Damian Green, British immigration minister says only “the brightest and the best” immigrants will be admitted

Britain’s Conservative immigration minister, Damian Green, has said immigrants coming to the United Kingdom should be able to earn at least £31,000. This includes non-EU spouses of Britons, the BBC reported.

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Conservatives topped the 2010 parliamentary elections partly on a platform of reducing immigration. The country saw a quarter million immigrants enter in 2010, and Conservatives hope to cut the number down to the “tens of thousands," a figure last seen in the 1990s.

Green said a report by the Migration Advisory Committee said "there were up to 23 fewer jobs for British workers for every additional 100 working migrants coming from outside the EU."

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The immigration changes are not universally popular in England, however. The Guardian called the Conservative policy one in which “only the right kind of migrants” will be admitted, and one that would disqualify half of the UK’s working class fro bringing in spouses. Green said he hopes to attract “the brightest and the best.”

“We will end the assumption that settlement is an option for all those who come to work," he said. 

The New Statesman, a left-leaning British magazine, summarized its views of the government's new policy: "…if you're a wealthy migrant, you can come, you can stay as long as you like; if you're a wealthy resident, you can marry whoever you like; but for everyone else, it is going to get much more difficult."

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