David Cameron plea in illegal immigrants push

David Cameron today appealed for the public to "shop" illegal immigrants as he pledged to reclaim Britain's borders.





The Prime Minister said he wanted the whole country to help the Government tackle the issue by reporting suspicious individuals.



He also insisted the citizenship test for legal incomers would be rewritten to include questions on British history and signalled a fresh crackdown on forced and bogus marriages.



The moves were revealed as Mr Cameron delivered a keynote speech setting out plans to control immigration.



In future, individuals applying to come to the UK for family reasons will have to show that they can speak English and have the financial means to support themselves as well as genuine family links in Britain.



Family migration made up almost a fifth of non-European Union (EU) immigration last year, with 50,000 visas issued, he told an audience at the Institute for Government in central London.



But a survey suggested that more than 70% of UK-based family sponsors had an income of less than £20,000 after tax, creating "an obvious risk" that they may become dependent on welfare.



Mr Cameron said the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) would consider whether the minimum level of financial support should be higher and whether a "bond" from migrants could be demanded in some cases.



There will be closer checks on claimed relationships between spouses to weed out sham marriages for immigration reasons, including cases where couples divorce immediately after obtaining permission to stay and then make fresh applications relating to different partners.



"We will make migrants wait longer, to show they really are in a genuine relationship before they can get settlement," Mr Cameron said.



"We'll also impose stricter and clearer tests on the genuineness of a relationship, including the ability to speak the same language and to know each other's circumstances.



"We will also end the ridiculous situation where a registrar who knows a marriage is a sham still has to perform the ceremony."



He added that he wanted the coalition to "go further and be even tougher" on immigration.



"For our part in government, we are creating a new National Crime Agency with a dedicated border policing command which will have responsibility for safeguarding the security of our border," he said.



"But I want everyone in the country to help, including by reporting suspected illegal immigrants to our Border Agency through the Crimestoppers phone line or through the Border Agency website.



"Together we will reclaim our borders and send illegal immigrants home."





He said he would rewrite the exam for migrants wishing to take on UK citizenship to ensure that British history and culture - rather than EU institutions and the workings of the benefit system - are at the heart of the tests.

Mr Cameron denounced Labour's points-based system, which was intended to ensure that economic migration was limited to those workers needed by the UK economy, as a "complete failure" which was "a magnet for fraudsters" and allowed the number of incomers to go "through the roof".



Initial indications suggest that the Government's actions since coming into office in May last year have started to reverse a trend which saw net migration rise to 239,000 last year, he said.



A new annual ceiling of 20,700 non-EU economic migrants had been undersubscribed every month and the Government was asking the MAC to consider reducing it further.



He restated his goal of getting net immigration down to the tens of thousands.



But he said he was determined to give "the red-carpet treatment" to entrepreneurs, investors and scientists from overseas who want to come to Britain to create businesses and jobs.



He said he recognised there was "discomfort and tension" in some communities over the arrival of large numbers of migrants and insisted that the Government was not "powerless" to deal with it.



He promised to deliver "fairness for people already living here, working here, contributing here, who worry about finding work, getting a good school for their children and affording a good house".



"For too long, they have been overlooked in this debate. And it's time to do right by them," Mr Cameron said.



The PM also signalled that forcing someone to marry against their will could become a criminal offence.



He announced he was making it illegal to breach an order issued by the courts to prevent a forced marriage and has asked Home Secretary Theresa May to consult on whether the practice should be criminalised in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.



The cross-party Commons Home Affairs Committee backed such a move earlier this year but its recommendation was rejected by the Home Office in July for fear that it would discourage victims from coming forward.



Committee chairman Keith Vaz welcomed the announcement on forced marriage.



But he warned that the idea of demanding a financial "bond" from would-be immigrants should be treated with "extreme caution".



"This is the third time this proposal has been put on the table since 2000," Mr Vaz said.



"It will antagonise settled communities and enrage our allies such as India. It was shelved before because it was unworkable. A more effective method must be found in order for immigrants to pay for public services."

PA

Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
News
people'When I see people who look totally different, it brings me back to that time in my life'
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
news
News
people

Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'

Arts and Entertainment
A photograph taken by David Redferm of Sonny Rollins
people
News
news

Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

Extras
indybest
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Senior Research Fellow in Gender, Food and Resilient Communities

£47,334 - £59,058 per annum: Coventry University: The Centre for Agroecology, ...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker