UK Immigration amnesty would boost economy

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16 June 2009

A study commissioned by the London Mayor Boris Johnson suggests that an immigration amnesty would lead to a GBP3 billion boost to the economy. The London School of Economics study also concludes that an amnesty would not lead to large scale illegal immigration; Britain's border controls would prevent this happening. The report's findings were welcomed by Johnson.

The main points in the report are as follows:

The proposed amnesty would be for those who had been in the UK for at least five years. It is estimated that two thirds of illegal immigrants would be eligible. The report estimates that regularizing the status of illegal immigrants would result in:

An increase in individual earnings of 25%.

An increase in the rate of employment of 6%.

An additional GBP3 billion a year in national gross domestic product.

Amnesties and regularisation programmes have been common in a number of Countries, including in France, Spain, Italy, Greece and the US. The amnesty idea was first mentioned by Boris Johnson more than a year ago in April 2008. This sparked widespread controversy. The immigration minister at the time Phil Woolas said that it would lead to more people trafficking.