Outrage has gripped much of the country over the UK’s newest policies to tackle and control the number of illegal immigrants living in the country.
People have talked about how Britain is the “Promised Land”, they have told us that illegal immigrants have struggled and worked themselves to the bone, evading death to come to this country. Thus the recent campaign to encourage them to return home is seen as inhumane.
I see this argument as baseless for several reasons, not least of which is that most of them are people who overstay on their visas or break working restrictions. Most illegal immigrants haven’t evaded death to come here but rather have broken terms they agreed to when they entered the country legally.
As the name suggests, being an illegal immigrant makes you a criminal. I’m sure most will agree criminals should be punished.
As the son of economic migrants to the UK, migrants who pay taxes and contribute to the economy of the UK, I find illegal immigration offensive. It’s safe to assume those living in the country illegally won’t be paying their taxes correctly. Anecdotal evidence would also suggest that much of the money they earn won’t be finding its way back into our economy, as they will be sending it back to their families.
I would by no means suggest that all immigration must stop. Much of what we hold dear in this country simply wouldn’t have been possible without the contributions legal immigrants have made. A concrete example would be the NHS. Due to the nature of society and the media, the actions of these individuals is incredibly detrimental to the image of immigrants as a whole in this country. I think the rich cultural diversity of the UK is one of its strongest features.
Asylum seekers and refugees should be completely exempted from this debate. These are people who have been forced to leave their homelands for fear of death.
Making normal immigration more difficult, however, has been mistaken by some for racism. I think it’s fair to say that Britain is becoming quite densely populated, and with an aging population and a housing crisis we can hardly attack the government for wanting to control the population growth of the country.
It’s unfortunate that the wording of the van uses the phrase “go home”, a short but powerful phrase often thrown at immigrants to the country to show how unwelcome they may be. Hopefully this was due to a lack of space and the issue of not clouding the message.
But the law is not racist. All immigrants from outside the EU face the same procedures to enter the country, so the laws certainly don’t single out a race to discriminate against.
I feel that a strong message must be sent that the UK will not passively sit by and let its laws be broken. Immigration laws were made to protect the country and allow immigrants their rights. Contravening these laws should not go unpunished and encouraging those who are here illegally from returning is the best and most cost-effective way to regain control of our population crisis.