14 January 2010
Conservatives’ UK immigration cap will ‘strangle Britain’ says council
Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) have claimed that the annual cap on UK immigration proposed by Conservative leader David Cameron suffocate industry and threaten thousands of jobs.
JCWI chief executive Habib Rahman said the current points-based system responds directly to economic needs and only gives highly skilled workers a UK Visa.
Mr Rahman also challenged the Conservative's claim that UK immigration was placing a strain on public services, saying that a high proportion of working doctors, nurses, teachers, care workers and other public servants were born and trained overseas.
Mr Rahman also said international and European legal obligations meant that people from EEA countries are free to migrate to the UK for work and other purposes, and the attempt to reduce immigration would be constrained for economic, political and legal reasons.
“Immigration has acted as a crucial lifeline to the NHS and to specialised industry. An arbitrary cap on people coming to the UK will strangle industry and suffocate business.
"A cap on immigration at the level proposed could also result in patients going untreated in our hospitals and leave the elderly uncared for in their homes."
Mr Rahman’s comments were based on facts including research from the National Institute of Economic and Social research that found that 17 percent of economic growth between 2004 and 2005 was a result of immigration.
The public sector also was a major beneficiary of the immigration system with a third of doctors and dentists qualified abroad, according to Migration Watch, and 47 per cent of nurses in London are immigrants.
Overseas students as well contribute at least £3.74 billion annually to UK universities and add £1 billion in gross domestic product.
The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge UK Immigration applications with the British High Commission.