Thousands of protesters braved the bank holiday rain today in London’s Trafalgar Square to call on the Government to regularise the estimated 700,000 illegal immigrants living in the UK.
The Mayday march from Westminster Cathedral was organised by ‘Strangers into Citizens ‘, supported by a coalition of migrant groups, unions and churches.
Speakers addressing the peaceful crowd included: Bishop Eric Brown, Bishop Thomas McMahon (RC Bishop of Brentwood) Bishop Tom Butler (Anglican Bishop of Southwark), Rev Ermle Kirby (Methodist Church), Senior Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg (New North London Synagogue), union leader Jack Dromey and many others.
Prospective MEP candidate in the European Elections (4 June 2009) Gene Alcantara joined the march, which passed Parliament and 10 Downing Street, and afterwards talked to a number of groups.
The consistent message coming from the platform speakers is that regularising undocumented migrants is not only the right and humane thing to do, but also makes economic sense.
According to research carried out by the leading think tank ‘ippr’, finding and deporting 700,000 undocumented immigrants would cost over £5 billion and take up to 20 years.
However, legalizing those same people and turning them into taxpayers and useful members of society will benefit the UK to the tune of over £4 billion.
As Gene Alcantara put it:
“There is a clear business case for legalizing the hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants already here which would in turn help the Government secure our borders.
“These people are here to stay so why not allow them to live their lives with dignity and contribute to society?”
Ironically the Governemt is currently introducing legislation which will make it more difficult for legal migrants to become British citizens.
The Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Bill, which is expected to become law this year will deny thousands of legal workers the chance to settle in the UK.
If you need any immigration advice or help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa or an appeal against a refusal please email: