Our immigration needs an overhaul, says MP Nadine Dorries

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This week we learn that the Government is still not deporting enough foreign criminals once they have served their sentences in prison.

Years following the revelation that the Labour government had been allowing foreign criminals free to roam our streets the Coalition has not done nearly enough to ensure that our country is kept safe from this menace.

Not removing criminals already inside the country is only one part of the problem. Thanks to the open borders we have with the EU we are also letting far too many of them into the country in the first place. It is simply outrageous that we have almost no rules in place to screen and block the entrance of criminals from other European countries.

Why should any criminal have the right to live in our country away from the eyes of the police in the country where they have committed the offences? The free movement of labour does not mean we have to put our safety at risk by allowing foreign law-breakers to roam our streets unchecked.

I believe that the time has arrived to completely overhaul our immigration system. We are allowing in huge numbers of unskilled workers from Eastern Europe while at the same time turning away skilled migrants from the Commonwealth. Often these are people with close family ties to Britain or have education and training that we need to drive our economy forward.

In the ten years I have been your MP I have always championed tighter controls at our borders, a medical insurance requirement for EU migrants and fewer benefit entitlements. The current situation is not actually an even-footing because other EU governments already have these criteria in place for British people moving to live and work there.

Sound economic policies for the last four years have seen the economic recovery finally take hold, but we cannot put that recovery at risk. Our rising population, much of it due to unchecked immigration, has seen the NHS stretched and our classrooms full to bursting. We need skilled migrants, not open borders, to both keep our streets safe and create a hi-tech, high growth economy.