Magazine article The Spectator

Nations Need Borders

Magazine article The Spectator

Nations Need Borders

Article excerpt

Sir: Austen Ivereigh ('Let's sort out the migration mess', 17 March) argues that giving an amnesty to the 500,000-odd illegal immigrants in Britain offers a practical solution to our immigration problem. The policy sounds wonderful and comforting, but the reality is that it will send out a trumpet call to people to come here illegally in the knowledge that they will be made legal later. The experience of the United States makes the point. Since 1986 alone, it has given seven amnesties covering millions of illegal immigrants. The result has been that the number of illegal immigrants has rocketed from below four million in 1980 to around 10 million today (accounting for 30 per cent of the foreign-born population).

Frank Field MP for Birkenhead House of Commons, London SW1 Sir: Austen Ivereigh's proposal of an amnesty for illegal immigrants is an insult not only to the indigenous citizens of Britain but also to the millions of immigrant citizens who have entered this country legally and who work hard and pay their taxes. Mr Ivereigh cites some anonymous examples of gainfully employed immigrants denied benefits, healthcare and the rights of free movement (to attend the deaths of close family members, naturally). …

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