Immigration, over the last year, has dropped by 43% as a result of Brexit according to a recent report by the BBC on Net Migration figures. There is often confusion over what exactly being an immigrant means. The BBC defines an immigrant as someone who intends to stay in the UK for more than 12 months, whereas an emigrant is someone who intends to stay for less than 12 months.
But what is the reason for these people to immigrate here? Many people who immigrate here are just looking for better jobs in order to sustain their families. Britain offers many well paid jobs in comparison to other countries, therefore people would get much more money; hundreds maybe even thousands of pounds more here! But how many people, being offered the chance, would take it?
There is a common belief, often perpetuated by the media and Hollywood films, that immigrants only come from Eastern countries e.g. Syria, Iran or Tunisia. A recent study shows that the main-stream immigrants all come from European countries! The study shows that over half of the people that have immigrated to the UK over the last couple of years have been mainly European, approximately 50%! These countries include France, Ireland and Germany. The amount of people moving to Britain from Romania has increased to 50,000, significantly more than any other country.
Knowing this goes against many peoples prejudices as it clearly states that immigration isn’t caused by wars in Syria, but mainly because of lack of jobs in these immigrants’ native countries. ‘Immigration’ is sometimes seen as a bad word. Many people hear ‘immigrant’ and instantly associate it with wars and Syria. This now causes many problems for immigrants, or people descended from immigrants.
In an interview with a local 13 year old schoolboy, whose family immigrated to Wales some years ago, he reflected on his experience:
How has coming from a family that immigrated changed your school life?
“It has changed my life, the education I receive is of a higher standard than that of my own country…pupils behave differently around me.”
Do you get discriminated against because of your heritage?
“I get made fun of a lot due to being a descendant of an immigrant.”
Do you take pride in the struggles that your parents must have taken to be here?
“I do, because I receive better education and a better quality of life…I believe that the struggles of my parents are worth it.”
Do you think action needs to be taken on tackling discrimination against immigrants?
“I do think action needs to be taken because it is very depressing listening to people discriminating against me constantly”
Do you think that people need to be more open-minded towards immigrants?
“I do think people need to be more open minded as we need to understand their circumstances and need to understand that life cannot go their way all the time. ”
Many immigrants are prone to discrimination and tend to be victims of hate crimes. A young girl named Zainab Talat Mir was verbally abused on the tube in London. “A lady stood up, she pointed at me and she said “you’re the reason our country is terrorised,” and she just got off the train. the woman reportedly ran off the train as soon as the crime occurred, in order to avoid persecution. Many victims have complained to their local police about their attacks, stating that since their arrival in Britain they have been subject to victimisation of all kinds on numerous occasions. Statistically hate crimes in both England and Wales by 29%. In 2016 and 2017 alone 77% of all crimes were classified as ‘hate crimes’. One woman (anonymous) complained about a man vandalizing her shop, “…someone spray-painted ‘GO HOME’ on my shop window”.
“There’s too many people from other countries living here and living off us,” said Conservative Ben Bradley. Many people would argue that these immigrants will take up our country and our products, but what people must understand is that half of the products we use as a nation aren’t even produced in Britain. Our cars are from Germany (manufactured in Wolfsburg), our bananas are from America (Bananas from Latin America dominate fruit imports), even our chocolate is from the Americas! Citizens of Britain cannot claim to own ‘our’ countries when we do not let ourselves evolve and change our prejudices!
Sadly the stories only get worse and worse for immigrants, some people speak of verbal abuse whilst others are murdered in cold blood just because of their ethnicity! The best way to fix this may be to educate children through school talks and social gatherings. As citizens of Britain, how can Britain be made into a fair country? Should it also be stricter in our regulations of hate crimes? How do you solve and penetrate the ongoing problem, which is discrimination. More and more people are being attacked and/or being discriminated against, because of their race, religion and/or heritage.
The immigrants are the real victims in the battle against discrimination, but how can our government truly solve an unsolvable issue, without causing mayhem? We’ll just have to wait and see.