Migration Watch influence on UK policy challenged

By The Ligali Organisation | Mon 4 June 2012

The political influence of anti-immigrant lobbyist group, Migration Watch is challenged by a group of community workers concerned over its racist rhetoric.

The British government has been questioned over the level of access it grants to the Migration Watch UK organisation to unduly influence national policy.

Migrationwatch UK is responsible for the infamous e-petition ominously calling for ‘all necessary steps’ to stop the UK's population exceeding 70 million. In a series of correspondence with the immigration minister, Damian Green MP authored by community worker Tanya Prendergast and supported by several others including the Ligali Organisation, she writes;

“[M]ost of the public statements on immigration whether issued from the Government or the Daily Mail only confuse this complex subject, because they appear to offer simple solutions to daedalian issues... Over the last few years one organisation in particular has ‘muddied the waters:’ this is Migration Watch UK. But I do not question the right of people such as David Coleman or Andrew Green two of its leading representatives; to have views on race, nationality and identity that I feel are morally repugnant. As I feel that in a democratic society everybody should be allowed to have their say. My issue is concerning the weight of attention that is given to the statements that they make. These include those regarding the population of UK reaching ‘70 million by 2027’... as a direct result of immigration.”

Migration Watch UK - A toxic brand?

Too high?

In its response to MWU’s ePetition which has attracted over 140,000 votes, the British government replied;

“The response to this petition shows that the public feel strongly that immigration is too high and that this government should continue its work to bring numbers under control.

We have made sweeping changes to the immigration system to reduce net migration from the hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands.

We have already introduced a limit on non-EU [African, Asian, etc] workers coming to the UK, radically overhauled the student visa system to cut abuse and will shortly be announcing reforms to the family and settlement routes.”

MWU call for the increase in the size and number of detention prison complexes for non-EU immigrants because they claim “neither EU immigration nor British emigration [pose a problem] as they largely cancel each other out”.

The organisation continues to face criticism for the manner in which it chooses to play ‘fast and loose with evidence’ to support its racist rhetoric.

External Links
Migration Watch UK - Immigration – How to Achieve the Government’s Target
ePetitions - No to 70 Million
Lies, damned lies and racism

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Speak Out!

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Migration Watch has a history of distorting evidence and manipulating statistics to present racist rhetoric focused on arresting African and other non-EU migrants.

Toyin Agbetu, Ligali

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