Immigration

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Immigration has always been a sticky issue in British politics with an impact extending into its society and economy. I recall an immigrant from India remarking in lighter vein to my question on why most immigrants opt for the British shores "In the past the Brits were the largest emigrants, they built their colonies everywhere and left the legacy of their language behind, what we are witnessing is a Newtonian reversal aided by the English language". Immigration is not a two sided coin but a prism with multiple sides which each can interpret in his own way. The UK has traditionally been a favoured destination for immigrants from all over the world, knowledge of the English language, UK's friendly immigration laws, friendly people and a strong pound made it an ideal destination. Such a liberal policy brought in a huge influx of immigrants especially from the third world countries which unfortunately brought in the drug traffickers, fugitives, anti-socials, extremists, smugglers and feuding political/religious groups who brought their rivalries and violence into British soil. This was naturally detested by the local people who felt that the government was being needlessly soft on immigrants.


While one may make lofty speeches on many nationalities living as a nation, welcoming the oppressed with an open arm and so on, the plain fact remains that people of any nation feel insecure and uncomfortable if they are swamped by a large number of outsiders regardless of factors like where they are from and for whatever reasons they have come. Bodies like CReAM (Centre for research and analysis of immigrants) may be right in their claim and findings that immigrants contrary to fears have not deprived the locals of their jobs or crowded them out. Studies in fact indicate that an influx of immigrant labour actually helped spur UK's economic growth by 1% in contrast to Germany whose restrictive immigration policy kept growth at half per cent. The fact however to be noted is that Germany is a stronger economic power in the EU than Great Britain.

Immigration may be the passport to economic freedom, escape from oppression and persecution to people in many countries but this per se cannot govern UK's immigration policy, a country's policies are after all for the welfare of its citizens and all other things are secondary. We could voice our concern at injustice, oppression, denial of basic rights or torture in forums like the UN, lay trade restrictions on rogue nations to express our protest, but can we simply take in everyone who has a problem? . The UK is a small island nation with its own resource and space crunch and simply cannot afford to provide homes to a never ending stream of visitors constantly knocking at its doors. Some argue that a restrictive policy may shut out some great talent and knowledge from entering the country, it may be true but it cannot be helped; besides there is no dearth for talent in our own country.


Capitalists and big business owners have a large vested interest in supporting a liberal immigration policy as immigrant labour comes cheap and unquestioning. Let them form their unions and demand for parity of wages and see if big business continues to extend its sympathy and support to them. All things considered it would be better to stem the tide of immigration before it submerges us.

www.newscolony.com

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