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BRITAIN is home to three-quarters of a million illegal immigrants, a new study claims.

The Government has refused to estimate the number of illegals it has allowed into the UK since 2005, and the Home Office’s best guess then was 430,000.

At the rate that illegal migrants are currently being deported, it would take 34 years and cost almost £9billion to clear the backlog of those currently in the UK.

The survey, carried out by the London School of Economics, says the total of what it describes as “irregular immigrants” and their dependants reached 725,000 in 2007.

Two-thirds are thought to be living in London.

London’s Tory Mayor Boris Johnson said last nightthat there had been a catastrophic failure of the Government to control UK borders.

Mr Johnson broke with his own party’s immigration policy and called for an amnesty amid “a need for realism” that would allow hundreds of thousands of those already in the country to stay on legally.

He said the case for an amnesty was “a hard political argument to win”, but insisted there was a need for realism.

“What I am trying to get people to recognise is that there are limits to what the policy to expulsions is able to achieve at the moment,” Mr Johnson said. “Failing that, and it is failing, we need to think of a better alternative.

“If people are going to be here and we’ve chronically failed to kick them out it’s morally right that they should contribute in their taxes to the rest of society, as a regularisation of their status would allow.”
But Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the Migrationwatch think tank, opposed the plan.

He said: “We have two million unemployed, heading up for three million. Is it really suggested that British jobs should go to illegal workers? It just makes no sense at all.”

According to the LSE report, 450,000 people could be regularised under a five-year minimum residence qualification.  continues here

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