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By Gaurav Sharma

Immigration is a natural part of any open economy in the globalized world. Developed nations such as the United States, the United Kingdom, countries in the European Union are the most favored destinations for emigrants from developing nations such as India, China etc.

The Immigration policy which grants freedom of movement to targeted individuals produces a net economic gain for the host nation.

Keeping in view the benefits that such a brain drain entail, developed nations have welcomed bright, young talent from the developing shores to oil the wheels of the economy, particularly the field of Information Technology and the Medical arena.

Lately, however, the same nations which welcomed immigrants with arms wide open, have become skeptical of allowing open access to foreign workers.

In an apparent attempt to crack down on immigration by ‘tens of thousands’, UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced a new immigration task force.

On the back of highest net migration figures in ten years, Cameron has recently announced a blueprint for restriction of professionals from India and other non-European Union nations. Furthermore, new curbs on Inter-Company transfers(ICT) visa used by Indian companies to transfer and post employees in Britain, have also been initiated.

In order to actualize the aforementioned vision to diminish immigration, Migration Advisory Committee(MAC), an integral substratum of the Immigration Taskforce, has been established.

Justifying his move to trample down on immigration, Cameron said, “This government is on the side of working people: in the past, it has been too easy for businesses to recruit from overseas, undermining those who want to work hard and do the right thing.”

Here is what MAC is precisely set-up for:

  • Reducing work visas to highly specialized experts and genuine skill shortages

  • Skills levy on skilled work visas(Tier 2)

  • Setting a time limit for a sector to claim skill shortage

  • Raising salary threshold to prevent businesses from using foreign workers to cut wages

The measures to curtail foreign immigration do not end there. Even the spouses of Indians coming to India with a legitimate work permit may be barred from working in Britain.

Since the announcement of such a sharp strategic move, the major rise in employment- a staggering 1,000 jobs every day- has been appropriated by British nationals.

The measures, undoubtedly, mark the epoch of job usurpation by British nationals.

However, what spells gold-rush for the British nationals is detrimental to the freedom of immigrants, particularly Indian migrants.

Under Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, every individual irrespective of the nation he is born in, has the right to freedom of movement.

Such restrictive immigration policies can easily be contended as violating the basic human right of freedom of movement promulgated by the United Nations.

At the same time, every country has the right to frame its own border controls and policies, keeping in mind the welfare of its own citizens and, as a corollary, its own vested interests.

Though the immigration debate cannot be settled purely as a ‘for’ or ‘against’ migration policy, one thing is quite certain; the hopeful emigrants dreaming for a better life in foreign shores, have been hit rather hard.


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