Common sense needed over immigration issues

I AGREE with Mr Ash (letters March 15) that we need common sense over immigration, but not the misrepresentation, exaggeration and distortion we seem to get from UKIP.

Most of the 2.2 million immigrants Mr Ash talks about were asylum seekers. Ironically, it was the Blair government which ended Britain’s open door policy to asylum seekers, which had existed for over 50 years, after a surge of applicants in the early part of the new millenium.

Mr Ash seems to have forgotten the Sangat camp and British border guards being stationed in Calais, plus the introduction of fines for lorry drivers found with asylum seekers on board. As a result, immigration in the second half of 2003 dropped off dramatically. Prior to this, three towns - Dover, Hillingdon and Croydon - were identified as hot spots, as they were the ports of entry into the country for asylum seekers and others seeking leave to live here.

Before I retired, I was a policy advisor to Croydon Council, so I do have a good understanding of the impact high levels of migration have on an area. I also understand why many local people feel anxious about the high levels of immigration into Wisbech in recent years.

What concerns me most are those who seek to gain support for their political cause by ratcheting up that anxiety and doing nothing to address the real issues in our community.

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A loud hailer did not resolve the issues in Croydon only the hard work of local public officials, the financial and physical resources to respond and good community relations. It will work here if we let it.


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