Examination of Witnesses (Questions 138
TUESDAY 10 JANUARY 2006
GREEN KCMG AND
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.