Newly-elected Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed his support for giving amnesty to 500,000 undocumented immigrants during his first address as PM in the House of Commons.
PM Johnson told the Commons that the new government will study the economic advantages and disadvantages of granting the amnesty before finalizing any decision.
The former Mayor of London, the Tory leader ran a campaign that pledged amnesty for the illegal immigrants.
Labor MP Rupa Huq reminded Johnson of his promise by reminding the PM of his obligation to deliver on the campaign promise.
Huq was born in Britain, but her parents were immigrants from Bangladesh.
“I do think that our arrangements in theoretically being committed to the expulsion of perhaps half a million people who don’t have the correct papers and who may have been living and working here for many, many years without being involved in any criminal activity at all… I think that the legal position is anomalous,” Johnson said.
“We need to look at our arrangements for people who have lived and worked here for a long time unable to enter the economy, unable to participate properly or pay taxes without documents,” he added.
“We should look at it and, the truth is, the law already basically allows them an effective amnesty, that’s basically where we have settled now. But we should look at the economic advantages and disadvantages of going ahead with the policy that [Rupa Huq] described, and which I think she and I share,” he concluded.
Migration Watch urged Johnson to drop his amnesty plan and warned that allowing illegal immigrants to receive full benefits and public services would cost taxpayers up to £2.5 billion.
The group also stressed that the PM’s plan will only encourage more migrants to enter the U.K illegally.
The group already launched an online petition urging voters to go against Johnson’s proposal.
Migration Watch chair Alp Mehmet issued the following statement: “Boris Johnson first called for an amnesty for illegal immigrants when he was campaigning to be Mayor of London. With respect to our new Prime Minister, he was wrong then and is wrong now.”