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Foreign workers entering the UK are stirring up the migration debate as Romania and Bulgaria prepare to enter the European Union on January 1st, 2007. Intense political debate is increasingly including terms such as "controlled immigration" and "quota system." The British economy is still creating jobs after 14 years of uninterrupted growth, but fears about rising unemployment among low- and semi-skilled working class Brits are affecting the debate.
The population of Wales will pass 3 million residents within two years, in large part due to immigrants from Eastern Europe since the formation of the EU-25 in 2004. The UK population has already topped 60 million for the first time.
Migrant workers in the UK have brought many benefits. The Bank of England has suggested that this is one strong factor keeping interest rates down and inflation under control. Tax revenue generated by migrants has exceeded the money spent on social services, according to the Home Office.
US companies are suing competitors who hire illegal immigrants under existing anti-racketeering and unfair competition laws. While the U.S. has been cracking down on illegal aliens, it has not been strongly enforcing laws against employers who perform the hiring. Businesses are no longer waiting for the federal government to take action.
A biometric photo ID card will be required by Australian residents to receive state health benefits by 2010. The program is being carefully marketed by the government as NOT being a national ID card, similar to the one being introduced in the UK. The card will also be used to check identities for immigration and security purposes, and to crack down on fraud.
In New Zealand, all limits on the numbers of partners and dependent children that may be sponsored by New Zealand residents and citizens will be lifted as of July, 2007. One restriction that has been added is that siblings and adult children may no longer be 55 years or older at the time of an application.
The U.S. needs 100,000 professionals in the automobile retail industry, according to industry estimates. While many of the positions require fluency in English, opportunities for high paying jobs also exist for immigrants that have other critical skills. In addition to sales, computer-literate mechanics, financing, administrative and management positions all need to be filled. Multi-lingual employees are in increasing demand to assist customers.
The Italian Coast Guard rescued 200 illegal immigrants from sinking and overloaded boats last week. Survivors said that 70 people had died in two sinkings. The island of Lampedusa, south of Sicily, is a target for African immigrants attempting to enter Europe. Spain and Italy in particular have been urgently requesting help to solve the problem.
Finland granted asylum and residence permits to dozens of Chechens over the past several years. Prior to this, Finland never granted asylum to citizens of Russia or any other neighbouring country. Finnish immigration control said that people repatriated to Chechnya are at risk of being subjected to inhuman treatment. This is sufficient basis for asylum for persons applying for international protection.
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