Top 5 migrant stories of the week 20/01/13

Story of the week: pressure groups call on Foreign Office to save Syrian students from deportation.
  1. 1) Throughout the week the projected effects of Romanian and Bulgarian immigration in a year’s time, when the new EU member states are allowed to enter the UK, proved controversial.

    On Sunday, 13 January, Eric Pickles warned of housing problems when the EU’s two newest members states are given full access to Britain.

  2. UKIP added a clock to it’s website to count down the days until 1 January 2014 when controls expire on immigration from Romania and Bulgaria. Migration Watch later backed UKIP saying that there will be around 50,000 new arrivals every year once restrictions are lifted with “significant consequences” for housing, jobs, schools and hospitals.
  3. Some groups and media organisations reacted against the claims. Research group Migration Observatory said there was no solid evidence for Migration Watch’s claims.
  4. 1/2 @independent on @MigObs comments re A2 migration ow.ly/gVqhG. For clarity, we’re not giving any estimate right now.
  5. 2/2 so we are not saying it’ll have less impact than @MigrationWatch, we’re saying there isn’t solid evidence for much more than guesses.
  6. The Independent said: “It is a shameless piece of scare mongering”
  7. 2) Monday saw the history of human migration as we know it rewritten.
  8. Ancient Indians may have arrived on Australian shores around 4000 years ago and mixed with Aborigines before Europeans colonised the continent. A genetic study by the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthroplogy that assessed over 300 Aborigines, Indians and people from Paupua New Guinea and south-east Asia found a “significant gene flow” from India to Australia about 4230 years ago
  9. Some aboriginal Australians can trace as much as 11 per cent of their genomes to Indian migrants.
  10. 3) Institute for Public Policy Research paper called to “actively engage the issue of migration and the reality of people’s views on it”. Published on Wednesday, 17 January, it highlighted the need for a fundamental change for migration policy.

    The “Fair and democratic migration policy: A principled framework for the UK” included aims such as putting human rights at the heart of policy making, focusing on vulnerable groups and communities, accounting for patterns of migration and looking beyond the UK and seeking to increase the benefits for developing countries.

    A spokesperson said: “We aim to provide some foundation for the new mainstream consensus on migration policy that is so sorely needed in the UK.”

  11. Here are some responses to the report:
  12. 4) On Saturday 19 January, Tony Blair’s former immigration minister criticised Ed Miliband for distancing himself from Labour’s record on migration by “thinking it’s trendy to echo the rhetoric of Migration Watch”. In an article for The Independent on Sunday, Barbara Roche, the co-founder of Migration Matters, stood up for Labour’s immigration record. She warned Miliband not to abandon “progressive migration policies” put forward by Labour in the last decade.

  13. 5) Pressure mounted across the UK throughout the week for ministers to assist hundreds of Syrian students in Britain left without funds and at risk of deportation amid the crisis in their homeland.

    A petition calling for the Foreign Office to help the students  – as it did in 2011 for Libyan students – has so far gained over 40,000 signatures.

  14. Some universities have come out in support for the middle eastern students, offering special scholarships while, at other universities, Syrian students unable to pay their fees have been expelled and face deportation.

    This week 83 students were killed in an attack on the University of Aleppo during the busy exam period.

  15. PETITION: Stop UK universities sending 670 struggling students back to the bloodbath that is Assad’s Syria: avaaz.org/en/petition/Stop_…
  16. Find the petition at:
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