Immigrants’ Family Appeals Costing Taxpayer £1m A Week

(Telegraph) – FAMILY MEMBERS OF IMMIGRANTS in Britain who are refused visas to visit their relatives are costing taxpayers £1 million a week by launching legal battles against the Home Office, according to new figures.

The number of appeals made by visitors refused entry to the UK on a “family visa” has increased eight-fold since 2002.

Pressure group Migrationwatch disclosed that part of the reason for the rise is that the definition of a “family visitor” is so wide that it can include as many as 120 relatives of an average middle-aged immigrant in Britain – including first cousins, uncles, aunts, nephews and nieces.

There are also fears that the system is poorly regulated and therefore the visitors can stay on illegally without being removed.

A report by the think tank found that last year three countries – India, Pakistan and Nigeria – produced nearly 200,000 applications between them.

Unlike ordinary visitors, “family visitors” have a right of appeal if they are refused entry and the total number of appeals is now running at more than 1,000 a week.

In 2002, the Government abolished charging fees to individuals who fought their visa refusal, therefore the burden falls on the taxpayer.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch, said: “The Government has ducked the issue of family visitors for years.

“Obviously, family members should be able to visit relatives in Britain but such visits need to be properly regulated. There is a clear risk that, once here, some of these visitors will stay on illegally knowing that the chance of being removed is remote.

“Furthermore, in current financial circumstances, it is no longer acceptable that taxpayers should pay the appeal costs for foreign nationals wishing to visit Britain.

“The definition of a family visitor is so wide that it could include as many as 120 relatives of a middle aged person in Britain.

“It should be narrowed and charges which the government abolished in 2002 should be re-introduced.”

More than one in 10 people living in Britain were born abroad, and the proportion of the population that is foreign-born has almost doubled in the past two decades to 11 per cent, or 6.7 million people.

According to the study by Jil Matheson, the national statistician, Britain’s population is on course to pass 70 million in about 20 years. She said projections based on past demographic trends suggest a 17 per cent increase in population over the next 25 years, to hit 71.6 million by 2033.

It currently stands at 61.4 million and ministers have insisted that the landmark 70 million total will not be reached. The study is further evidence of the way in which Labour’s immigration policies have changed the make-up of British society.

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A Migrant A Minute Registers With GPs

(Daily Mail) – IMMIGRANTS are registering with a GP for free healthcare at a rate of more than one every minute, it was revealed last night.

Analysis of NHS research shows that 605,000 people who arrived from overseas registered with a doctor in England and Wales last year – up by 50 per cent in only seven years.

Campaigners say this places a significant ‘strain’ on services and could force patients to wait longer for appointments and treatment.

While the number of GPs has increased over the past seven years it has not kept pace with the increase in registrations.

The Tories said the GP figures were yet another example of why a cap is needed on migrant numbers.

It is the first time statisticians have examined NHS data on the number of registrations made by people previously living overseas.

Of the total, 536,000 were migrants who – under Government rules – were entitled to free care.

Others are Britons returning from a stint overseas, but there are fears a proportion of the remainder are illegal immigrants taking advantage of free NHS care.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of MigrationWatch, which compiled the report, said: ‘This amounts to an open door to primary care which can also lead to access to secondary care.

‘The Government has been dithering while the NHS has been struggling to cope with the extra numbers resulting from mass immigration.

‘In present financial circumstances it is surely obvious that we do not have the resources to cope with the extra ten million people now officially projected over the next 25 years – seven million as a result of immigration.’

There are currently no checks on the entitlement of those who seek to register with a GP.

Instead, doctors have discretion to register whoever they choose.

Ministers carried out a review of access to healthcare, which could have led to overseas visitors being barred from receiving some treatments.

But, five years after the review was commissioned, the Department of Health said it would maintain the status quo.

Many of those registering for treatment are from Eastern Europe.

Doctors have reported an increase in women from the former Eastern Bloc seeking maternity services.

However, they also stress most incoming Eastern Europeans are young and in good health.

There are 34,101 GPs in England and Wales. Earlier this month, doctors said more GPs were needed to offer patients the 20 minute appointments which many need.

Dr Richard Fieldhouse, of The National Association of Sessional GPs, said one issue was that many of the newly registered immigrants spoke little or no English adding to appointment times.

He said: ‘We have to draw diagrams. It takes probably 25 to 30 minutes. We want to do everything we can for them.’

A British Medical Association spokesman said: ‘Doctors’ primary concern is for patients’ clinical need. If people are in the UK legitimately then they have a right to healthcare and there should be adequate resources in place to provide this.’

But Matthew Elliott, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘It is clearly unacceptable that someone who has paid for the NHS throughout their working life should face delays or queues as a result of recent immigration.’

The Department of Health said last night: ‘Access to a GP can have both public health and cost benefits. It is better and cheaper for a GP to treat a patient at an early stage rather than risk an emergency hospital admission when a condition becomes acute.’

Record Level Of British Population Is Foreign Born

(Telegraph) – MORE THAN ONE IN TEN PEOPLE living in Britain today were born abroad, a record level, new figures show.

The proportion of the population who are foreign-born has almost doubled in the past two decades to 11 per cent, or 6.7 million people.

One of the key factors behind Britain’s population increase has been the flow of migrant workers from Poland, Lithuania and six other Eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004.

At the same time, the percentage of children being born to foreign mothers has also reached new levels, reported Jil Matheson, the national statistician.

The Office for National Statistics figures showed that in 2008 some 11 per cent of the population were born abroad, up from around 8 per cent in 2001 and 6.7 per cent in 1991. Figures are not available for 1997 when Labour came to power but, based on trends, is likely to have been just over 7 per cent.

