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Minister defends immigration limit

The Immigration Minister, Damian Green, has said that the government will rigorously defend any legal challenge on its interim migrant limit.

The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) is trying to bring a judicial review against the government, but the courts have not yet granted permission to proceed to a judicial review.

The JCWI claims that the limit has been put in place without proper consultation, and the level of the limit has not been placed before Parliament.

Damian Green said:

‘We will rigorously defend this challenge and are confident of success. The government has been clear: we will introduce our permanent annual limit on economic migrants from outside the EU from April 2011.

‘While we decide how the annual limit should operate, it is imperative that we have interim measures in place to avoid a rush of applications from migrants before the new rules take effect.

‘We are fully committed to reduce the level of net migration back down to the levels of the 1990s – tens of thousands each year, not hundreds of thousands. Introducing a limit on migrants from outside Europe coming here to work is just one of the ways we intend to achieve this.’

On 28 June 2010, the government announced that it would place an interim limit on non-European migrants coming to the UK to live and work. Set at 24,100, the interim limit equates to a 5 per cent reduction compared to the same period last year. At the same time, a consultation was launched on the mechanisms for implementing a permanent annual limit, which is due to be introduced in April 2011.