Soon after taking the new position as Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has drawn the anger of many right-leaning members in his party by opening up new potential opportunities for immigrants in the UK.
According to recent reports, Boris may be offering an amnesty for up to 500,000 illegal immigrants in the UK. Additionally, he has confirmed that he plans to scrap the net migration target that was put in place by Theresa May. This target aimed to keep UK work permits to a minimum and reduce Immigration in the UK to 100,000 people a year.
The Prime Minister said that he wasn't interested in playing a numbers game with UK visas going forward. Some people have responded positively to this announcement. CBI Chief UK policy director Matthew Fell said that it makes sense to scrap the migration target, as it simply hasn't worked up until now. However, other government officials have remained highly sceptical. The head of the anti-immigration think tank, Migration Watch, Alp Mehmet, said that amnesty for illegal immigrants should be ignored completely.
Johnson has also revealed that he is a proponent of the points-based immigration system similar to the one that is used in Australia. This system would require applicants for UK visas to score a certain number of points to be allowed into the UK. These points would be delivered based on personal and professional characteristics belonging to each immigrant. A new scheme like this would require a lot of strict new requirements. However, Johnson publicly endorsed the idea in June, saying that he believes it's important to allow migration in the UK, but only if a careful strategy is in place.
Currently, anti-migration campaigners think that Boris's plans are extremely thin when it comes to detail. It remains to be seen whether the promises that Johnson makes around UK visas appeal to the masses or not in the lead up to Brexit.