An amnesty for illegal immigrants would be bound to encourage further illegal immigration, their present number has been seriously underestimated and the lifetime cost would be in the order of £130 billion even on that low estimate of numbers, says a report out today from think-tank Migrationwatch.
The report is in reply to a paper published by the London School of Economics on 16 June in response to a request from London's Mayor. Introducing the document, Boris Johnson claimed it proved that immigrants were "far from a financial burden". He added:
"This new Report has introduced some long overdue facts, hard evidence and academic rigour into a debate which has far too often been dominated by myth, anecdote and hearsay".
Clearly the Mayor had not read the Report which makes it clear that "It has to be emphasised that these are ball park estimates at best" (page 110) and that "many of the numbers that had been generated for this Report have required heroic assumptions" page 113).
The Mayor also claimed that:
"So far from a financial burden, as some suggest, this new research has found an amnesty could be worth up to £3 billion a year to the country's economy."
What the Report actually says is:
"Neither the literature nor currently available UK data provides a quantitative basis from which one could at all reliably start to estimate the scale of effects on UK output which would be likely to follow from regularisation"(page 73).
The Report is, in fact, astonishingly thin on its claim of economic benefit – just two paragraphs in 125 pages. It goes on to take what is described as "an example". This gives, on the basis of four hypotheses, an expected increase in GDP of some £3 billion (page 73).
Migrationwatch have now examined this Report in detail and have found that:…