Immigration remains a widely debated issue in the UK, which is not surprising since the average gross annual inflow of immigrants into the UK has grown rapidly since the middle of the 1990s. According to the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS’s) International Passenger Survey (IPS) (2012), the number of people immigrating to the UK has risen from around 50,000 per annum at the beginning of the 1990s to 524,000 per annum, on average, between 2004 and 2011(Mitchell, J. et al., 2011). A flexible policy of immigration may possibly means increasing ethnic and religious diversity. Should there be quotas on immigration in the UK? Opponents may claim that Britain needs millions more immigrants to reduce strain of ageing population and to stimulate the depressing economy. However, more immigrants mean more resources
consumption, more competitive job market and crime issues.
The first reason why there ought to be quotas on immigration is that immigrants can consume more resources like public services and the
welfare system. The National Health Service (NHS) is a significant service and one of the greatest assets in the UK. The British government is committed to maintaining the NHS as a generally free service at the point of delivery and it also committed the principle that everyone should be able to access health services. However, the British government believes immigrants should come to the UK for the right reason – to contribute to the society rather than simply taking from it. And the forthcoming immigration Bill will introduce measures to make this happen (Home Office. 2013). The current rules on accessing the NHS by immigrants seems too generous especially compared with other countries and these rules are not being severely applied. In other words, the healthcare cost of two large numbers of people who should not be in the UK and ‘health tourists’ who premeditated seek to exploit an advantage of the current weakness of the rules in order to receive free healthcare to which they are not entitled (George, A. et al., 2011). Moreover, several hundred thousand more female immigrants than had
been expected surged into Britain over the past decade, boosting not only the numbers of foreign-born residents but also leading to a baby boom. According to the latest BBC News, the UK remains the third-most populations EU member state, behind Germany and France. To be more specific, foreign mothers have brought a quarter of the total amount of babies while only 13 percent are immigrants among the total population of UK. In this case, it is not hard to predict that more resources like school places and housing as well as services will be needed in the future. In addition, it is frequently asserted that presence of significant numbers of non-English speaking children will put pressure on schools and local educational authorities, resulting in reduced performance for all children, including native English speakers. For example, the Minister for Immigration Daminan Green argued that it is difficult for teachers, parents and pupils to cope with immigrating children who speak English as a second language. Some research suggested that teachers might lack expertise in meeting the needs of immigrant children (George, A. et
al., 2011). If widespread, this probably leads to additional costs.
The second reason why the quantity of immigrants should be limited is that it can be a protective policy for the local people keeping their jobs. Some people claimed that there is no certain evidence of the link between rising immigration and joblessness. Take Next for an example, the large clothing retail company try to recruit locally by advertising for stuff’s friends and family. Like other large companies, they use agency workers to provide a workforce only during short-term peaks. However, Immigrant workers, especially those from Asia, seem often bring their immediate family members...
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