Leave campaigner Boris Johnson is set to enter No. 10 on Wednesday, but Brexiteers may be concerned about the new premier’s position on immigration, control of which is a sticking point for Eurosceptics.
The Conservative Party leader’s comments on amnesty for illegals have been of most concern for those who voted Leave to stop the uncontrolled free movement of people from the EU, with the politician having said at least five times in his recent political career that illegal aliens who have been in the country for a decade should be granted the right to stay.
Johnson Calls for Amnesty #1: Grant an “earned amnesty” to the 400,000 illegals living in London
In 2008, the mayor of London called for a review into the feasibility of giving amnesty to the city’s then-400,000 illegal aliens. No, this was not the mayorality of Labour’s ‘Red Ken’ Livingstone (2000 to 2008), but the newly elected Boris Johnson of the Conservative Party.
In November 2008, then-Mayor Johnson called for an “earned amnesty” for the hundreds of thousands living illegally in the city, which as London mayor, he had no power to implement. A Johnson spokesman had said: “Roughly 400,000 people living here illegally are unable to be themselves or contribute to society or pay their taxes.”
The calls went against Tory policy, with a party spokesman telling The Guardian at the time: “We will have to agree to differ on this. One-off amnesties have been tried elsewhere and the evidence is that they do not work, but lead to more.”
Johnson Calls for Amnesty #2: They’re already here, so give them amnesty so they can pay taxes
Mayor Johnson made the call again in his second term in office in 2013, where he essentially said that because they were already here and successive governments had failed to deport them, they might as well be regularised so they can, as he asserted five years before, pay their taxes.
Speaking on LBC on July 2nd, 2013, Johnson said: “We effectively have it [amnesty]… If you have been here for 10 or 12 years, I’m afraid the authorities no longer really pursue you. They give up. Why not be honest about what is going on?”
“Ultimately, you have got to reflect reality,” Mr Johnson continued, adding: “Otherwise they are not engaged in the economy, they are not being honest with the system, they are not paying their taxes properly and it is completely crazy.”
Johnson Refuses to Commit to Lowering Immigration https://t.co/QvvXIE3bl7
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 17, 2019
Johnson Calls for Amnesty #3: Take back control and vote to leave the EU… and grant amnesty to more than one million illegals
Whilst Boris Johnson was campaigning with the establishment Vote Leave campaign under the slogan of ‘Vote Leave, Take Control’ — suggesting taking control back over laws, immigration, and trade from the EU — just days from the vote, he again called for amnesty for illegals.
On June 19th, 2016, Mr Johnson said: “Let us take back of control of our borders with a sensible, fair, and impartial system. But let me take on this issue absolutely directly because I am pro-immigration, I am the proud descendent of Turkish immigrants.
“And let me stun you, by saying that I am not only pro-immigration, I am in favour of an amnesty for illegal immigrants who have been here more than 12 years, unable to contribute to this economy, unable to pay taxes, unable to take proper part in society.”
Just a year later, the former director of immigration enforcement, David Wood, told MPs that there are more than one million illegal aliens in the UK who will likely never be deported.
Johnson Calls for Amnesty #4: In the panic of the political fallout of Windrush, Boris calls for amnesty. Again.
The Conservative government came under criticism in 2018 from leftists in the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties for the ‘Windrush scandal’ — in which a small number of legal migrants, around 60, from the Commonwealth had been wrongfully deported.
In April of that year, the then-foreign secretary Johnson told Cabinet colleagues that there needed to be a “broader” amnesty for those from the Commonwealth, such as Pakistan and Ghana, who were in the country illegally, which if the government had taken his advice would have resulted in between 500,000 and 700,000 aliens being giving legal right to remain in the UK.
In response, chairman of think tank Migration Watch UK Lord Andrew Green called it an “appalling lack of judgement”.
Johnson Calls for Amnesty #5: Leadership candidate Johnson’s latest call for amnesty branded “manna for traffickers”.
In recent weeks, the candidate for Tory leadership, and prime minister, again called for amnesty for illegals who have been in the country for 15 years.
Speaking to the Daily Mail on July 5th, Mr Johnson said that he was considering the “amnesty”, claiming the plan would stop a repeat of the Windrush scandal — the Tory conflating illegal aliens from the Commonwealth with legal immigrants, many born British subjects abroad, who arrived in the UK between 1948 and 1973.
Migration Watch vice chairman Alp Mehmet said the proposal would be “manna for traffickers” and said it “makes no sense” as there is “no comparison” between those small numbers of people up in Windrush and more than one million illegals.
“An amnesty for them would be manna for traffickers. It would encourage further illegal inflows, reward illicit behaviour, be costly to UK taxpayers and be grossly unfair to migrants who follow the rules,” Mr Mehmet said, adding: “Amnesties do not work, as Spain and Italy have proved.”
Migration Watch Slams Boris Plan to Give Amnesty to Illegal Aliens: 'Manna for Traffickers' https://t.co/KPTexhaX3B
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 6, 2019
Pre-Brexit Boris calls for Turkey to join the EU so there can be more Islam in Europe
It is not just Mr Johnson’s views on amnesty that could concern Brexiteers over a Prime Minister Johnson, as his comments appear to betray a soft spot for open immigration, as well.
Member states of the European Union are subject to the ‘four freedoms’: freedom of capital, goods, services… and people.
Before the UK voted to leave the EU, rejecting those four areas, Buzzfeed pulled up footage from a decade before of Boris Johnson calling for membership of near-east, Muslim-majority Turkey to the European Union, meaning free movement for millions of Turks so they can live in the bloc, including in the UK.
In the 2006 BBC documentary The Dream of Rome, Johnson called for the reunification of the classical empire and for Europe to shake off its thousand-plus years’ identity as a Christian land.
The Conservative politician said: “Istanbul is now a Muslim town, but what are we saying if we perpetually keep Turkey out of the European Union just because it’s Muslim?… Are we really saying about ourselves and about Europe that it must be forever coterminous with nothing but Christendom? Well, try going to Bradford and saying that.”
Speaking with fervour, Mr Johnson continued: “And when that great moment comes, and the two halves of the Roman Empire, east and west, are at last reunited in an expanded European Union, then the territory of Turkey will be rejoining a union that certainly has the pretensions of restoring that grand old Roman unity.”
The prospective Brexiteer prime minister refuses to commit to lowering immigration
Just two weeks ago, Johnson refused to commit to lowering net migration — a promise, unfulfilled, made by two previous prime ministers in three consecutive Conservative governments.
During a leadership debate, Mr Johnson was asked whether he would lower immigration in a post-Brexit Britain, the frontrunner said he was not “going to get into a numbers game”, saying instead: “What I think we will have is control, which is what the people voted for and it’s high time we got it.”
This would appear to contradict what Mr Johnson said during the 2016 referendum campaign. When asked at the time whether he wanted to bring immigration down to the “tens of thousands”, he said: “Yes, I do.”
The change of position came after Migration Watch UK criticised Johnson’s plan for an Australia-style, points-based immigration system, which Lord Green said “just ducks all the key issues. There is no mention whatever of reducing net migration let alone how it might be achieved. Three-quarters of the public wish to see a significant reduction in immigration, including 88 per cent of Conservative Party members. Their views deserve to be respected.”
Farage, Migration Watch Cast Doubt on Boris ‘Points-based Immigration’ Plan https://t.co/5Vz3gmUQzH
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 27, 2019