During the SKY live TV debate Nick Clegg said he’d like to give illegal immigrants an amnesty to bring them into the tax system etc…

The Liberal Democrats say “We will allow people who have been in Britain without the correct papers for 10 years, but speak English, have a clean record and want to live here long-term to earn their citizenship. This route to citizenship will not apply to people arriving after 2010.”

See page 75 of the Liberal Democrat Manifesto 2010 or Liberal Democrat Manifesto 2010 : Your Community section.

According to the BBC, Lib Dems party officials said “those who qualify will then have to serve a probationary period of two years during which they would have to work and pay taxes.

Then they would have to pay a fee or do voluntary service as “penance” to qualify for full citizenship.”

I like the concept of an amnesty, pulling illegal immigrants into the tax system, it’s got to be better for the economy if we are stuck with them, (and it appears we are, they’ve avoided the authorities 10 years already) for them to be paying into the system fully. I also like the idea of removing illegal workers from the economy forcing businesses that are making themselves more competitive by exploiting illegal immigrants, not paying full wages to their work force etc…, which has got to help businesses that fully comply with all UK legislation to compete.

However, I’m not sure what message offering an amnesty to illegals sends to foreigners (those not already in the country) who see this as an indication that if you can avoid getting caught for long enough, you can become a British citizen, it is rewarding bad behaviour, though avoiding th authorities for 10 years can’t be an easy task (can it?).

At this point not sure if I like the idea enough to want it brought into legislation or just like the concept on an amnesty, but not the reality of what this would mean!!!!

I will give the Liberal Democrats kudos on having an immigration policy that is not going to resonate with the majority of British voters in 2010 with an increasingly negative stance on immigration! It’s so easy for politicians to say one thing at election time and do another when elected, if it isn’t the “we have no plans to…” cop out answer, it’s a down right lie.