Should UK immigration go Dutch?
Are the Dutch handling immigration more efficiently than the British? UK Immigration Minister Phil Woolas thinks so – he has condemned the UK’s migration limits and asylum policy and praised Dutch measures.
Here BBC News reporters Dominic Casciani and Laurence Peter look at the UK and Dutch systems, respectively.
The UK’s immigration system has faced massive upheavals and change over the past decade – and it remains a touchy subject on voters’ doorsteps.
The old migration system was basically a mess – and an open invitation to abuse, chaos, haphazard decision-making and unfair treatment.
There were too many entry routes, no proper system for counting who came and went – and no guaranteed means of working out what happened to people who stayed.
What made matters politically far worse for the government was the huge surge in asylum applications in the late 1990s.