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UK PM vows to ‘clamp down’ on migrants amid Tory anger over record-high immigration

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has vowed to "clamp down" on immigration as he faces a backlash from senior members of his own party over his weak past performance to reduce the record numbers of people immigrating to the UK.

“There is obviously a lot more to do and that’s why we need to take action," Sunak said in regard to his anti-immigration stance in an interview with the Mail on Sunday.

He claimed the current immigration laws were being abused and by imposing tougher restrictions he wanted to give people the sense that he was determined to bring down the number of legal migrations to the UK.

“As we go over them, as we see other areas of abuse, we won’t hesitate to take action and clamp down,” Sunak insisted.

In this regard, Sunak's immigration minister, Robert Jenrick, has devised a radical plan designed to appease calls from rightwing Tories for the government to take action.

Jenrick's plan  includes proposals to scrap the shortage occupation list, a program that allows foreign workers to be paid 20 percent below the going rate in jobs where there is a shortage of skilled workers.

The government’s migration advisory committee has already recommended the abolition of the shortage occupation list amid fears that it is being used to bring cheap workers from abroad to the UK.

Meanwhile, speaking during a visit to a Nissan plant in Sunderland, Sunak said: "I'm very clear that the levels of migration are too high and they've got to come down to more sustainable levels. I've been clear about that.”

He insisted the government was already taking action, pointing to his clamp down on foreign students bringing dependents with them.

"That action I took represents the single toughest measure that anyone has taken to bring down the levels of legal migration in a very long time," he said.

The UK government has also toughened the restrictions for asylum-seekers across the country.

Every year, thousands of asylum-seekers travel to Britain on small dinghies, risking their lives to cross the English Channel. Now, more than 50,000 of these desperate people are living in hotels waiting for the result of their asylum claims.

According to government figures, nearly 46,000 asylum-seekers made the dangerous crossing from France to Britain last year. The number so far this year stands at nearly 15,000.

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