Manifestos: Migration

Manifestos: Migration alice-photo
Where the parties stand on the hot button issue of migration

CONSERVATIVE

• Negotiate new rules with the EU, so that people will have to be earning here for a number of years before they can claim benefits.

• Keep ambition of delivering annual net migration in the tens of thousands, not the hundreds of thousands.

• Instead of ‘something-for-nothing’, build a system based on the principle of something-for-something.

• Insist that EU migrants who want to claim tax credits and child benefit must live here and contribute to our country for a minimum of four years.

• Reduce the numbers of EU migrants coming to Britain. End the ability of EU jobseekers to claim any job-seeking benefits at all. If jobseekers have not found a job within six months, they will be required to leave.

• Put these changes to the British people in a straight ‘in-out’ referendum on our membership of the European Union.

• Negotiate with the EU to introduce stronger powers to deport criminals and stop them coming back, and tougher and longer re-entry bans for all those who abuse free movement.

• Recover up to £500million from migrants who use the NHS by the middle of the next Parliament.

• Introduce a new Controlling Migration Fund to ease pressures on services and to pay for additional immigration enforcement.

• Require those regularly utilising the Shortage Occupation List, under which they can bring skilled foreign workers into the UK, to provide long-term plans for training British workers.

• Legislate to ensure that every public sector worker operating in a customer-facing role must speak fluent English.

• Require those coming to Britain on a family visa with only basic English to become more fluent over time, with new language tests for those seeking a visa extension.

LABOUR

• Recruit an additional 1,000 borders staff, paid for by a small charge on non-visa visitors to the UK.

• Introduce stronger controls to prevent those who have committed serious crimes coming to Britain, and to deport those who commit crimes while they are here.

• Migrants from the EU will not be able to claim benefits until they have lived here for at least two years

• Introduce a new law to stop employers undercutting wages by exploiting workers.

• Ban recruitment agencies from hiring only from overseas and crack down on rogue agencies by extending the remit of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority where there is evidence of abuse.

• End the indefinite detention of people in the asylum and immigration system, ending detention for pregnant women and those who have been the victims of sexual abuse or trafficking.

• People working in public services, in public facing roles, will be required to speak English.

• Those who come here will not be able to claim benefits for at least two years, and stop child benefit being sent to families living abroad.

200(Image: Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital)

LIBERAL DEMOCRATS

• End indefinite detention for immigration purposes.

• Adopt the default position that – unless there are strong reasons to the contrary in specific cases – public servants rather than commercial organisations should provide detention, prison, immigration enforcement and secure units.

• Complete the restoration of full entry and exit checks at borders, to rebuild confidence in immigration control, and allow targeting of resources at those who overstay their visas.

• Speed up the processing of asylum claims, reducing the time genuine refugees have to wait before they can settle into life in the UK and making it easier to remove those who do not have a right to be here.

• Require working-age asylum seekers who have waited more than six months for their claim to be processed to seek work like other benefit claimants, and only to receive benefits if they are unable to do so.

• End the use of the ‘Azure Card’ for administering benefits in the asylum system.

• Double the number of inspections on employers to ensure all statutory employment legislation is being respected.

• Separate students within official immigration statistics, while taking tough action against any educational institution that allows abuse of the student route into the UK.

• Present to Parliament an annual assessment of skill and labour market shortfalls and surpluses and their impact on the economy, public services and local communities, together with an audit report on the migration control system, allowing full Parliamentary oversight of Britain’s migration policies.

• Continue requirements for all new claimants for Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) to have their English language skills assessed, with JSA then being conditional on attending English language courses for those whose English is poor.

• Support EU free movement.

• Prevent any perceived ‘right to claim’ by tightening benefit rules for EU migrants, including reducing, and ultimately abolishing, payment of Child Benefit to children who are not resident in the UK.

• Lengthen transitional controls for new EU member countries, and eliminate loopholes.

• Encourage schools with high numbers of children with English as a second language to host English lessons for parents.

GREEN PARTY

• Seek international policies to reduce war and discourage repressive regimes that lead to the creation of refugees.

• Make a global deal on climate change a priority of foreign policy, and help poorer countries cope with the climate change.

• Seek to promote ecologically sustainable development in the poorer parts of the world, so that there is greater equality between the richer and poorer nations.

• Promote policies in the EU that improve opportunities across the Union and refocus on social and environmental benefits, rather than economic liberalisation.

