Blogs by Don Flynn
Three thousand migrants have congregated in the area known as the ‘Jungle’ in the past few weeks with many hoping that they will an opportunity to make a clandestine crossing of the Channel to find a safe haven in the UK.
The news that the government has directed the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to come up with proposals to restrict skilled migration to the UK reveal the lines of tension that run between major planks of its own policy. On the one hand there is the Chancellor George Osborne’s drive to get more balance into the UK economy and his ‘march of the makers’ finally under way; and on the other, Home Secretary Theresa May’s determination to achieve the long-postponed goal of pushing net migration below the hundred thousand mark.
The events organised last week to mark the third anniversary of family migration rules which hugely increased the income level required from people sponsoring the admission of family members was rewarding for all involved in the sense of solidarity and mutual aid which passed between participants.
The substantial convergence of views on immigration policy within different fractions of the political establishment presents a dispiriting picture to anyone looking for a discussion about alternatives. Is it really the case that the only things on offer is how best to enforce ‘tough’ border controls?
The opportunity to attend the annual workshop and general assembly of PICUM (the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants) at the end of last week in Brussels was particularly welcome given the commitment of the Conservative government to push ahead with measures to further criminalise the position of people without regular leave to live and work in the UK.
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