There seems to be an idea that asylum seekers come to the UK bent on the idea of stealing jobs and lounging about on benefits while the rest of us go out to work. That an invasion of foreign people is putting Britain at risk; that a wave of migrants is pouring into the country stealing jobs, sponging off tax payers money and undermining ‘Britishness’.
People don’t seem to realise that immigrants come to the UK for a chance to lead a better life, and sometimes to flee persecution. These people are not criminals, they are doing what is necessary to carry on living, and they are not worthless.
Many asylum seekers are highly skilled and can make valuable contributions to British society – we just need to give them a chance. As one of the richest countries in the world, a country that prides it self on freedom of speech – a democratic multi-cultural society – we should welcome them.
Those who boast of ‘a Great British society’ are perhaps not looking closely enough at what’s going on.
Our society is one where certain religious groups are feared and distrusted; where the police and government will actively prejudge members of those groups, and accuse them of being terrorists; where right-wing political parties like the British National Party (BNP) see themselves as representatives of the true Britain, taking racist stances on issues like immigration, and worryingly, winning three seats in the last General Election.
The number of British citizens who chose to leave Britain permanently in 2014 was 139,000, making up 43% of people who emigrated. That’s more than 2,000 people leaving every week.
With such a high rate of emigration, we need immigration just to balance the population. The only real problem with immigration is in the attitudes of individuals. We need to stop imagining immigration will lead to the downfall of all that is good about Britain.
We can’t just sit and rant, or violently lash out against somebody just because we don’t see him or her as being British.
We know from the past what the notion of a superior race can result in. There is no superior race, we’re all just people who deserve to be treated the same.
We can still maintain ‘British values’, but we should accept immigration as a positive contribution to an already diverse population of people, and as something that can truly help make Britain a better place to be.