The issue of immigration turned out to be one of the more significant subjects of the night, even though the majority of points had been covered in the previous week’s debate.
In response to the attacks Nick Clegg, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, said that his party was “the only party honestly facing up to the reality of the hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants already in the UK.”
Liberal Democrat Amnesty Plans
Without a doubt the most politically sensitive issue on the Liberal Democrats election manifesto is the pledge to give amnesty to illegal immigrants who have been living in the UK for at least 10 years. The Liberal Democrats election manifesto says that “We will allow people who have been in Britain without the correct papers for 10 years, but speak English, have a clean record and want to live here long-term to earn their citizenship. This route to citizenship will not apply to people arriving after 2010.\”
It is understood that those that qualify would have to serve a probationary period of two years, during which time they would have to work and pay taxes. Following the probationary period migrants would have to pay a fee or do voluntary services to qualify for full citizenship (similar to the Earned Citizenship system that is due to be introduced by Labour in 2011).
According to the Liberal Democrats ‘It would take years and cost £8 billion to deport all those who are living in Britain illegally. Some of them are criminals and people-traffickers. Others are families who have been here for years, and just want to work and pay their taxes. Immigration officers are focusing on families because they’re easy targets, letting criminals off the hook.’
By dealing with the issue the Liberal Democrats believe that immigration officers will be able to ‘spend all of their time deporting dangerous people and checking up on employers to stop illegal working.’ However the proposals have been attacked by the Conservatives (although not London Mayor Boris Johnson) who believe that granting amnesty would make the problem worse in the long run and give the wrong message to thousands of Asylum Seekers attempting to gain entry to the United Kingdom.
Commonwealth Contractors is a collection of highly skilled professionals from the Commonwealth and beyond. We partner with OISC Registered Immigration Partners capable of professionally representing Tier 1 Visa Applications / Extensions and Tier 2 Licensed Consultancy & Associated Trust Partners who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor a Medical, Information Technology or Engineering Professional on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit).
To find out more call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0330 390 9021 or Submit your details now and we will get right back to you. Please be prepared to send a copy of a recent CV so that we can pass to interested partners.