Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Green Party Immigration policy

The Green Party 2010 manifesto takes a balanced view of immigration. We recognise that immigration is a fact of life, we recognise that it has some positive economic effects, but that it can also create tension in the host population if housing, jobs and services are in short supply. (Which is another reason to supply social housing, end unemployment, and provide adequate public services).

We are concerned that asylum seekers, for whom we have legal obligations, should be able to avoid destitution while their claim is being processed.

We support an amnesty for migrants "We would open up ways for existing illegal migrants who have been here for three years to become legal."  The amnesty has been hotly challenged by the commentariat, but it makes perfect sense - the alternative is to have a shadowy underclass of stateless persons in our society, fodder for criminal gangs. It is in short a no-brainer, and critics of the amnesty show themselves to be short of brains.

We would end the detention of children, and look to their welfare.
Trafficked people can choose to stay if they wish.
Most importantly, we look to the causes of migration - wars, political oppression, and world poverty.

Migration is another social challenge brought on by inequality - this time by global inequality.

The bottom line is that green global policies for peace, international cooperation, Index of Human Rights, and renewable energy (which will make hot countries net energy exporters) are the only effective and humane way of ending such problems that immigration represents.

See also http://t.co/Lw6M3bCudm


Katie said...

As an enviromentalist greatly concerned by green issues, I find this policy seriously dodgy. It's pretty much a deal-breaker when it comes to me voting for the Green Party in the future. High immigration levels = higher population growth in the UK (already v. overcrowded) = more housing needed, more transport links built, more shops, more facilities = loss of natural areas, loss of wildlife habitats, more CO2 & pollution. I have seen this happening where I live and it saddens me greatly.
The Optimum Population Trust, supported by Sir David Attenborough and Jonathan Porritt have more of the right idea by supporting zero net migration.

DocRichard said...

Hi Katie
You're right of course. Some years ago the Green Party debated bringing the population of Britain within the carrying capacity of the country, and we got roasted by the media for even daring to think about it. So we have got a bit sensitive on the issue.
Zero net migration is a sound idea, but has to be balanced with the legal and moral obligation to give asylum. Could be done though, but this would mean stopping EU migration.
We havered on EU withdrawal for many years, and finally settled for "Change it from within". So maybe we need to work out a way within EU to have freedom of movement without excessive flows of people.

samwa said...

I think the coalitions idea on migration is to make England such a jobless, miserable place that no one wants to come, and that those that are here and have the sense and means will want to leave.

Bob said...

Well said Katie - Though I'm a Green Party member I won't be voting for the party either while it maintains a 'laissez faire' policy on immigration. The economic case for mass immigration is just not credible as the environmental and social costs are never included, and the latter are patently very negative!