Showing posts with label BORIS JOHNSON. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BORIS JOHNSON. Show all posts

23 Nov 2008

Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, has broken ranks with David Cameron and the Conservative party by announcing plans to study the potential benefits of an amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Johnson said this would lead to increased tax revenues, adding that mass deportation was impractical and too expensive.

“What I want is to lead a debate about how sensibly to deal with the 400,000 people who are living here [in London] and working here illegally,” he said.

The plans were condemned by the Conservative and Labour party. Cameron, the Tory leader, immediately distanced the party from Johnson’s stance. “The problem with amnesties is that they just store up another for the future, as people expect another one,” he said.

Phil Woolas, the immigration minister, called Johnson “naive”. He added: “His comments might start with the best of intentions but will lead to more people traffickers making more money and exploiting more vulnerable individuals.”

Johnson first raised the idea of an amnesty during his mayoral campaign in April, when he openly clashed with Cameron. It was assumed that the plan had been shelved.

Last Friday, however, Johnson reopened the rift by announcing the study, which will be conducted by his economics team.

His idea is that immigrants would be allowed to stay only if they had been resident in Britain for five years, did not have a criminal record and had passed a citizenship test.

SOURCE: The Times


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