Saturday, May 01, 2010

More bollocks on immigration

Generally speaking, I find Burning Our Money an informative—and often alarming—read. But Wat Tyler's current focus on immigration is starting to annoy me, just a wee bit. It isn't that his figures are wrong—they rarely are—but that his solutions seem to show a burning ignorance of just what is involved.

Let's take this comment, for instance.
Yes, of course we would want to make exceptions for genuine asylum seekers.

Really? Why? I seriously doubt that this is the first safe country that they have reached, so why should we make an exception? Especially when they are not allowed to contribute to the economy for three years.

Of course, it might be a good idea to remove the ridiculous ban on asylum seekers working—a ban that forces them to live on benefits but guarantees that various idiots and bigots can moan about them being lazy, waxing fat off the fruits of other people's work—but then the indigenous population would bollocks on about how all these filthy asylum seekers were coming over here and pinching jobs from hard-working Brits, eh?

Right now, asylum seekers can't win. So, either we stop being so bloody unpleasant to them or we should politely turn them away: either course would be more humane than the disgusting way that we currently treat them.
And we might want also to make exceptions for some high skill workers (although we could just give them fixed-term work permits).

For fuck's sake! We do give immigrants fixed-term work permits.

The major permits are the Tier 1 and the Tier 2, both of which must be renewed after three years. If you no longer qualify under those permits, you are deported.
  • To get the Tier 1 visa, you must have sufficient points. Getting a Tier 1 will usually involve you having at least two degrees, a certain amount of previous earnings, an ability to speak English, and £800 "maintenance" in your bank account for the three months previous to applying—not including the £820 that the application will cost (money that the UKBA keep, even if the visa is refused).

    Although the Tier 1 is not tied to a job, upon renewal you will have to prove that you were earning a minimum of £25,000 per annum for at least the entire previous year, you will have to fork out at least another £820 (and maintain the £800 "maintenance") and prove, once again, that you have sufficient points.

    Of course, you won't know that you have sufficient points until you actually have to apply because the government keeps changing the damn system.

    Plus, of course, you are not allowed to claim any benefits. Oh, and if you marry a native, they are no longer allowed to claim any benefits either. Of course, if you are claiming benefits, then you obviously cannot support yourself, so deportation will shortly follow (whether you are married to a native or not).

  • The Tier 2 visa is tied to your job, so you must be able to prove that you have a sponsoring company. This company will have to pay £800 to be a sponsor, plus you will have to pay another £800 to apply for the Tier 2 visa.

    There are numerous regulations about the viability of the company too—it must have been in existence for at least two years before your arrival, seen investment of at least £750,000 and have created two other full-time jobs. And the company must be able to prove, by the way, that there is no EU or British citizen who could do the job instead.

    Oh, and you are subject to the points system, as for the Tier 1 visa.

    Since the visa is tied to your job, if you are sacked or made redundant or the company goes bust, then you are immediately deported. In any case, the visa is only valid for three years, after which you must reapply.

    By which time, of course, the government will almost certainly have changed the rules again.

Of course, there are various rules about dependents, etc. and they are all tied to your visa. So, if you go, they have to go.

So, Wat, we already have time-limited work permits. Unless, of course, you were proposing that these permits be totally time-limited, i.e. that you cannot ever apply again? I bet you were, weren't you?

In which case, you are simply trying to ensure that no one ever hires a migrant for anything other than grunt work. But—wait! You said...
And we might want also to make exceptions for some high skill workers (although we could just give them fixed-term work permits).

So, you want to take in highly skilled workers, and ensure that they can never get highly-skilled work? Are you a total idiot?

Of course, it's entirely possible that Wat did not mean that, in which case he's just an ill-informed idiot.

Of course, after you have been in the country continuously for five years, you can apply for Tier 1 settlement or Tier 2 settlement. This will involve yet more large sums of cash being sent to the UK Border Agency, plus qualifying at the time that you apply (yes, the government will have changed the rules), plus taking the ridiculous Citizenship Test (most of which I don't know the answers to), and various other hoops and hurdles.

Staying in this country is not easy (unless, of course, you are an EU citizen).

You are not allowed to claim benefits, so you have to be contributing to the system—not taking out of it.

The only immigrants who can take out of the system are EU migrants and asylum seekers. So, whilst Wat Tyler might be correct when he asserts that the majority of immigrants are from outside of the EU, they are the productive ones—the ones that we want to keep.

If these immigrants are, indeed, putting a strain on our public services, it is only because the state is wasting their tax money on bloody duckhouses and lesbian outreach workers, and not investing it in the core public services.

