LONDON, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- International students should be removed from Britain's immigration figures, a report by the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee said Monday.
The all-party committee of politicians called for a major overall of Britain's immigration policy making to help build a greater consensus and trust among the British public about immigration.
Currently official figures give regular figures for net immigration, which is compiled by counting the number of people entering the country and subtracting the numbers leaving in the same period. It takes into account people arriving from European Union member states, non-EU countries and students arriving to study in Britain.
The call for a change in the way the figures are compiled follows a parliament-backed National Conversation on Immigration, involving citizens' panels across the country "
"The government's net migration target of the 'tens of thousands' is not working to build confidence and does not reflect the public's view that different kinds of immigration should be treated differently," the committee concluded.
It called for the net migration target to be replaced by an evidence-based framework for different types of migration taking into account Britain's needs and humanitarian obligations. There should be no national target to restrict the numbers of students coming to Britain, and at a minimum the government should immediately remove students from the current net migration target.
Targets and controls on immigration should be set out in a newly established Annual Migration Report debated in parliament. The annual report would also detail the previous year's migration flows, the economic contribution from migration to Britain, and consideration of the requirements for different regions of the country.
Labour MP Yvette Cooper, who chairs the committee, said: "We need a much more open and honest debate, with sensible reforms to address people's concerns. We are proposing an Annual Migration Report like the Budget each year with proper public consultation and independent advice."
Cooper added that most people think immigration is important for Britain, but they want to know that the system is under control, that people are contributing to this country and that communities and public services are benefiting rather than facing pressures.
"Immigration has always been an important part of our history, economy and culture and will continue to be a crucial policy area for our future. We cannot stress enough how important it is to prevent escalating divisions, polarisation, anger or misinformation on an issue like immigration. To fail to respond risks doing long term damage to the social fabric, economy and politics of our country," added Cooper.