James Slack, Daily Mail, March 25, 2015
Voters in every ethnic group want the number of migrants coming to Britain to be cut, reveals a report out today.
Overall, the survey found that 79 per cent of respondents thought immigration levels should be reduced with 59 per cent wanting a big drop.
This support for stricter border controls was shared by people from all ethnic groups, according to analysis by campaign group Migration Watch.
Some 60 per cent of Asian respondents wish to see immigration reduced, with 38 per cent wanting it down by a lot.
The same is true of black respondents with 57 per cent thinking it should be curbed and 32 per cent wanting a large cut. For those of mixed origin, 60 per cent wanted a decrease with 30 per cent wanting a big fall.
Of those classed as ‘other’ ethnicities, 56 per cent wanted a drop with 32 per cent believing there should be a large reduction.
For all minority groups combined, most want lower immigration levels while about 30 per cent want them to stay the same.
Only one in ten want it to rise, making it unlikely that policies to curb immigration would deter ethnic minorities from voting for the Conservatives.
The report is a response to the centre-right lobby group Bright Blue, which claims the Tories must abandon their target to limit net migration to attract more black and ethnic minority voters.
Home Secretary Theresa May, who wants a firm pledge to cut migration in the Tory manifesto, recently quit as a member of Bright Blue’s advisory board.
Migration Watch said that while tighter immigration controls do not deter voters from an ethnic minority background, the tone of the debate must be ‘right’.
It said black and ethnic minority voters are more likely to see previous waves of immigration as positive for the UK but are clearly concerned about current levels.
Vice-chairman Alp Mehmet said: ‘The report confirms that the concerns of ethnic minority voters are very similar to everyone else and why wouldn’t they be?
‘The way to appeal to ethnic minority communities is to propose reasonable policies and reducing net migration to the level last seen in the early 1990s is entirely reasonable.’
Kiran Bali, a member of Migration Watch who has founded a series of inter-faith groups, said: ‘The majority of people share similar concerns.
‘They are worried about schools, hospitals, jobs and overcrowding.
‘It is ludicrous to lump diverse communities together in suggesting we all want mass immigration. Reasonable levels are the only way to achieve strengthened community relations.’
The Tories are expected to repeat David Cameron’s promise to cut net migration to the ‘tens of thousands’. It is now almost 300,000.
The report is based on the British Social Attitudes Survey, a long-running poll of 3,000 residents.