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Monday, 27 September 2010

UK Home Office to ‘Rigorously’ Defend New Immigration Cap

The British Government Home Office has said that it will rigorously defend itself, against a High Court challenge over its temporary immigration cap.

The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) said that the interim immigration cap brought about the Government in June was “disproportionate” and has asked judges to consider the policy as unlawful.

The JCWI also went on to claim that the government had “side-stepped” the proper parliamentary process when it brought in the policy, which will be implemented next year, the UK Independent reported.

A permanent yearly cap will follow the current interim cap on skilled migrants from outside the EU. The cap was brought in to prevent a “surge in applications” from skilled migrants from outside Europe. The latest official immigration figures show that more than 500,000 people came to the UK in 2008. Almost half of those were returning British nationals or EU citizens.

The Court of Appeal had earlier ruled that, the Home Secretary had acted unlawfully, with reference to changes made to the, now in question, points-based system without prior parliamentary agreement.

JCWI’s lawyer Shahram Taghavi, of Simons Muirhead and Burton, said he was “surprised to see that, despite that ruling, the Secretary of State has again sought to avoid parliamentary scrutiny on such an important change to British immigration laws, a change which, unusually, also impacts upon British businesses”.

He added: “The coalition Government has once again sought to rush through significant changes to the United Kingdom’s immigration laws while side-stepping proper parliamentary process.”

However, many businesses fear that the cap would stop them from hiring people to fill any vacancies during really high demand. Others voice out that it could have a bad to detrimental effect on higher education, which is reliant on income from foreign students, the BBC reported.

Habib Rahman, JCWI chief executive, said it was “very concerned about the immense damage the interim cap appears to already be doing to British businesses”.

“JCWI considers that the caps are a further attempt by the government to blame part of the financial difficulties the country finds itself in on migrants,” he further added.

But Immigration Minister, Damian Green, says he is committed to getting net migration back to levels of those incurred in the 1990s.

“We will rigorously defend this challenge and are confident of success, “he said.

The case is expected to come for hearing in October by the High Court.

A video report on this issue.