Immigration: British Prime Minister And Deputy Hold Tough Stance To Weed Off Over-stayers-British Prime Minister David Cameron and his deputy, Nick Clegg are both on path to a tough stance against UK immigrants as both are announcing new measures to curb manipulations and stem the tide of abuse in migrants influx.
In a major change of stance and expressed regrets on Libdem’s old policies on immigrants, deputy Prime Minister said he regretted ever supporting his party’s old route that secured a 10 year rule guaranteed citizenship for immigrants as he spoke on Friday.
According to him, the policy which was supported as part of Libdem manifesto in the last election had risked “undermining public confidence” to let illegal immigrants stay in the UK if they have been in the country for more than 10 years.
In his first major speech on immigration, he abandoned the controversial proposal, which was championed by the Liberal Democrats at the last election.
Mr Clegg had previously supported the idea of “earned citizenship” for illegal immigrants. His 2010 general election manifesto stated the Liberal Democrats would allow an amnesty for those who had been in the country a decade, speak English and have a clean record.
The deputy Prime Minister today said still thought the idea has some merit as an “honest and pragmatic solution given the chaos in the Home Office”.
“Better surely, we asked, to get them to pay their taxes and make a proper contribution to our society, than to continue to live in the shadows?” he said.
However, he went on to suggest that an amnesty may be out of touch with public opinion and damaging to confidence in the immigration system.
“Despite the policy’s aims, it was seen by many people as a reward for those who have broken the law,” he said.
“That is why I am no longer convinced this specific policy should be retained in our manifesto for the next general election.”
The deputy Prime Minister said he wanted to help create a “tolerant Britain, zero-tolerant of abuse”.
Mr Clegg backtracked on the policy as he unveiled a stricter stance on immigration for his party. It comes amid public fears about an influx of Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants when restrictions on their right to live in Britain are lifted next year.
The major parties are also worried about the success of Ukip, which has seen its share of the vote grow in recent by-elections after campaigning against uncontrolled migration.
As part of his tougher position, Mr Clegg announced that immigrants seeking to work or study in Britain will have to deposit “cash bonds” that will be returned only when they return to their home countries.
He said the growing problem of people overstaying their visas must be addressed and that “innovative” tactics are needed. Those coming from countries deemed to be high-risk may have to deposit at least £1,000 under the plans.
He also warned that Britain cannot “pull up the drawbridge” as the country’s future economic prosperity depends on high-quality people moving here.
In contrast, Vince Cable, his Lib Dem colleague and the Business Secretary, today warned that restricting immigration too much would have damaging consequences.
Dr Cable distanced himself from Tory pledges to restrict immigration to “tens of thousands” and said Britain needed to “bang the drum” in China and India to encourage students to study here.
Sources: guardian.co.uk and Telegraph