Should the UK Government Enforce Stricter Border Control?

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There can't be many who haven't seen the TV news reports from France showing images of people from various parts of the world sitting in makeshift camps near Calais whilst waiting for their chance to get into Britain.
Tired and dishevelled, many have travelled great distances to reach the coast; only the English Channel prevents them from reaching their ultimate goal.

This though is the ugly side of immigration as most of these would-be visitors are trying to enter the country illegally and the news reports only add to the fears of a population who see their government sitting back and doing nothing to stem or control what appears to be an endless tide of people waiting to reach UK shores.

A large proportion of British people are also under the impression that all immigrants automatically receive handouts as soon as they arrive; this is not the case, but again, media reports tend to focus on stories about those who come here wanting something for nothing, leaving genuine immigrants to be viewed with suspicion by those unable or unwilling to make the distinction between types.

Welcome Visitors
One of the main problems with media reports is that stories concerning illegal immigrants are obviously far more newsworthy and likely to provoke a public response than the experiences of those who come to the UK holding valid visas, and who are prepared to work hard to integrate and make their new lives a success.

History shows us that immigration can be a good thing for the UK. One example is that of the first Asian immigrants to Britain whose descendants are now third generation and who have achieved a happy balance between the British way of life and their own cultural traditions. This obviously didn't happen overnight and nor was it easy for them. To make the UK their home, those original immigrants had to face and overcome prejudice and hostility that to be fair was perhaps born more of ignorance and uncertainty than out-and-out racism.

Racism and Intolerance or just Common Sense?
There are groups and individuals who kick up a storm every time the subject of controlled immigration is mentioned. To them, refusing anyone entry into the UK is either a breach of their human rights, racist or both. Unfortunately, they appear to be confusing racism with practicality.

Controlled immigration has nothing whatsoever to do with intolerance or racism; it's strictly down to numbers and available space and the fact that uncontrolled immigration is causing more problems than it solves. Immigrants who want to settle and integrate should be welcomed with open arms; it's not an easy transition for anybody starting a new life in another country regardless of how prepared they might be.

In and Out
It's also worth mentioning that it's not all one-way traffic into the UK. There are large numbers of people leaving the country every month, most of them emigrating themselves, and although the numbers leaving are far less than those arriving, it does illustrate that Britain isn't quite crammed to capacity just yet but there is cause for concern.

Stricter border policies would go some way to reducing the strains currently being placed on organisations such as the heath service, social services and housing authorities, not to mention easing the pressure on the public purse. All of these make a strong argument for stopping immigration completely. However, should that happen, the real tragedy would be denying those genuine immigrants the opportunities that the rest of the population takes for granted.

Should the UK Government Enforce Stricter Border Control?
So, should the Government enforce stricter border control? It's up to each individual to answer that question according to what they believe. The UK has long been seen as an extremely tolerant country with a welcome for anyone who wants to make it their home, and that's a good thing.

However, what has soured the minds of the population is not immigration itself, but the massive amounts of money, free healthcare, housing and other benefits accorded to those who are not genuine immigrants such as bogus refugees and failed asylum seekers. For that reason alone, controlled immigration would be a good thing, but stopping immigration altogether would be a great loss to what is now a truly multi-racial country.

Monika Jablecka is an OISC Registered Consultant and co-founder of Migra & Co, a specialist Immigration company offering UK visa advice and solutions to both private and corporate clients. Monika's extensive experience and specialist knowledge has seen her become one of the foremost authorities on UK immigration law and procedures. She can be contacted at

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