I’m happy to present Alex (from Happy Alex)’s half of this week’s theme on immigration. Since we are liberal, we see a different side of the issue of immigration. If you would like to check out Alex’s blog, (I’m sure you’ve you’ve seen it), it is here, and don’t forget to read my installment!
Let my rambling and link sharing cease, and let Alex’s opinion begin:
In our mostly white and privileged society we seem to have become afraid of immigration. And this isn’t surprising when terms such as ‘illegal immigrant’ are so often thrown around in the media. And whilst we have been wrapped up in this demonization and western patriotism we seem to have forgotten that immigration isn’t really a bad thing at all.
Of course, there is a large amount of immigration in the UK, but is seems that in areas where there isn’t actually a problem at all, people still thinks it’s a huge issue. Out of all immigrants Muslims seem to face the biggest amount of prejudice, due to the wrong and sickening association to terrorism. People seem to focus on a person of colour instantly and I think because there’s such a focus, people are under the illusion that there are more Muslims in their country than there actually is.
In a survey done in the UK it was estimated by those who took the survey that the percentage of muslims in the UK was 21%, whilst it is actually only 5%.
In America, those surveyed also overestimated the proportion of Muslims in the USA, guessing it was 15% when it is actually only 1%.
(survey by Ipsos, source The Guardian)
But the thing is, we DESPERATELY NEED IMMIGRANTS FOR OUR ECONOMY. A huge percentage of workers in the NHS are immigrants and most immigrants are young people who are willing to start at the bottom, doing low paid jobs e.g. cleaners that many British citizens would turn their noses up at. In terms of unemployment, immigrants are amongst those who are struggling to get a job and it is infact much more difficult for immigrants to get a job, as applicants born in the UK are always considered first, even if they have a worse skillset than the immigrant applying for the job in the first place. Life is not easy for the vast majority of immigrants and the government do all they can to make it even harder.
When talking about immigration we seem to not attach real people to the situation, but an imaginary figure of a crime committing villain portrayed in the media that speaks for all immigrants. When in reality, the percentage of illegal immigrants is tiny compared to the majority that work. As a society we blame all our problems on these alienated human beings, but forget to thank them for all their benefits, as we tuck into our Tikka Masala from the Indian take-away. We are a society that judge everything by personal gain and in the process of panic and greed, we have forgotten that many immigrants are fleeing conflict or poverty and are fully prepared to give something back to the country that has sheltered them. I think many people are afraid of immigration, because deep down a multicultural society makes them uncomfortable, when really they experience the benefits everyday. Just because someone has a different accent than you, or wears different clothes or eats different foods does not make them any less important or entitled to respect and safety than yourself and your own family.
Thank you so much for reading,