Leading article: Adding to the confusion on immigration

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The Independent Online

Another day, another apparently contradictory report on immigration. First came a study from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research that found no evidence that migrants fill roles that would otherwise go to British people. Then, just a day later, the Migration Advisory Committee produced estimates that for every 100 non-European migrants working in Britain, some 23 fewer native people are employed.

Who is right? Probably both, being as the research took two different angles. But the MAC findings will no doubt be grist to the mill of the vociferous anti-immigration lobby. Sadly, in these economically uncertain times, their arguments are acquiring more of an edge. They are to be resisted. The MAC chairman himself acknowledges the "numerous qualifications and caveats" involved in his conclusions. It can only be hoped that the response to his findings will be equally nuanced.