Immigration Minister Damian Green restated the Government's intention to reduce UK immigration.
03 April 2012
Damian Green restates UK immigration promises
Immigration Minister Damian Green has once again restated the Government's intent to reduce UK immigration by introducing further policies to tackle illegal immigration.
Taking part in a question and answer session with staff and students at Harlow College in Essex, Mr Green took the opportunity to address the Government's current and intended measures aimed at obtaining a greater control over UK immigration.
The coalition Government made reducing net immigration to the 'tens of thousands' a pledge upon taking Parliament in 2010 and has already introduced stricter measures regarding UK visa applications for students as well as terms dictating permanent residency.
The promise has been described as too much by some and many have criticised the policies introduced yet Mr Green, speaking to the Harlow Star after the meeting, said immigration figures were reaching such a level that it needed such drastic measures:
"I understand why people are worried because when we came into office in 2010 immigration was at a quarter of a million people coming in a year.
"If you run it at level then the increased demand for public services, housing and so on will cause problems and naturally make people anxious and angry.
"That is why we have said over the course of five years we will cut it down to the tens of thousands rather than the hundreds of thousands a year.
"However, we do still want the brightest and best people from around the world to come to our country so it is about getting the right balance."
Mr Green highlighted the measures already taken as well as outlining his next policies.
"We have initiated a clampdown on work visas and changed the student visa system to ensure proper inspections are conducted. We are also encouraging thousands of colleges to stop taking foreign students, and an assessment on family and marriage rights will be the next step.
"In the last year we removed 40,000 people who had no right to be here - though I would like to see that number even higher."
The UK Visa Bureau is an independent immigration consultancy specialising in helping people prepare for their UK Ancestry Visa application.