The UK continues to have a magnetic pull for the migrants.
Just more than 593,000 people came to live in the UK. At the same time, approximately 343,000 moved out, as per the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.
The figures indicate that the population increased by a quarter of a million in 12 months; and net migration – the number of people coming to live in Britain for more than a year minus those moving out – stood at 250,000 in the year to June 2011. The figure is up from 235,000 for the year to June 2010.
An unparalleled 170,000 people in a year came from Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. The statistics indicate two out of three of them came to study at British universities and colleges.
The data also reveals that the quantity of National Insurance numbers handed over to foreign-born workers went up by 11 per cent.
The number of asylum seekers from troubled countries, including Libya and Iran, also went up by 11 per cent. At the same time, the deportations came down sharply.
Responding to the figures, Tory MP Philip Hollobone said: “These immigration figures are a national scandal. Net migration is far too high. It is almost the second anniversary of the Coalition and more progress should have been made.”
Describing the figures as were “disappointing”, chairman of campaign group MigrationWatch UK, Sir Andrew Green, said: “They show that the immigration supertanker has been brought to a halt but massive efforts by the Government will be essential if its manifesto promise is to be kept. For example, the student visa system, which admits half a million non-EU students a year, needs a much more effective means of testing whether the applicants are genuine and intend to return home.”
Immigration Minister Damian Green insisted: “Our reforms are starting to take effect. Home Office figures from the second half of last year show a significant decrease in the number of student and work visas issued, an early indicator for the long-term direction of net migration.
“Net migration remains high but, as the ONS states, it is now steady, having fallen from a recent peak in the year to September 2010. This Government remains committed to bringing net migration down from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands.”
On the other hand, his Labour shadow Chris Bryant said: “We need honesty and competence from this Government on immigration, instead we get tough rhetoric not matched by the reality on the ground. The country deserves better than that.”
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