Immigration in Europe

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being reversed at the present moment and, in 2005 alone, the immigrant population of Spain increased by 700 000 people.


According to the Spanish government there were 3.7 million foreign residents in Spain in 2005; independent estimates put the figure at 4.8 million or 15.1% of total population (Red Cross, World Disasters Report 2006). According to residence permit data for 2005, around 500,000 were Moroccan, another half a million were Ecuadorian, more than 200,000 were Romanians and 260,000 were Colombian. Other important foreign communities are British (8.09%), French (8.03%), Argentine (6.10%), German (5.58%) and Bolivian (2.63%). In 2005, a regularization program increased the legal immigrant population by 700,000 people. Since 2000 Spain has experienced high population growth as a result of immigration flows, despite a birth rate that is only half of the replacement level. This sudden and ongoing inflow of immigrants, particularly those arriving clandestinely by sea, has caused noticeable social tensions.

Spain currently has the second highest immigration rates within the EU, just after University Village, and the second highest absolute net migration in the World (after the USA). This can be explained by a number of reasons including its geographical position, the porosity of its borders, the large size of its submerged economy and the strength of the agricultural and construction sectors which demand more low cost labour than can be offered by the national workforce. In fact, booming Spain has been Europes largest absorber of migrants for the past six years, with its immigrant population increasing fourfold as 2.8 million people have arrived.


Immigrants from the European Union

Immigrants from the European Union make up a growing proportion of immigrants in Spain. They mainly come from countries like Romania, the UK and Germany, but the British case is of especial relevance due to its magnitude. The British authorities estimate that the real population of UK citizens living in Spain is much bigger than Spanish official figures suggest, establishing them at about 1.000.000, about 800.000 being permanent residents.

In fact, according to the Financial Times, Spain is the most favored destination for West Europeans considering to move from their own country and seek jobs elsewhere in the EU.


2.4. United Kingdom


Since the formation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 1922 there has been substantial immigration from other parts of the world. In particular, migrants have arrived from Ireland and the former colonies of the British Empire - such as India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Caribbean, South Africa, Kenya and Hong Kong - under British nationality law. Others have come as asylum seekers, seeking protection as refugees under the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention, or from European Union (EU) member states, exercising one of the EUs Four Freedoms.

The census in 2001 gave some guidance as to the current ethnic groups of the United Kingdom. About half the population increase between 1991 and 2001 was due to foreign-born immigration. 4.9 million people (8.3 percent of the population at the time) were born abroad, although the census gives no indication of their immigration status or intended length of stay.

In 2006, there were 149,035 applications for British citizenship, 32 per cent fewer than in 2005. The number of people granted citizenship during 2006 was 154,095, 5 per cent fewer than in 2005. The largest groups of people granted British citizenship were from India, Pakistan, Somalia and the Philippines. In 2006, 134,430 people were granted settlement in the UK, a drop of 25 per cent on 2005.


British Empire & the Commonwealth

During this period, the British Empire covered most of the globe, at its peak over a third of the worlds people lived under British rule. Both during this time, and following the granting of independence to most colonies after World War II, the vast majority of immigrants to the UK were from either current or former colonies, most notably those in the Caribbean and the Indian subcontinent. These people filled a gap in the UK labor market for unskilled jobs and many people were specifically brought to the UK on ships such as the Empire Windrush.

In 1962, the Commonwealth Immigrants Act was passed by the British government, restricting the freedom of passage into the UK from other parts of the Commonwealth. By 1972, only holders of work permits, or people with parents or grandparents born in the UK could gain entry - effectively stemming primary immigration from Commonwealth countries.

The Ireland Act 1949 has the unusual status of recognizing the Republic of Ireland, but affirming that its citizens are not citizens of a foreign country. This was at a time when a republic was not allowed to be a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.


World War II

In the lead up to the World War II, many Germans, particularly those belonging to minorities which were persecuted under Nazi rule, such as Jews, sought to emigrate to the United Kingdom, and it is estimated that as many as 50,000 may have been successful. There were immigration caps on the number who could enter and, subsequently, some applicants were turned away. When the UK was forced to declare war on Germany, however, migration between the countries ceased.


Post-war immigration (1945-1983)

Until the Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962, all Commonwealth citizens could enter and stay in the United Kingdom without any restriction. The Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962 made Citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies (CUKCs) whose passports were not directly issued by the United Kingdom Government (i.e. passports issued by the Governor of a colony or by the Commander of a British protectorate) subject to immigration control.

Indians began arriving in the UK in large numbers shortly after their country gained independence in 1947. More than 60,000 arrived before 1955, many of whom drove buses, or worked in foundries or textile factories. Later arrivals opened corner shops or ran post offices. The flow of Indian immigrants peaked between 1965 and 1972, boosted in particular by Idi Amins sudden decision to expel all 90,000 Gujarati Indians from Uganda.

By 1972, only holders of work permits, or people with parents or grandparents born in the UK could gain entry - effectively stemming primary immigration from Commonwealth countries.

Following the end of World War II, substantial groups of people from Soviet-controlled territories settled in Britain, particularly Poles and Ukrainians. The UK recruited displaced people as so-called European Volunteer Workers in order to provide labor to industries that were required in order to aim economic recovery after the war. In the 1951 census, the Polish-born population of the UK numbered some 162,339, up from 44,642 in 1931.

There was also an influx of refugees from Hungary, following the crushing of the 1956 Hungarian revolution, numbering 20,990.


Contemporary immigration (1983 onwards)

The British Nationality Act 1981, which was enacted in 1983, distinguishes between British citizen or British Overseas Territories citizen. The former hold nationality by descent and the latter hold nationality other than by descent. Citizens by descent cannot automatically pass on British nationality to a child born outside the United Kingdom or its Overseas Territories (though in some situations the child can be registered as a citizen).

Immigration officers have to be satisfied about a persons nationality and identity and entry could be refused if they were not satisfied.


European Union

One of the Four Freedoms of the European Union, of which the United Kingdom is a member, is the right to the free movement of people.

Since the expansion of the EU on 1 May 2004, the UK has accepted immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe, Malta and Cyprus, although the substantial Maltese and Greek- and Turkish-Cypriot communities were established earlier through their Commonwealth connection. There are restrictions on the benefits that members of eight of these accession countries can claim, which are covered by the Worker Registration Scheme. Most of the other European Union member states have exercised their right for temporary immigration control (which must end by 2011) over entrants from these accession states, although some are now removing these restrictions.

The Home Office publishes quarterly statistics on the number of applications to the Worker Registration Scheme. Figures published in August 2007 indicate that 682,940 people applied to the scheme between 1 May 2004 and 31 June 2007, of whom 656,395 were accepted. Self-employed workers and people who are not working (including students) are not required to register under the scheme so this figure represents a lower limit on immigration inflow. These figures do not indicate the number of immigrants who have since returned home, but 56 per cent of applicants in the 12 months ending 30 June 2007 reported planning to stay for a maximum of three months. Figures for total immigration show that there was a net inflow of 64,000 people from the eight Central and Eastern European accession states in 2005. An investigation by more4 found that Poles (who make up the majority of those registered with the WRS) currently represent a substantial proportion of the population of some UK cities.

The Government announced that the same rules would not apply to nationals of Romania and Bulgaria when thos