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Finding the ‘right’ migrant

12 July 2012 07:30 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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THE Olympic and Paraolympic Games are just around the corner and the United Kingdom is getting ready to host thousands of tourists from all corners of the globe.
 
But the first ‘green’ Games spectacular that will be held in the heart of the beautiful city of London, will also see many so-called tourists taking advantage of the Games and sneeking in for a more ‘permanent stay’.
 
While there’s an air of excitement. there is also genuine cause for worry. As the opening day approaches, the British government is worried about the flow of people into the country that is already home to millions of immigrants. The immigration halls are already getting choked with people at Heathrow airport posing a much-feared possibility for the UK: foreigners flooding the country with no plan to exit. Thus, to put the situation under control, the Minister for Border Security has given strict orders to fully staff immigration counters and strictly oversee the movement of people.
 
The current Conservative government has openly spoken against the former Labour government’s policy of relaxing immigration laws, which led to the influx of over 700,000 Eastern European over the past decade. In a flagging economy that almost reached the tipping point, the British government is deeply concerned that foreign workers — particularly low-paid working class immigrants — will takeover scarce jobs and worsen the economic prospects for the native working class. Its aim now is clear: allow only the ‘right type’ of immigrants into the country. And this ‘right type’ of immigrant will be one who can earn more than £40,000 annually and be ‘culturally attuned’ with British heritage. This can only mean that all prospective immigrants will be tested on their knowledge of British history and culture. They must know who William Shakespeare and Margaret Thatcher are and also be aware that Britain has historically been a Christian country.
 
The British government is justifiably concerned about the permanent movement of people to the UK. The number of immigrants coming into the country to make it their home has far exceeded government estimates; the influx of 252,000 in 2010 sharply exceeded expectations of 13,000 a year. However, the government’s criterion for determining eligibility for immigration appears to seriously discriminate against low earning groups. And this means that these migrants who slog it out in Britain for a better life will no longer have the privilege of bringing their families into the country. This is rather disheartening because the UK, like the US, has always been a land of opportunities for South Asians for decades. Immigrant taxi drivers and shop owners have assimilated in the country and built a bright future for their second and third generations with hard work. But it seems like the UK in the coming decades will no longer be home for the working class people who earn little but dream big.
 
Khaleej Times
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