A coalition of public figures has been formed to support some modest measures to pull back the numbers. The leaders of this coalition include former Labour Minister Frank Field, Tory MP Nicholas Soames and former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey.
The proposed reforms are low-key: they would not limit refugee numbers, they would not limit immigration via marriage, they would not limit immigration from within the European Union and they would not limit temporary economic migration. The only change is that there would be a cap placed on the number of permanent economic migrants.
Even these modest proposals, though, drew a predictable response from some. Jill Rutter, a spokeswoman for a "progressive" think tank, said:
We need to make migration work for Britain, rather than play to xenophobic sentiments.
So even the most minor of limits placed on open borders still strikes Jill Rutter as "xenophobic". Clearly the word has lost all meaning.
The irony is that the reform proposals are being supported not only by a range of public figures from both the left and right, but also from ethnic minorities. A leading Muslim politician, Lord Ahmed, supports the reforms as do 75% of those from ethnic minority groups in the UK.
In fact, support for a reduction in immigration is overwhelming at the moment. 81% of Labour voters and 89% of Tory voters support a substantial reduction in immigrant numbers.
As for "making migration work for Britain", there's an interesting article here on the economic results of the immigration surge over the past decade. It turns out that shortages in the labour market have increased over that time, due to extra demand being generated; therefore, rather than filling labour shortages in the economy, the wave of migration has worsened the problem.
At the same time, because employers have had access to overseas workers there has been less need to train locals; there are now 500,000 unemployed 18 to 24-year-olds.
As I mentioned, the reforms don't go very far and they have already been rejected by the Labour Party; nonetheless, it's encouraging to see a range of public figures, including trade union leaders, economists and academics, step forward to present an alternative to the current open borders policy.