UK Net Immigration Rises 21%

Long-Term International Migration (LTIM) to/from the UK 1991-2009

統計続きになるけれど、今日の国家統計局(Office for National Statistics)の発表によると、昨年のNet Immigration(入移民超過:イギリスに来た移民数から海外へ移民した人の数を差し引いたもの)の数が23万9千人と、19万8千人だった2009年に比べ、21%増加した。イギリスへの移民数は過去5年間、50万人強と安定しているのだが、世界的経済不況で国外の雇用状況が悪化しているなか、海外に仕事を求めて出て行く人の数が減ったことが原因だそうだ。

イギリス人の海外移住が減る中、EU各国、特に「A8」と呼ばれる、2004年に新規加入した中東欧諸国8カ国(チェコ共和国、ポーランド、ハンガリー、スロバキア、スロベニア、エストニア、ラトビア、リトアニア)からの労働者が増加。その数は2009年の5千人から3万9千人に急増、その3人に2人はポーランド人だという。また、移民の3分の2はEU圏外からで、そのうち15万1千人は「new Commonwealth(新イギリス連邦)」と呼ばれる国々、特にインド、パキスタン、バングラデシュの出身。留学はイギリスに来る目的の最多を占め、昨年の外国人留学生数22万8千人のうち4分の3がEU圏外からだそう。

政府はこの入移民超過数を減らすため、Work Permit(労働ビザ)発行数の上限を設定したり、学生ビザを隠れ蓑にイギリスに働きに来る自称「学生」を根絶し留学生数を減らすために怪しげな学校への規制を強化したりと、策を講じてはいるが、海外への移民数とEUからの移民数はコントロールできないため、あまり効果はなさそうだ。

近年、EU圏外からの外国人はイギリスビザが取りにくくなり、ビザが取れても色々規制が多いとよく聞く。労働ビザ申請が上限に達したためビザが取れないこともあるし、以前学生ビザで週20時間働けたところ、新しいシステムでは10時間が限度だ。

イギリス人はよく移民増加をポーランド人や東欧人のせいにするけれど、そもそも前政権が好況時に安価な労働力を期待して、A8諸国からの移民数に制限を設けなかったことが原因(他の西欧諸国は上限あり)。自分たちの選んだ政治家のしたことを棚に上げ、違法行為など何もしていない東欧人のせいにするなんてフェアじゃない。可哀想なのは折に触れてバッシングされる東欧人と、移民増加のツケを払わされるEU以外の人々なのだ。

The Office for National Statistics has revealed today that net migration in the UK rose by 21% last year with 239,000 more people arriving than those leaving, from the total at 198,000 in 2009. Immigration has been stable in past five years at a little more than half a million a year, but the reason of increase in net immigration is fewer number of people are emigrating due to worldwide recession resulting in less job opportunities abroad.

While fewer British are going abroad, more EU workers have been arriving, particularly from the Eastern and Central European “A8” countries, which are 8 of 10 countries that joined the European Union in 2004 (Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania). Its number jumped to 39,000 from 5,000 in 2009, and around 2 out of 3 of them are Polish. But Eastern Europeans are not the only ones to be blamed. Two third of the foreign migrants were from outside Europe, and 151,000 were from “new Commonwealth” countries such as India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Study was the most common reason for coming to the UK, and three-quarters came from outside the EU of 228,000 immigrant students last year.

The government has promised to reduce net migration, and the number of workers from outside the European Economic Area has been capped and bogus educational institutions have been regulated in order to crack down widespread abuse of the system to reduce foreign students. But there seems to be a little effect, as the government cannot control emigration and European workers.

In these years, I have heard many times that it is getting harder and harder for non Europeans to obtain UK visas and even you get it you will be regulated tighter than before. Some foreign workers are denied to get a work permit because total application has reached to the cap, and new visa scheme allows students to work only 10 hours a week, instead of 20 hours previously.

Often British blame on Polish and other Eastern Europeans for mass immigration, but they seem to forget the fact that their government was the one who decided not to put the cap on immigrants from A8 nations, in order to obtain cheaper labours and fullfil the request from the industries which desperately needed workforce during economic boom, whereas most of the western European countries set the limit. It’s not fair to blame the East Europeans who do nothing illegal, but they should criticise your own government! Poor Polish, and non-Europeans who have to pay the price.

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