Wat Tyler also asserts that many of these migrants don't declare that they are here to work when they enter the country.
The truth is that by far the biggest inward migration flow from outside the EU comes from people who say they are coming here to study.

If we look at the same Survey, we find that just in the last 5 years, over 0.5m people net came here from outside the EU saying they were going to study. Which is 60% of all net inward migration over the period.

And in principle, we should be delighted that people want to study here. Not only does it earn us money, but it also gives us valuable worldwide connections for the future.

The problem comes when these students don't actually leave again afterwards.

When your study visa runs out—as it does when your course finishes—you have to move onto a Tier 1 or Tier 2 visa. And your study period does not count towards the five years needed to qualify for settlement.

Most student visas are for four years, but you are not allowed to work more than a few hours under a student visa (so you had better have a lot of savings or a massive loan).

So, after your course, you will need to qualify (and somehow pay) for a work permit—see Tier 1 and Tier 2 above. And if you want to qualify for settlement, then you could have been in this country continuously for nine years.

More than enough time to build a life; but a life that you can never fully commit to because you could effectively be deported at almost any time (especially as the government keeps changing the rules—sometimes retrospectively—in order to pander to the depressingly large number of hysterical, ignorant bigots who reside in this piece-of-shit country).

It should go without saying that I regard all of this to be utterly inhumane—and those who continue to agitate for yet more unpleasantness to be visited upon those who simply want to work to be pathetic and disgusting and, yes, almost sub-human.

As I have said before, watching the Big Three competing to see who can be the nastiest to these people—watching them attempting to maintain that their xenophobia and unpleasantness is, in some way, different to that of the BNP's—is a deeply unedifying sight (although not without it's own bitter amusement value).

And it is xenophobia and bigotry, as my wife and Andrew Hickey (who has been in a similar situation to myself) have previously opined.

Because there is most certainly no economic argument for this stupidity. No, really.*

These kinds of immigrants do not undercut the wages of the local population: the hoops that they—and, in many cases, the sponsoring company—are required to jump through ensure that these people are doing highly-skilled, highly paid jobs. In the case of the Tier 2, companies must prove that no EU or British citizen could do the job instead; they must also prove that the job requires a certain level of skill. And, of course, leaving aside the pretty huge sums of money that are required as "maintenance" and fees, re-application requires that they prove that they have been earning above a certain wage anyway.

Because of this, in practice the only immigrants that undercut the local labour prices are those from the EU. And they can only do so down to the National Minimum Wage anyway.

Since immigrants cannot claim benefits—whilst paying full taxes on what are, necessarily, relatively high wages—they are no drain to the economy on that score. And yes, they may use certain services (such as the NHS) but, like the rest of us, they pay for that with their National Insurance Contributions.

EU immigrants, of course, can claim benefits. And they do not have to work in order to stay in the country.

This is why, if you worry about such things, it is immigration from the EU that is the issue—not because they are more numerous than those from outside, but because it is they who can be a drain on our economy and public services.

But, of course, not one of the Big Three is promising to do anything about that—because they can't whilst Britain remains within the EU. And all Three want Britain to remain in the EU.

Seriously, I am sick and fed up of people whining about immigrants "coming over here, stealing our jobs/taking our benefits/destroying our public services [delete as appropriate]." (And yes, Sunny, I may have changed my mind (slightly. A subject for another post, that)—but that is what a wise man does when faced with new facts.)

And that is one of the reasons why I write a blog: so that I can disseminate the facts, and let people cogitate new ideas and new information and maybe—just maybe—change their minds.

P.S. A quick word on marriage (or "spousal") visas, since I am sure that someone will bring them up. You have to have explicit permission from the Home Office to marry, and this takes three months. You then have to get married (not a light or inexpensive undertaking) and apply for a marriage visa—the application will cost you about £500. In the course of doing so, you need to give all sorts of explicit information to the Home Office, and they may decide to ask for more proof that you are, in fact, both married and in a genuine relationship.

They don't quite ask for the bloodied wedding night sheets, but it's often not far off.

The marriage visa only entitles the applicant to live in Britain for two years. After which you must go through the whole sordid, invasive and expensive process again.

P.P.S. If you want some advice on the long, tedious and humiliating process of applying for a fiancé visa, Shane Greer has some advice from his own experience.

P.P.P.S. Do remember that, assuming your fiancé visa is granted and the state lets you actually marry, you will then have to apply for a spousal visa [see above].

* There is an integrationist argument, of course, but no "mainstream" politician will talk about that for fear of revealing that their motivations are precisely the same as the BNP's. And, really, when it comes to the Anglosphere, there is no integrationist argument to be made.

What everyone is terrified of spelling out is that, when they talk about cultural dilution, what they actually mean is that they don't like all these bloody Muslims—coming over here, bombing our decent, British Christians.