Britain’s population is on course to pass 70 million in around two decades, Ms Matheson warned. She said projections based on past demographic trends suggest a 17 per cent increase in population over the next 25 years to hit 71.6 million by 2033.

It currently stands at 61.4 million and ministers have insisted the landmark total will not be reached.

The figures are likely to fuel recent claims by a former Government adviser that Labour deliberately ran an open-door policy on immigration to radically change the country and “rub the Right’s nose in diversity”.

Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, and both his Conservative and Liberal Democrat counterparts will today stage a key debate on immigration.

Damian Green, the shadow immigration minister, said: “This Government has never had any control over immigration numbers. Some Government insiders have said this was a deliberate plot, others claim it was just a mistake.

“Either way they have left our borders unprotected. It is one of the biggest policy failures of the Labour years.”

The number of Eastern European nationals that are resident in Britain has risen sharply from 114,000 in 2001 to 689,000 last year. More than a tenth of them are children.

Immigration is having a double impact on population numbers because as well as those arriving in the country, the proportion of children born here to foreign mothers has also hit a new high.

Some 24 per cent of the births in England and Wales last year – or 170,834 – were to mothers born outside the country, the highest level since records began in 1969.

That is double the 12 per cent in 1990 and the proportion has increased year on year since, according to the Population Trends report, produced by the ONS.

In England alone, the proportion is now as high as 25 per cent.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch, said: “The proportion of foreign born people in Britain has almost doubled in 20 years. This is a measure of the way in which our society is being changed without the British public ever having been consulted.

“Immigration on this scale can only add to the strains in our society and the pressure on our public services.”

Chris Huhne, the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, said: “It is difficult for anyone to accurately forecast the population now, let alone in 30 years, after Labour and the Tories abandoned exit checks.

“We cannot know how many people live here if we do not count people out as well as in.”

Phil Woolas, the immigration minister, said: “These population projections do not take into account the impact of future government policies or those Eastern Europeans who came here, contributed, and are now going home.

“Projections are uncertain. For instance in the 1960s they said our population would reach 76 million by the year 2000, this was off target by 16 million.

“And let’s be clear the category ‘foreign born mothers’ includes British people born overseas – such as children whose parents are in the armed forces or those who come to Britain at a very early age.

“Overall, net-migration is falling, showing that migrants come to the UK for short periods of time, work, contribute to the economy and then return home.”

In October, Andrew Neather, a former adviser to Tony Blair, Jack Straw and David Blunkett, claimed that the sharp increase in migrants over the past 10 years was partly due to a politically motivated attempt by ministers to boost multiculturalism.

He said Labour’s relaxation of controls in 2000-01 was a deliberate plan to “open up the UK to mass migration”, but ministers were nervous and reluctant to discuss such a move publicly for fear it would alienate its “core working-class vote”.

It centred on early drafts of a Cabinet Office report in 2000, which allegedly also had passages of possible links between immigration and crime deleted before it was published.

Cabinet ministers have denied any suggestions of “secret plots”.

Number Of New Immigrants Has Soared By 50% Under Labour

(Daily Mail) – THE RATE AT WHICH FOREIGNERS ARE SWELLING THE POPULATION has increased by 50% since a secret Government immigration policy document was written.

Critics said it was clear evidence that ministers had implemented the controversial Cabinet Office report.

This allegedly claimed mass immigration would make Britain more multicultural and allow Labour to portray the Tories as racists. Speaking in the Commons yesterday, Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling said it would be ‘utterly disgraceful’ for ministers to base immigration policy on party politics.

He asked Immigration Minister Phil Woolas: ‘Can I invite you to put the record straight – what was the motivation behind the very rapid increase in immigration under this Government?’.

Incredibly, Mr Woolas did not appear to know which report Mr Grayling was referring to — despite the widespread coverage it received over the weekend.

Yesterday, the Daily Mail told how ministers were facing calls for an inquiry into claims by former Labour adviser Andrew Neather that the Government opened up Britain’s borders in part to try to humiliate Right-wing opponents of immigration.

His allegations referred to a 2001 report from the Performance and Innovation Unit, a think-tank based in the Cabinet Office, which made the case for mass immigration.

Earlier drafts are said to have included the statement of ‘a driving political purpose: that mass immigration was the way that the Government was going to make the UK truly multicultural.’

Now an analysis of officials statistics has found that, from the date the report was published, the number of foreign nationals being allowed into the UK surged.

Whitehall statistics show that in the year of the document’s publication, 370,000 non-British nationals arrived. That rose to 416,000 the following year and, by 2006, had reached 510,000.

In 2007, it fell back slightly to 502,000 – but this was still an increase of 30% on 2001.

For net foreign immigration (the number of non-British citizens arriving, versus the number leaving) the figures are more dramatic.

In 2001, it stood at 221,000; but by 2007 it had reached 333,000 — up by 50%. This is the size of the increase in the foreign-born population of the UK.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the Migrationwatch think-tank, said: ‘Now it has been revealed that mass immigration under this government was a deliberate policy concealed from the public, and especially from the white working class whose lives and neighbourhoods have been most affected.

Now immigration will add another seven million to our population over the next 25 years unless really serious measures are taken to cut immigration by at least 75%.’

Opponents claim Labour’s bungling of immigration policy has contributed to the growth of the BNP.

Mr Neather, who worked for Tony Blair and Jack Straw, said Labour’s relaxation of immigration controls was a attempt to engineer a ‘truly multicultural’ country and plug gaps in the jobs market. He claimed the 2001 policy paper inspired the ‘major shift’ in immigration policy.

Justice Secretary Jack Straw, who was then Home Secretary, has dismissed Mr Neather’s claims as ‘complete rubbish’.