A petition has been launched warning Prime Minister Boris Johnson not to grant an amnesty for migrants in Britain illegally.
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Boris had previously indicated support for the idea when he was Mayor of London. When asked about such an amnesty for illegal immigrants during his first appearance in the House of Commons as PM, Johnson said: “I do think we need to look at our arrangements for people who have lived and worked here for a long time unable to enter the economy, unable to participate properly or pay taxes without documents.
“We should look at it and the truth is, the law already basically allows them an effective amnesty, that’s basically where we have settled now.”
The Chairman of Migration Watch UK, Alp Mehmet, has launched a petition that reads: “Boris Johnson is reported to be ‘considering an amnesty for illegal immigrants who have been in Britain for more than 15 years’. It is crucial to make clear the strength of public opinion so as to head off this absurd proposal. Vote now.”
The petition, already at over 20,000 signatures, sets out the arguments against such am amnesty: “People who wish to come here should use the legal channels.
“Amnesties are manna for traffickers, rewarding illegality.
“The experience of Italy and Spain suggests that they encourage more illegal immigrants.
“The ex-head of immigration enforcement told a Commons committee that there are probably over 1 million illegal migrants in the UK.
“The Home Office estimate for 2001 was 430,000. There could well be half a million who have already been here 15 years.
“The cost could run into billions a year.”
Alp Mehmet himself has also said: “Boris Johnson first called for an amnesty for illegal immigrants when he was campaigning to be Mayor of London. With respect to our new Prime Minister, he was wrong then and is wrong now.
“The Commons Home Affairs Select Committee got it right when it called for much more effective action by the Home Office to process cases and remove those who no longer have the right to be here as rapidly and humanely as possible. It is also what the public wants and has every right to expect of its government.”