But, once again, everyone is too scared to spell it out, because they'll look like the bigots of the BNP (and, I'm sad to say, UKIP).

In any case, punishing the innocent (Muslim or otherwise) for the sins of the guilty is a disgusting thing to do, and anyone who advocates it is a scumbag of the very first water.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

"When your study visa runs out—as it does when your course finishes—you have to move onto a Tier 1 or Tier 2 visa."

Bollocks. You are 'supposed to'. That is not the same thing. And I'd be willing to bet that a substantial proportion simply stay, without recourse to a visa of any kind.


Frankly, you are at least as dull on immigration as anyone else. I'd be perfectly happy to have unfettered immigration, but that would only be possible if we abolished the welfare state: benefits (not because immigrants would claim them, but because Brits would be happy to accept benefits and be replaced in the workforce by immigrants), free at the point of use schools and healthcare.

I'd be happy to take that trade. I imagine you would be too, but you might just state that rather than wibble on about the current system's inequities. There are more important issues facing this country than how we treat those misguided enough to choose to enter it voluntarily.

JuliaM said...

"Right now, asylum seekers can't win. So, either we stop being so bloody unpleasant to them or we should politely turn them away..."

We can't, of course, do either of those things, can we? We aren't a sovereign nation any more...

JuliaM said...

" Surprised they don't throw in a bit of the old 'Droit de' while they're at it."

Probably best not to give them ideas...

Anonymous said...

Anon. 3:06 -

"you might just state that rather than wibble on about the current system's inequities"

He has. Loads of times. Keep up.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Anon,

"While you do have to get permission to get married, it is now free, but used to cost £295."

Whilst you no longer have to pay to ask permission to marry, you do have to pay for the spousal visa (roughly £500).

I have been through this recently, so I do know what I'm talking about.

"Of course some people just overstay. That is not the fault of the visa system - it is because nobody checks your passport properly when you leave."

They damn sure check it when you come in though. My wife went back to the US for her best friend's wedding—at which point she still had six weeks left on her visa.

On her return, she was taken aside, searched, quizzed and generally intimidated for about an hour.

"If passports were checked properly like in most other countries, then the border agency would know who hasn't left (or applied for a new visa)."

Whenever I leave the country, my passport is thoroughly checked at security. Where are you leaving from?

"Since most non-EEA students have to register with the police every time they move house, the police should be able to find them. If they lied, then they probably lied about coming to study anyway, and the college at which they are "studying" should be closed down for not monitoring their attendance properly."

Yup, turning the citizenry into unpaid state policemen is most definitely a wonderful way forward. Can a new Enlightenment be far away?

You are right that the issue is policing of the rules—but if the state wants to impose illiberal laws on people, then it is the state that should police those laws, c.f. the smoking ban.

"Forcing students to leave the country in order to apply for a new visa would also help."

Yup, that's really fair too, eh? My wife should have been sent back home ($700) so that she could re-apply (£820) and fly back ($700). What a fair and just thing that is, eh?

"Since the "maintenance" requirements are shit anyway, why not just make people show they have enough for a return airfare (by actually leaving)?"

Why the hell should anyone have to do that, simply to make up for the fact that the state is incapable of enforcing the bigoted legal framework that it's put in place?

DK

Nosemonkey said...

Mostly excellent stuff - as you know, I also have experience of this area, and can confirm the nightmare of trying to sort a visa for a foreign wife. Utterly repellant and financially near-disasterous.

However, you're wrong about EU migrants. They too - despite popular belief - are subject to restrictions about claiming benefits. It's just that restrictions on EU migrants are based upon logic and good sense rather than knee-jerk desires to persecute foreigners simply for being foreign.

I'm on a mobile with a dodgy wifi connection, so can't dig out the links and this is off the top of my head, but I'm pretty sure that EU citizens have no right to stay in another EU country for more than 3 months without a job or ability to support themselves, and don't qualify for state benefits until they've been working (and paying tax) in the UK for 2-3 years.

ENGLISHMAN said...

Your article seems to assume that immigrants obey the law,when it is obvious that with a million illegals,they do not.The lords report found that immigrants in general are worth the price of a mars bar per week to the British taxpayer.There is no benefit to the ordinary indigenous person,who in this climate has to struggle even harder to support his family competing against this foreign tide,and if immigration is so beneficial,why is it only the white western nations that experience it,surely there should be wholesale immigration to africa,the middle east,india,israel etc ,to spread all this wealth around.As in the case of the administration,you all seem so eager to give away something that does not belong to you,but the entire indigenous population ,whos views were never sought let alone respected.