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Chris Bryant MP, Labour’s Shadow Immigration Minister, commenting on today’s Quarterly Migration Statistics, said:

“Net migration is falling but public concern is rising. Labour supports strong controls to bring immigration down. But these figures demonstrate that the Government is not focussing on the kind of immigration that worries people the most. Half the drop is down to students, while 30 per cent of the net migration reduction is down to more British people leaving. Worryingly, the Government appear to be taking some students away from full visas with proper checks and giving them student visitor visas instead, yet we know these visas have fewer checks and are more open to abuse. This is an own goal.

“The Government is doing nothing to tackle illegal immigration. The data today shows another fall in deporting people who have broken the rules and another reduction in people being stopped at the border. And they are not doing enough to tackle the impact of migration on jobs and housing. Until the Government addresses what most concerns people, anxiety will continue to grow.”

“Britain needs an immigration system that is fair and works for the UK. But the Prime Minister’s policy is failing to convince the public that he is focussed on the right things. The Government’s handling of illegal immigration is still getting worse, international graduate students are being discouraged yet more people are coming as short term students with fewer checks and UK citizens are being driven away.”

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