CABINET ministers have conspired to allow non-EU immigration to spiral to its highest level in almost 15 years, a damning new report has found.
A withering study from campaign group Migration Watch UK accuses the government of refusing to take a series of tough moves to halt the inflow from the rest of the world.
Migration from Asia, Africa and the Americas is back up to 235,000 a year – the highest since 2004[/caption]
From significant reductions during the Coalition government, numbers are spiralling again.
Last week’s latest figures revealed net immigration from areas such as Asia, Africa and the Americas is back up to 235,000 a year – the highest since 2004.
A series of internal Cabinet rows have meant action has been ducked to limit the arrival of students, family members and workers, the campaign group found.
The report praised “strenuous efforts” to curb arrivals by PM Theresa May when she was Home Secretary.
Migration Watch, chaired by Lord Green, said three-quarters of non-British net migration was from outside the EU and the government had taken their eye off the ball[/caption]
But it said she “faced firm opposition from the Treasury who have long favoured continued immigration simply to boost the overall size of the economy”.
While all EU migrants can come to the UK under free movement rules, the Government has always had full control over non-EU immigration.
Migration Watch UK chairman Lord Green said: “The Government have taken their eye off the ball, indeed they have been asleep at the switch.
“Nearly three-quarters of non-British net migration comes from outside the EU yet they are doing nothing about reducing it.
“It is high time that the new Home Secretary got into gear.”
The campaign group also called for a raft of new curbs on visa routes to tighten them up.
They include raising English language and earnings requirements in the skilled work and family schemes and “more rigorous” interviews for student visa applications.
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A renewed effort must also be made to tackle people-smuggling and clandestine entry and to remove failed asylum seekers, over-stayers and foreign national offenders from the UK, the group said.
And there must also be a substantial increase in Border Force resources, it added.
In contrast to immigration from the rest of the world, EU net migration fell to about 87,000 last year, its lowest level for more than five years.
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