Monday, 19 May 2014

The Tories are failing on immigration

David Cameron promised to get net migration down to the tens of thousands. But it's rising, not falling and is now at 212,000 leaving the Tories' target in tatters.

Meanwhile, illegal immigration is getting worse, with fewer people being stopped at the border, more people absconding and fewer foreign criminals being deported.

And the Tories are doing nothing to tackle the undercutting of local workers' conditions and wages - one of the things that worries people most about immigration.

Britain should not turn its back on the world and many people who have come to Britain from abroad have made it richer, fairer and stronger, but Labour will not ignore people’s concerns about immigration.
Labour got things wrong in the past on immigration – on transitional controls for Eastern Europe and in not talking about the unequal impact of immigration. But Ed Miliband has set out a new approach, controlling immigration and controlling its impact on local communities.

With a Labour Government, immigration will be controlled, with people counted in and out at the border. We will tackle the exploitation of migrant workers that undercuts local workers, and ban recruitment agencies from hiring solely from overseas and put in place tougher enforcement of minimum wage laws.

We would cut illegal immigration, with tough action including the reinstatement of fingerprint checks at the border and closing loopholes that enable people to exploit short term student visitor visas.

Every firm hiring a migrant worker from outside the EU will be required to offer an apprenticeship in return, to help ensure that young people are given the opportunities and training they need.

We will make sure that the system is fair and seen to be fair - imposing a six month residency before EU migrants are able to claim benefits and a new assumption that people who commit crimes soon after arriving will be deported.

And to ensure migrants are better able to integrate into British society, we would make sure more migrants learn English.

Labour will take a different approach, controlling immigration and controlling its impacts.