that we are a relatively small, crowded nation, whose demography and cultures are in delicate balance, and we need to take stock.

  • Comment number 90.

    · 71. At 2:19pm on 30 Apr 2010, barryp wrote:
    Immigration control is where the idea of an ID card comes in. If the ID of people was verifiable it would be possible to deal with 'Illegals'. as it is no one has any idea of who is eligible to live here or not. But of course the only party that wants ID cards is Labour, who have experience, the others all rejected cards without thinking it through.


    There is a system of identity cards for immigration already in place.

    Its called a Passport,

    We don’t need to spend Billions giving people a driving licence, it certainly wont stop illegal immigration, just as it wont stop terrorism ,just as it wont stop any other illegal activity

    Its just another control mechanism to be used for politicians world domination plot and an expensive waste of time

  • Comment number 91.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 92.

    The reason why Employers employ immigrants is because they are cheap, plus they can get away with a lot more fiddling of tax and the likes. We as British workers used to fuel the world through hard work until our industries were closed or sold then took abroad.

    The reason for so many immigrants is simple we give benefits plus our greedy employers use them on the cheap. We are and always will be the hardest workers in the world. Capitalism is to blame for the demise of real work, jobs, decent wages and we are left with low skilled, low paid, dead-end employment through greed.

    Economically it is beneficial for the migrant worker because the pound is worth much more than their currency. So our low wages lets them send far more money home. This system then again bleeds our economy as the money is spent abroard. It seams we are in a no win situation and as a country immigrant workers are a burden to all but the employers and allow greedy, ignorant, unpatriotic, pigs to critisise the Great British Worker.

    End imigration now, pay good wages and leave the EU. Problem solved!

  • Comment number 93.

    73. At 2:19pm on 30 Apr 2010, Lewis Fitzroy wrote:
    This is the wrong way to deal with this probelm, Illegals are Criminals anyone in this country without permission should be deported , to passport country . NO EXCUSE, NO TIME, spent no matter what job they have or business they run, or hard luck story. They are illegal deport them, and family if any. Many are here are brought by world -wide criminals gangs to do crime or vice. or cheap slave labour, Deport them all is the only way to stop this happening.


    How? Ask the nicely to give themselves in?

  • Comment number 94.

    Economic migrants should be welcomed: they come for the purpose of earning and hence contributing to society.

    But certain standards need to be met, first and foremost the ability to speak, read and write English. I was recently considering a job in New Zealand, and that was a basic requirement to immigrate there. Being of good character, with qualifications for the work you wish to do and perhaps with a job offer in your hand are also reasonable requirements.

    Anyone already here who can meet said requirements should be allowed to regularise their situation - heck, how else can we tax them?

    Anyone who commits an offence should, however, be asked to leave.

    Currently, instead of simple standards as above, it is very complicated, expensive and time-consuming to enter the country legally - so why is it such a surprise that a lot of people don't bother to engage with the process?

  • Comment number 95.

    Here's the equation

    Uk only stupid country in the EU that gives welfare to anyone + member of the EU so we HAVE to accept all and sundry from the Eurozone + row in some more from Somalia or wherever = over-run country that can't even afford housing and welfare for the residing Anglo-Saxons.

    There's nothing to tackle. We just have to do what out European masters tell us to do.
    Was there some point to fighting WWII? No, I thought not.

  • Comment number 96.

    71. At 2:19pm on 30 Apr 2010, barryp wrote:

    Immigration control is where the idea of an ID card comes in. If the ID of people was verifiable it would be possible to deal with 'Illegals'. as it is no one has any idea of who is eligible to live here or not. But of course the only party that wants ID cards is Labour, who have experience, the others all rejected cards without thinking it through.


    Which like every document we already have and charged for can and will be forged. The wireless pasport was cracked last year, shortly after it was confirmed as a good candidate.

    Chip and pin was cracked before launch although probably expensive to get the kit (at the start). Mossad forged passports to carry out a hit.

    Id cards? Dont make me laugh

  • Comment number 97.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 98.

    72. At 2:19pm on 30 Apr 2010, John Sanderson wrote:
    There are many illegal immigrants in the UK - IF these people and FUTURE immigrants are to be allowed to stay in the UK there are a number of things needed to be addressed:


    I read your comment with interest. I have some questions/ ideas about your points.

    1) This points should apply to everyone in Britain. I know many immigrants whose english language & grammar vastly exceed that of many British people.

    2) ditto 1

    3) I think a lot of unemployed & part time workers would want this enforced for British people too. I Can't see employers being so keen. If anyone is earning enough they will pay NI & tax anyway.

    4)What about a British citizen with an 'immigrant' partner or family? Are they allowed to ask them to stay and live with them in Britain?

    5) Surely Britain was a Pagan country before all the Christians came over to 'covert the heathens'?

    6) Does that extend to 'fashion' as well? Hoodies and so on?

    7) I agree & think quite a few of the British public could do with this too.

    8) The complications of this are too long winded to go into here. There's too much wrong with this point.

    9) I agree with the first part of this statement, but the costs part would be impractical for many situations. It would have to work the other way round too.

    10) I absolutely agree with this point!

  • Comment number 99.

    No amnesty, illegal immigrants should be sent home, as should any immigrant committing a crime. No warnings, appeals, or months of waiting. Send them home as soon as they are caught, or prosecuted for any crimes.

    To many soft politicians, judges and do gooders have messed this country up for too long.

  • Comment number 100.

    Stop translating things into other languages for a start, it costs a fortune.

    If you can't complete a simple form or carry out a basic interview in English, I would question what contribution you would be able or prepared to make to our society and whether you were planning to integrate at all.


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