Morning Call: pick of the papers

The ten must-read pieces from this morning’s papers.

1. Osama Bin Laden's death: the US patriot reflex (Guardian)

Given 9/11, a desire for vengeance is a legitimate emotional response, says Gary Younge. But it is not a foreign policy.

2. Bin Laden is more dangerous dead than alive (Times) (£)

Ed Husain says that it was right to remove this enemy. But it would be wrong to think that his demise has weakened the jihadists.

3. Security chiefs must end Pakistan's duplicity (Financial Times)

Osama Bin Laden's death gives Islamabad an opportunity to fix much that is wrong, writes Mansoor Ijaz.

4. Pakistan and Osama Bin Laden: how the west was conned (Daily Telegraph)

The ISI and its covert support for Islamist terrorism must be confronted, argues Praveen Swami.

5. For ten years Osama Bin Laden filled a gap left by the Soviet Union. Who will be the baddie now? (Guardian)

Adam Curtis says that neoconservatives, "terror journalists" and Osama Bin Laden himself all had their own reasons to create a simple story of looming apocalypse.

6. There has been pain but we were right to fight (Times) (£)

What is happening across the Arab world shows that al-Qaeda has failed spectacularly, says Jack Straw.

7. Just say Yes to voting reform (Independent)

As the polls point to a substantial lead for the No campaign, says this editorial, there are still 24 hours left to change the system.

8. Nick Clegg is out of his depth – and David Cameron should let him sink (Daily Telegraph)

The Tories' bargaining power in the coalition will increase after tomorrow's elections, Simon Heffer predicts.

9. Ian Tomlinson verdict: the people defer no more (Guardian)

The Tomlinson jury showed how completely public views of the police have changed, says Duncan Campbell.

10. Chances are better now of the US fixing its deficit (Independent)

There is, after any memorable event, an immediate instinct to look for economic and financial consequences, says Hamish McRae.

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Today's immigration figures show why the net migration target should be scrapped

We should measure different types of migration separately and set targets that reflect their true impact.

Today’s net migration figures show, once again, that the government has raised expectations of tackling migration and failed to deliver. This is a recipe for disaster. Today’s numbers run far in excess of 300,000 – three times over what was pledged. These figures don’t yet reflect the fallout from Brexit. But they do show the government needs to change from business as usual.

It has been the current strategy, after all, that led the British public to reject the European Union regardless of the economic risks. And in the process, it is leading the government to do things which err on the side of madness. Like kicking out international students with degrees in IT, engineering or as soon as they finish their degrees. Or doubling the threshold for investor visas, and in the process bringing down the number of people willing to come to Britain to set up business and create jobs by 82 per cent. Moreover, it has hampered the UK’s ability to step up during last year’s refugee crisis - last year Britain received 60 asylum applications per 1,000 people in contrast to Sweden’s 1,667, Germany’s 587 and an EU average of 260.

The EU referendum should mark the end for business as usual. The aim should be to transition to a system whose success is gauged not on the crude basis of whether overall migration comes down, irrespective of the repercussions, but on the basis of whether those who are coming are helping Britain achieve its strategic objectives. So if there is evidence that certain forms of migration are impacting on the wages of the low paid then it is perfectly legitimate for government to put in place controls. Conversely, where flows help build prosperity, then seeing greater numbers should surely be an option.

Approaching immigration policy in this way would go with the grain of public opinion. The evidence clearly tells us that the public holds diverse views on different types of migration. Very few people are concerned about investors coming from abroad to set up companies, create jobs and growth. Few are worried about students paying to study at British universities. On the other hand, low-skilled migration causes concerns of under-cutting among the low paid and pressure on public services in parts of the country that are already struggling.

The first step in a new approach to managing migration has to be to abolish the net migration target. Rather than looking at migration in the aggregate, the aim should be to measure different types of migration separately and set targets that reflect their true impact. In the first instance, this could be as simple as separating low and high skilled migration but in the long term it could involve looking at all different forms of migration. A more ambitious strategy would be to separate the different types of migration - not just those coming to work but also those arriving as refugees, to study or be reunited with their families.

Dividing different flows would not only create space for an immigration policy which was strategic. It would also enable a better national conversation, one which could take full account of the complex trade-offs involved in immigration policy: How do we attract talent to the UK without also letting conditions for British workers suffer? Should the right to a family life override concerns about poor integration? How do we avoiding choking off employers who struggle to recruit nationally? Ultimately, are we prepared to pay those costs?

Immigration is a tough issue for politicians. It involves huge trade-offs. But the net migration target obscures this fact. Separating out different types of immigration allows the government to sell the benefits of welcoming students, the highly skilled and those who wish to invest without having to tell those concerned about low skilled immigration that they are wrong.

Getting rid of the net migration target is politically possible but only if it is done alongside new and better targets for different areas of inward migration – particularly the low-skilled. If it is, then not only does it allow for better targeted policy that will help appease those most vocally against immigration, it also allows for a better national conversation. Now is the time for a new, honest and better approach to how we reduce immigration.

Phoebe Griffith is Associate Director for Migration, Integration and Communities at IPPR