Majority of Britons Reject Amnesty for Illegal Aliens

OUISTREHAM, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 12: Migrants try to board a truck at Ouistreham ferry port in the hope of reaching the UK on September 12, 2018 in Ouistreham, France. After the clamp down at Calais many young migrants are seeking out new routes to the United Kingdom as stowaways on …
Christopher Furlong/Getty

A majority of Britons are against amnesty for illegal aliens, the poll findings coming after the government recently suggested granting residency to illegals who have been in the country for 15 years.

According to a Deltapoll study commissioned by the migration-sceptic Migration Watch UK think tank, an outright majority of Britons said they would not support a proposed amnesty for illegal aliens, at 51 per cent.

Only 38 per cent said they would be in favour, of which just one-in-ten — 11 per cent — said they were “strongly” in favour.

A spokesman for Migration Watch UK said of the results: “Those who enter the UK illegally make their first act in Britain a criminal one and should be returned from whence they came. While those who enter legally and stay on when their visas run out should not be able to run down the clock thinking they will eventually be granted residence.

“Amnesties send out entirely the wrong signals, they are a slap in the face to all those who play by the book and simply don’t work – as the Italians, Spaniards and French have all found out. Most importantly, as our Delta polling has clearly shown, the bulk of the British people are also against them.”

The results follow a rise in illegal boat migrants landing on British shores in the past year, and come as Boris Johnson’s government suggested that illegals who have been in the country for at least 15 years could be granted amnesty, thus giving them full access to the country’s generous, taxpayer-funded welfare state.

Speaking in Parliament in July, Prime Minister Johnson said his then-government would look into the “economic advantages and disadvantages” of amnesty, claiming “the truth is the law already allows them [illegals] effective amnesty” — with the fact that this might be the problem which needs addressed seemingly not considered.

“I do think we need to look at our arrangements for people who have lived and worked here for a long time, unable to enter the economy, unable to participate properly or pay taxes, without documents,” Johnson had said.

Migration Watch UK’s Alp Mehmet said such a move would be “manna for traffickers”.

Pew Research Center estimates that there are between 800,000 and 1.2 million illegals in the United Kingdom as of 2017, while the then-home secretary Amber Rudd admitted there may be as many as one million. Migration Watch UK said that such an amnesty “would be not only deeply unpopular, but deeply irresponsible”, adding: “We cannot afford this wrong, unpopular, and dangerous policy.”

Prime Minister Johnson has spoken a number of times in the past in favour of granting legal status to people who entered or remained in the country illegally, earning him the moniker “Amnesty Boris”.

As Mayor of London in 2008, he called for an “earned amnesty” for the estimated 400,000 illegals living in the capital, while during his second term in office in 2013 he essentially said that because Immigration Enforcement officers had failed to deport them, they might as well be given leave to stay.

“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?”

Even during the 2016 campaign to leave the EU, the MP said he backed amnesty for illegals who had been in the country for at least 12 years, at a time when eurosceptics were planning to back Leave primarily in order take back control of their borders and immigration laws.

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