Information Landmine

"The Americans keep telling us how successful their system is. Then they remind us not to stray too far from our hotel at night." - An un-named EU trade representative quoted during international trade talks in Denver, Colorado, 1997.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Making Migration Work?

OK, so here’s an attempt at putting the discussion below into some kind of context regarding the great overhaul that’s currently happening with migration into Britain. I’m not sure it’ll shed any light on the logic, but for what it’s worth...

Changes in requirements for International students is one of the strands of the new Points Based System that BIA is slowly implementing at the moment... essentially it affects all different ‘categories’ of migrant coming to Britain – the temporary and the more permanent. It’s an incredibly rigid system – by ticking certain boxes, you get more points – after a certain threshold you get your visa; a way to ensure we get the brightest and best migrants - you get the idea.

A feature of the new system seems to be a move towards placing greater responsibility on the host institution/sponsor. So, as you see below, educational establishments will be asked to register their students and monitor them – as will employers with workers I think. They will also pay for the privilege – as they need to register in order to sponsor a migrant in the first place. Seemingly, consultation with whoever gets consulted on these things suggested that institutions wanted to be more involved in the monitoring of it. So, believe it or not, enough educational establishments were on board with this idea to push it through. Perhaps because they have more confidence in their own abilities to administer these things than they do in BIA? Couldn’t blame them for that. Or maybe there’s an administration contract in it? Or maybe there are international students all over the place who are paying upwards of £10K in fees and then absconding without asking their university to do anything for the money?! Who knows?

I should point out that there are some massive implications of this system, outside of the issue Pete raised and they’re not limited to students. For various reasons, I’ll have to wait until a later date to comment on those (although somebody else is more than welcome to). But, for a system that is apparently going to be economically beneficial, I reckon this calculation assumed that Britain = London. I don’t think it’s going to stack up that way regionally.

So, where does the whole ludicrous system come from? And who the hell thought it was a good idea?

Apart from the usual, I’m baffled. But that’s asylum and immigration policy for you. I’m not really an expert on controlled migration, but I believe that our government knows how economically important migration is. Not to mention every other benefit it brings. Yet, has a strategy of making policy changes that reduce the number of migrants (controlled or forced) entering this country, treat them as badly as possible whilst they’re here, and then kick them out gracelessly.

Nothing beats British hospitality eh?


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