Monday, 20 August 2007

They come here, they look after our grannies...

Those who say that this country does not benefit from immigration should really give some thought to what happens when the immigrants go home. Immigrants are such an integral part of our economy and our society that we often stop noticing the contribution they make and only remember if they leave.

An unlikely alliance of the Filipino Embassy, a Conservative MP and the English Community Care Association have highlighted the problems that many care homes will face due to changes in immigration laws that will leave many of their staff unable to get visas.

The problems faced by care homes clearly shows up the myth that the way to manage immigration is for government to try to choose 'skilled' workers to admit and then try to stop anyone else getting. This is the philosophy behind the home offices new points based immigration system that is endorsed by the big three parties. The problem with this system is that low skilled immigrants can also be good for our economy. There are low skilled jobs like working in care homes, being a farm hand and cleaning that have to be done but which few British people will do. Immigrants are often willing to do what seem to them to be well paid jobs and we are mad to try to stop them.

There is a far better system for regulating the the movement of people from country to country. It's called the market and it has shown time and again that it is the best way to control the movement of labour around countries and there is no reason to believe that it cannot do the same for movements between countries.

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