Is it realistic to think people would leave their homes, friends and family, travel halfway around the world, risk their lives and freedom with people smugglers and pay vast sums of money, in order to claim wealthfare like Universal Credit? This kind of message is constantly being pushed, despite the fact that their are not entitled to access this service.
On the whole there is support for some forms of migration. The majority of people take a balanced view of the benefits and costs of migration. And the dominant view is that migration should be allowed only for those who contribute to society. With a strict but fair border control. There is also an issue with sovereignty. People feel we’re no longer in control of our own borders, with our rights being taken over by the EU.
However, there is a discrepancy between people’s perception of immigration and the actual facts. The issue has been defined in terms dictated by the far right. But what’s frightening is that much of the propaganda is being spread by people running this country or politicians and activists closely associated with them. Racism has become Institutionalised within our political parties. While calls for action been ignored. Islamophobia and anti-semetism has become a particular problem in this country. With the majority of people now holding Islamophobic views.
The governments ‘hostile environment’ program is intended to make life difficult for anyone staying here illegally. And involves cutting off vital services such as banking, work, healthcare, renting property etc. As well as well as deportation. But the policy has had a devastating effect on people who have the right to be here as well. Families have been torn apart, made homeless, denied vital services such as healthcare etc. Many British people have been deported. Some to countries they have no contacts, never visited or sometimes not even knowing the language.
The ‘detention centres’ are especially brutal. People are imprisoned without trial and held on an indefinite sentence (only country to do so). This is all happening against a backdrop of increasing racism and bigotry. Whistleblowers are being ignored. While the ‘hostile environment’ program feeds into this.
However, we do seem to be at a turning point. Racist politicians are now being expelled as political parties are owning up to the problem. Action is being taken. Latest surveys shows increasing support for migration. And much of the propaganda is losing its effectiveness. While the anti-racism demo in Cardiff, London and Glasgow this Saturday is likely to produce a record turnout.