• ‘Some controls on immigration will be needed for the foreseeable future; for now, we reject an open borders approach.’ However, also reject the imposition of an arbitrary numerical cap on net migration. Any controls will respect the following principles: Mutual legal obligations within the EU on freedom of movement; International obligations to accept refugees, whether seeking sanctuary from wars, political repression or climate change; respect for the integrity of families.

• Abolish the policy that requires a British citizen to have an income of at least £18,600 a year before their partner can come to live in the UK, which discriminates against poorer people.

• Make it much easier for adult dependents, mainly elderly parents, of British citizens to come and live here.

• Apply no restrictions on foreign students. Allow students to work in the UK for two years after graduation; widen the Youth Mobility Scheme to allow those from poorer countries to participate; Allow no priority simply for economic reasons.

• Aim to retain more of those trained in the UK in the health service so that we have less need to take health service workers from countries that can ill afford to lose them.

• Review the rules for those wishing to set up or do business here to ensure they are not discriminatory against smaller businesses.

• Not simply accept people because they are rich.

• Ensure that no prospective immigrant is held in detention. As a matter of urgency, the administrative detention of children and pregnant women should cease immediately.

• Review the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, particularly with regard to issues of access to legal advice, childcare and levels of subsistence allowance, and reintroduce Legal Aid for reasonable levels of immigration and asylum work.

• Assist integration by making available free or affordable English or Welsh language lessons to all new immigrants who want them, costing about £200million a year.

• Open up ways for existing irregular migrants who have been here for three years to become legal. Legal status must be provided for people who have not succeeded in their claim for humanitarian protection but who cannot be returned to their country of origin owing to the political situation there.

• Ratify the International Labour Organization’s Convention on Domestic Workers.

• Review asylum procedures to ensure that destitution plays no role in the asylum process by allowing those seeking sanctuary to work.

• Ensure that those who have been trafficked are not subject to summary deportation. They should receive a temporary right to stay and have the same right to apply to remain as others seeking to migrate.

UK-net-migration-since-19911(Image: fullfact)

UKIP

• Put a five-year moratorium on immigration for unskilled workers, which will enable the unemployed already living here to find work and those already working to see wage growth.

• Introduce an Australian-style points-based system to manage the number and skills of people coming into the country, treating all citizens of the world on a fair and equal basis as a welcoming, outward-looking country. Establish a Migration Control Commission to oversee operation of the points-based system.

• Tackle sham marriages.

• Increase the numbers of Border Agency staff by 2,500.

• Implement new border control technology solutions to ensure all passport and visa holders are counted in and out and to identify over-stayers, including those on student visas.

• Determine Britain’s economic and social needs annually and then recommend how many immigrants, with what skills required, are accepted into Britain.

• Limit highly-skilled work visas to 50,000 per annum, including those from the EU, and apply a moratorium to unskilled and low-skilled labour over the course of the next parliament.

• All non-UK undergraduate and post-graduate students will be required to maintain private health insurance for the period of their study.

• Foreign nationals marrying British citizens will have to prove that the primary purpose of their marriage is not to obtain British residency.

• Comply fully with the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees; speed up the asylum process and seek to do so while tackling logjams in the system for those declined asylum status. Will continue to honour obligations to bona fide asylum seekers.

• Allow no amnesty for illegal immigrants.

• Increase the number of immigration compliance and enforcement teams and review current holding and accommodation arrangements for illegal immigrants.

• Immigration policies will begin when ‘we confirm our intention to leave the EU with an ‘out’ vote in a national referendum’.

• Any European Union citizen who is resident in the UK at the time of the referendum will be permitted to remain and work here. They will be able to enjoy the benefits of the UK as before and have the opportunity to apply for UK citizenship after five years.

SCOTTISH NATIONAL PARTY

• Negotiate new rules with the EU, so that people will have to be earning here for a number of years before they can claim benefits.

• Support sensible immigration policies that meet economic needs and, as a priority, seek the reintroduction of the post study work visa, so that those helped to educate are able, if they so choose, to make a contribution to the economy.

• Ask the UK government to conduct an early review of the current immigration detention system and regime, in order to deliver a fairer and more effective system moving forward.

PLAID CYMRU

• Create a Welsh migration service to ensure that migration meets Welsh needs and introduce a skills shortage list of trades and skills.

• Seek to attract internationals with those skills including in the health service and in technology.

• Re-introduce post-study work visas for two years for students who have qualified from Welsh universities so that they can use their skills to contribute to the economy and create further jobs in Wales.

• Ensure that a Welsh voice is heard in the development of UK migration policy through meeting regularly with the migration advice committee to discuss Welsh needs.

• Take fair share of displaced people such as refugees from wars in Syria and Iraq.

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