According to a new survey by Ipsos Mori, the majority of the British public does not favour reduced UK immigration. The poll revealed that less than 50% of the UK public wants to see immigration levels reduced.
Meanwhile, 12% of survey respondents would like to see increased immigration to the UK, representing a 7% rise compared to February 2015 and a 9% rise compared to August 2019. A report published by the Socialist Worker, argues that the findings ‘expose the lie’ that the government’s racist UK immigration controls have popular support.
Furthermore, the number of people wanting fewer immigrants has dropped from 67% to 49% since February 2015.
Ipsos Mori’s research suggests that empathy towards immigrants attempting gruelling and dangerous journeys to the UK has increased. As of August 2019, 53% of people said they had sympathy. By the end of 2020, this had increased to 56%.
Meanwhile, the percentage of people saying they had little or no sympathy has dropped from 43% to 39%. 42% of survey respondents consider it ‘important’ to have a UK immigration system that is fair.
According to the survey, the driving force behind anti-immigration laws in the UK is not the result of demand from the British public, but those at the pinnacle of the UK government.
The chief executive of Refugee Action, Stephen Hale, said: “This heart-warming poll confirms that more people than not want a Britain that welcomes and supports people fleeing violence and oppression.”
Racism resistors punished
Amid the UK government’s hardline approach to immigration, those resisting the racist system have been punished by the Home Office. Refugees and asylum seekers in particular have faced significant hardship.
UK Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has developed a temporary accommodation network to hold asylum seekers as they await a decision on their application. Meanwhile, those held in UK immigration detention centres and refugee camps have been hit by mass COVID-19 outbreaks.
Meanwhile, asylum seekers held across the UK claim that contractors operating detention facilities and refugee camps have warned them that their asylum application is at risk if they ‘misbehave’ or ‘speak out against conditions’.
Recently, an Iranian national who had fled persecution in his home country, was jailed and faces deportation after allegedly piloting dinghies transporting refugees heading for UK shores on at least two occasions in 2019.
Fouad Kakaei was found guilty of attempting to ferry 36 migrants across the Channel and sentenced to two years in prison. Defending his actions, Mr Kakaei said: “I piloted the boats because nobody else could, and I didn’t want anyone to die at sea.”
The Ipsos Mori poll comes just weeks after former UK immigration minister, Caroline Nokes, slammed the Home Office for its ‘inhuman’ approach to immigration. Commenting on Home Office plans to make UK asylum claims inadmissible, Nokes said the approach would ‘likely backfire’.
Nokes said: “The approach to asylum will cost UK taxpayers more, add to processing delays and fail to follow correct protocols.”
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