Select Committee on Home Affairs Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 138 - 139)



  Q138  Chairman: Good morning to our next two witnesses. Would you both like to introduce yourselves.

  Sir Andrew Green: Yes, Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migration Watch UK.

  Dr Sriskandarajah: I am Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah, Head of Migration, Equalities and Citizenship at the Institute for Public Policy and Research.

  Q139  Chairman: Could I start, for both of you, with some general policy issues which arise from your evidence. In the evidence which has come in to us so far, there is a suggestion that different nationalities are treated in different ways in the British immigration system. Would you agree that there is effectively a two-tier immigration system with people coming in from some countries, leaving aside the question of internal EU migration, but some people coming in from other countries being subject to a much less vigorous and onerous immigration system than people from other countries?

  Dr Sriskandarajah: I think that there is not only a two-tier system, but perhaps a multi-tier system. With the nature of the complex immigration control system that we have in place, I think the product of that system is that there are some nationalities, even non-EU nationalities, who enjoy relatively free, relatively easy access to the UK, whereas at the other end of the spectrum there are some which have incredibly onerous requirements just to enter to visit the United Kingdom. I think that if you were to do a profile of that spectrum, it is quite telling if you were to understand the sort of socioeconomic profile of the countries with relatively onerous requirements for accessing the UK that poorer countries tend to have more requirements and richer countries tend to have fewer requirements, and perhaps there is also a racial dimension to that.

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