A virtual tidal wave of immigrants is swamping the United Kingdom with new arrivals. Although the Conservative Party under the leadership of Prime Minister David Cameron has decried the influx of foreigners — both legal and illegal — into the UK, the current ruling party has found that it is much easier to describe the problem than to solve it. An article by Soeren Kern for Hudson New York (“Britain Launches Crackdown on Illegal Immigration”) details the daunting scope of the flood of migrants that has resulted from the disastrous policies of the former, Labour government:
Upon taking office in May 2010, Cameron's coalition government pledged to reduce net migration from around 200,000 to the "tens of thousands" by 2015. In an effort to bring the immigration numbers down, the government in November 2010 announced a cap of 21,700 skilled workers from outside the European Union who are allowed to work in Britain.
One-and-a-half years later, the British government has been unable to reduce immigration in any meaningful way. In fact, immigration is still on the rise.
The number of foreigners coming to Britain surged by a massive 21 percent during 2010, according to data released in August 2011 by Britain's Office for National Statistics.
Official figures show that a total of 575,000 people moved to Britain in 2010, the equivalent of one every minute. A legacy of the British Labour Party's open-door policy, this was the second-highest annual figure since 1991.
The Office for National Statistics also said that the number of people granted settlement — the first step to full citizenship — in Britain also reached a record 241,000 in 2010. A total of 195,000 were granted British citizenship, down from the record high of 204,000 in 2009, but more than double the level of a decade ago.
The number of people applying for asylum also fell last year but has started to rise again, with 4,800 applications between April and June, mainly from Pakistan and Libya.
Clearly, the continuation of such a pattern of immigration will fundamentally change the entire character of the country if left unchecked, flooding labor markets with workers desperate for jobs in an already-flagging economy, and placing a further burden on a system of socialized medicine and other benefits often stressed to the breaking point. And, given the large number of immigrants from Muslim countries, such immigration is already proving to be a threat to the rule of law in the UK. In June 2009, the Daily Mail documented the rapid spread of Sharia courts in the UK:
At least 85 Islamic sharia courts are operating in Britain, a study claimed yesterday.
The astonishing figure is 17 times higher than previously accepted....
However, they operate behind doors that are closed to independent observers and their decisions are likely to be unfair to women and backed by intimidation, a report by independent think-tank Civitas said.
The pernicious influence of Sharia courts is simply one more aspect of the detrimental influence of mass immigration. At present, however, Prime Minister Cameron is focusing primarily on the negative effects which immigrants are having on the economy of the United Kingdom. Thus, as noted in an October 19 article for the Washington Times, Britain’s economy is in grave difficulty, at the same time that the immigration rate has skyrocketed to an unsustainable level:
Britain recently experienced its worst recession in more than 60 years. Gross domestic product fell by more than 6 percent from the first quarter of 2008 to the third quarter of 2009.
A report from the Institute of Fiscal Studies said tax increases and spending cuts to welfare and public services also have sent living standards plummeting.
The report found that the middle class will suffer the biggest drop in average incomes in 35 years, taking their salaries back to 2003-04 levels. It also noted that poverty is forecast to rise by about 600,000 children and 800,000 working-age adults.
Britain has the third-largest population of foreign-born citizens in Europe. More than 4 million people in Britain were born abroad, 6.6 percent of the population of 63 million. They include people born abroad to British nationals.
With only Germany and Spain enduring immigration burdens greater than that experienced in the UK, the plight of all three nations becomes clear. As reported previously for The New American, the burgeoning Turkish population in Germany has already reached the point where the Turkish Prime Minister has publicly instructed Turks living in Germany to refuse assimilation. And Spain recently found its credit downgraded again, for the third time in three years. In short, both Germany and Spain are paying a similar cost, both economically and culturally, to that which is being endured in the United Kingdom.
Neither the cultural nor economic impact of the current tidal wave of immigration can leave the UK untouched. Although efforts to mediate the flow of immigrants can ameliorate some of the most detrimental effects of immigration, such efforts must be implemented soon. Modest efforts, such as Prime Minister Cameron’s call (in the words of The Washington Times) for immigrants to “learn English before they are eligible for welfare” seem almost laughably too little, too late.
According to The Washington Times article, a poll by the Migration Observatory at Oxford University found that 69 percent of respondents want immigration reduced — a number which is quite consistent with long-held views by citizens of the UK.
The influence of the Islamic beliefs of many of the new immigrants is already undermining the fundamental aspects of British society, including the institution of marriage. When the Prime Minister has to promise a “crack down” to bring an end to coerced marriages, the nation has drifted a long way. In the words of the Hudson New York article:
Aside from proposing tighter immigration laws, Cameron also vowed to crack down on forced and bogus marriages, methods many Muslim immigrants use to illegally settle family members in Britain.
Cameron said he would work to make it a criminal offense in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to force a person to marry against his or her will. He described the practice of forced marriage as "little more than slavery."
For the sake of British civilization, an immediate reform of immigration is necessary. Whether the Conservatives will have the fortitude to accomplish such a reform remains to be seen.
Photo: Prime Minister David Cameron