British citizenship has been granted to one million foreign nationals since Labour came to power in 1997, official figures showed yesterday.
More than 150,000 obtained a passport in 2006 - taking the total to around 1,020,000 since Tony Blair took office.
About half of the new citizens were people who qualified through being resident in the country for five years or more and 20 per cent became British through marriage. The remainder were mainly dependant children.
The number of new citizens in 2006 was still higher than in any other year - and four times the number granted a passport in 1997. The rate of overseas settlement in Britain is the highest ever.
In the late 1960s, about 75,000 a year were accepted for citizenship but this fell to about 50,000 after new laws were introduced in 1971.
For about 25 years the figure remained near or below this level, falling to 37,000 in 1997. Since then, there has been a spectacular increase.
The scale of new settlements is a principal cause of the increase in the population, which is expected to grow by five million by 2020.
Sir Andrew Green, the chairman of Migrationwatch UK, said passing one million new citizens since 1997 was a watershed for government policy. "This total does not even include the latest wave of east Europeans," he said.
Opinion polls consistently show that immigration is seen as the most important issue facing the country, with more than half of voters placing it higher than health or education on a list of concerns.
And yet neither Labour, nor the Cameron Tories, nor the Lib Dems seem prepared even to talk about it, still less to actually do anything. The British people are apparently expected to embrace their own destruction without one MP raising his voice in opposition to this. It is surely unprecedented in any society, still less in an ostensible democracy, for the political class to completely and utterly avoid mentioning what is by far the most important issue in the minds of most people.