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Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Conservative Party - News Story - New Conservative plans to combat immigration abuse

Conservative Party - News Story - New Conservative plans to combat immigration abuse
David Davis has unveiled a new Conservative action plan to combat Britain's immigration crisis - which has seen a 57 per cent rise in inward migration since 1997.

The Shadow Home Secretary launched his new approach with positive proposals to deal with abuse in the system, including fresh controls on work permits and the reintroduction of embarkation controls for non-EU states, which Labour scrapped six years ago.

Signalling the start of a new Conservative offensive on asylum and immigration, Mr Davis announced a five point plan and declared: "It is clear Labour has let the country down over Immigration. In 7 years of power this Labour Government has ignored the crisis brewing in immigration. Their refusal to act has given a green light to abuses in the system, and has also damaged community relations."

Pointing out that between 1994 and 1997, inward migration to the UK rose by 4 per cent, while between 1997 and 2002, it rocketed by 57.3 per cent, Mr Davis accused Labour of ‘losing their grip' on the immigration system, and said: "Managed migration affects so many areas of life that it should be a priority to get it right. I am determined to do just that".

His five-point plan to tackle immigration abuse includes restoring the embarkation controls for non-EU countries abolished by the Blair government in 1998, thereby providing a record of who is leaving the country and giving the authorities intelligence on who is in the country and who is not; reintroducing the ‘No Switching Rule', which means that students coming hereon a visa designed for studying or holiday makers here on a short-term vacation could not switch their visa once they are here to another type; and reviving strict control on work permits, which would be based on a proper assessment of Britain's economic demand, and the impact on public services and wider infrastructure.

The Conservatives would also remove the ‘presumption of settlement', which under the current system, after 4 years of working in the UK people can apply for a grant of settlement; and in government the party would give priority to ensuring that ports of entry are properly manned by immigration officers.

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