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By Peter Hoskin
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Cameron

Tim blogged David Cameron’s immigration speech once,
twice
in advance of its delivery – so this is just a selection of its key passages,
with headlines to provide context. You can read the full thing here.

A positive start

“Our migrant communities are a fundamental part of who we
are … and Britain is a far richer and stronger society because of them. …
Whether it’s great scientists, doctors and medical practitioners, artists,
musicians, and sports stars … or business leaders, entrepreneurs and hard-working
small business men and women … so many great Britons today have family
histories that have brought them to these shores. … That is our island story
– open, diverse and welcoming. … And I am immensely proud of it.”

From the tens of
thousands to the hundreds of thousands – an aspiration reaffirmed

“While I have always believed in the benefits of immigration
… I have also always believed that immigration has to be properly controlled.
… As I have long argued, under the previous government immigration was far
too high and badly out of control. … Net migration needs to come down
radically … from hundreds of thousands a year to just tens of thousands.”

“These concerns are not just legitimate – they are right”

“But I have always understood the genuine concerns of hard
working people … including many in our migrant communities … who worry
about uncontrolled immigration. … The pressure it puts on public services …
the rapid pace of change in some of our communities … and of course the
concerns, deeply held, that some people might be able to come and take
advantage of our generosity without making a proper contribution to our
country. … These concerns are not just legitimate – they are right…”

An aspiration
re-reaffirmed – but is “over the coming years” still “by 2015”?

“But already we have cut net migration by a third … down
from more than a quarter of a million a year to just over 160 thousand. … And
my party has set a clear aspiration to reduce net migration further to just
tens of thousands over the coming years.”

Cameron repeats what
he said in India: we want your brightest and best

“Let me put this simply. … We’re rolling out the red
carpet to those whose hard work and investment will create new British jobs.
… Because we’re in a global race for our economic future. … And the right
immigration is not just good for Britain – it’s essential.”

The connection
between welfare and immigration

“I see them as two sides of the same coin. … It is our
failure in the past to reform welfare and training that has meant we have left
too many of our young people in a system without proper skills or proper
incentives to work … and have instead seen large numbers of people coming
from overseas to fill vacancies in our economy.”

Policy 1: Tougher assessments
for Jobseeker’s Allowance

“And as a migrant, we’re only going to give you six months
to be a jobseeker. … After that benefits will be cut off unless you really
can prove not just that you are genuinely seeking employment … but also that
you have a genuine chance of getting a job. … We’re going to make that
assessment a real and robust one … and yes, it’s going to include whether
your ability to speak English is a barrier to work. … And to migrants who are
in work but then lose their jobs … the same rules will apply.”

Policy 2: A pan-European
approach to restricting benefit pay-outs

“We are also going to take forward negotiations with
European partners to explore … whether we can make economically inactive
migrants the responsibility of their home country before they gain any
eligibility for UK benefits. … And also whether we can work with like-minded
European partners … to limit the amount we pay in child benefit towards the
upkeep of children living abroad.”

Policy 3: Stricter
charging in the NHS

“But we should be clear that what we have is a free National
Health Service … not a free International Health Service. … So we’re going
to get better at reciprocal charging. … Or let me put that more simply. …
Wherever we can claim back the cost of NHS care, we will. … And for migrants
from outside the EEA, we want to introduce stricter charging … or a
requirement for private health insurance to cover the costs of NHS care.”

Policy 4: A local
residence test before immigrants can apply for social housing

“I am going to introduce new statutory housing allocations
guidance this spring … to create a local residence test. … This should mean
that local people rightly get priority in the social housing system. … And
migrants will need to have lived here and contributed to this country for at
least two years before they can qualify.”

Policy 5: Making life
difficult for illegal immigrants

“It’s too easy to get a driving license and a house – without
a check on your immigration status. … So we are legislating to make sure
illegal migrants can’t have driving licences. … I’ve already said how we are
changing the rules on social housing. … I now want us to make sure private
landlords check their tenants’ immigration status … with consequences for
those rogue landlords who fail to do so. … We’re going to take tough action
against rogue businesses which use illegal labour to evade tax and minimum wage
laws … including by doubling the fines levied against employers who employ
illegal workers. … And we’re going to be undertaking further targeted
operations this summer … bringing together key enforcement bodies to form a
series of local and national taskforces … to focus on abuse in particular
sectors and regions – including on agricultural work in East Anglia. … We’re
going to make it easier to check right to work entitlements … through a single
follow up check when a migrant’s leave is due to expire. … We’re working with
the financial services industry to stop illegal migrants from obtaining credit
cards, loans, and opening bank accounts.”

Policy 6: And making
it easier to find them, then kick them out

“We are already rolling out a new single secure form of
identification – the biometric residence permit – for those from outside the
EEA … to make it easier to identify illegal migrants in the first place. … And
once we’ve found them, we’re going to make it easier to remove them. … Faster
deportation. … Stopping the payment of legal aid for the vast majority of
immigration appeals. … And we’re even going to look at how we can change the
law … so that wherever possible people are deported first and appeal second,
from their home country.”

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