Britain is hosting enough illegal immigrants to fill three cities the size of Newcastle, according to border officials.
A Home Office report says an estimated 70 per cent of the 863,000 illegal migrants are living in London.The study also reveals that 10,000 foreigners who had no legal right to live in Britain have been granted permission to stay under the so-called 14-year rule.It means they managed to stay in the country for so long without being booted out that the Government has now given up the fight.Ministers say the situation is a legacy of Labour’s shambolic handling of border controls.
The illegal immigrants are a mixture of those who sneaked into Britain in the back of lorries and those who arrived on visas but never went home.Officials, overwhelmed by the foreign prisoners scandal and a deluge of asylum claims, did not have the resources to track them down.The ‘robust estimate’ of how many illegals are living in the UK comes from the London School of Economics, and is included in a study titled Practical Measures for Reducing Irregular Migration. Ministers accept the figure.
The Home Office says the top five countries from which the illegals have arrived are believed to be India, Nigeria, Pakistan, China, and Bangladesh.This is based on the nationalities of those people the authorities have detected.Last night Immigration Minister Mark Harper said: ‘It’s no surprise that after years of uncontrolled immigration, we have a sizeable illegal immigrant population in Britain.’We are determined to get immigration under control, and in the past year net migration has fallen by a quarter. We also want to get tough on illegal immigration.’
The illegal population – more than three times the 275,000 who live in Newcastle – will add sharply to the number of foreign-born nationals living here legally.Earlier this month, the official Census showed that 7.5million people who were born abroad were living here in 2011, of whom more than half have arrived since 2001.The Home Office study sets out for the first time how many beneficiaries there have been of the 14-year rule.
This states that, once a migrant has lived in the UK for this long, he or she will have established a right to a family life and should not normally be kicked out.Between 2004 and 2011, 9,266 ‘irregular migrants’ were granted permission to stay, including a record figure of 2,062 in 2010.The total is now understood to have breached the 10,000 barrier. – DailyMail