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#Capped: Labour will introduce cap on non-EU workers

Labour leader Ed Miliband today vowed to not “denigrate” the contribution made by immigrants to Britain and but said his party’s stance on the issue of immigration had changed.

Labour offers a “clear, credible and concrete plan on immigration”, Mr Miliband said but will not make “false promises” on capping migration to the UK. 

“We will deal with people’s concerns because we have listened, we have learned and we have changed”, he told a gathering of Labour supporters in Wales.

The party has long been the default choice of immigrants but has seen its support slip, particularly among British Asian voters angered by the influx of Eastern European migrants under Labour’s last government and how that, in turn, has led to them being targeted by increasingly-severe restrictions on visas and settlement.

Days after visiting the Shri Swaminarayan temple in North London, where he hailed the British Hindu community’s contribution to the UK, Mr Miliband insisted that he would not demean immigrants but instead focus on introducing policies that would address the issue.

The policies – part of a 100-day “action plan” on immigration – will see a strengthening of the UK’s borders, promoting greater integration and clamping down on the exploitation of ethnic minority workers, particularly by businesses within their own communities.

Other measures include full exit checks at airports, an end to the indefinite detention of people in the asylum and immigration system, a ban on EU residents claiming benefits for two years as well as a ban on sending child benefit to families living overseas.

Most crucially from the perspective of the British Asian community, Mr Miliband promised to impose a cap on workers from outside the European Union. 

Mr Miliband said: “As the son of two refugees myself, I will never do anything to denigrate or demean the contribution people who have come to this country have made.

“David Cameron once promised to cut net immigration to tens of thousands – and told us to kick him out of office if he didn’t deliver.  But net migration rose to 298,000 last year.  Nothing damages people’s faith in politics more than broken promises like that – or those he is still making today.

“I will only make promises I can keep. I won’t offer false targets or seek to exploit concerns with the politics of fear.  Instead, I am offering clear, credible and concrete ways of making a real difference.”

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