Give us your views on immigration

IN our series on political battlegrounds in the general election, today The Evening Star looks at the controversial issue of immigration and assesses what the main parties have to offer.

IN our series on political battlegrounds in the general election, today The Evening Star looks at the controversial issue of immigration and assesses what the main parties have to offer.

Immigration is an issue that major political parties often try to ignore at election time - worried that anything they say could be seen to stoke up racial tension.

This time that convention has been put aside as the issue of immigration has been mixed with concern about increasing numbers of people seeking asylum in this country.

Labour says the number of asylum applications has fallen by 68 per cent since 2002, and the number of failed asylum seekers being deported has doubled since 1997.

There is a need for some managed migration to fill skill shortages in this country - but it will not tolerate those who try to get round the system.

The Conservatives claim too many illegal immigrants are getting into the country and would introduce an Australian-style points system for those who want to come to Britain to work.

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They would also set an annual limit on the number of people who can be offered asylum in this country.

The Liberal Democrats are concerned that concentrating on the “problem” of immigration panders to some people's prejudices.

They emphasise that some controlled immigration is vital for the economy and would put the emphasis on ensuring that asylum application decisions were got right first time.

We want to know your views on this subject - visit our webpoll on www.eveningstar.co.uk.

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