IN MY (perhaps unpopular) opinion, immigration is a good thing for the UK. While it should be critically examined, it shouldn’t be demonised.
I say this as I make a clear distinction between non-EU visa-controlled immigration and immigration arising from the EU’s ill-considered unrestricted freedom of movement laws.
I believe that exceptional talent (Tier 1) and those skilled workers with a job offers filling skills shortages (Tier 2) who make up around 34 per cent of non-EU immigration should be welcomed to the UK for the economic benefits they bring, as should the 54 per cent of non-EU immigrants who come to the UK to pay full fees to study for a fixed period of time.
In my view, that there has been abuse and overstays in the past is simply an argument for better enforcement.
It remains to be seen if the Government has been wise to introduce caps on visas, but I approve of the sensible steps such as a tough points-based system, requiring a far greater grasp of English and having greater financial backing before being granted a visa.
I would urge those taking part in the immigration debate to study and consider both types of immigration separately when discussing the issue.
Andrew Butler, Conservative Party member, Selby.