Monday 3 January 2011

I Love Immigrants?

I've just been invited to join a group called 'I Love Immigrants' on Facebook...

This group says they are "a place for people who welcome immigrants and believe they contribute positively to Britain" which sounds well and good and clearly, as an immigrant, I would seem a likely candidate to be one who might "love" immigrants, but I have graciously declined the offer to join this group.

In addition to this invitation, due to the major changes taking place re: UK immigration regulations, I have been asked many times to sign petitions and write letters to my MP to urge them to keep paths of immigration open. I have rejected those requests as well and am feeling strangely guilty about not feeling guilty.  Even though I am an immigrant, I am of the opinion that immigration is not a right or even a privilege which can practically be extended to everyone who wishes to live in the UK and that restrictions are necessary.

I feel increasingly uncomfortable that as an immigrant, I am somehow expected to be an advocate for other immigrants.   Surely, I am not the only one who feels this way?  Or am I....?


  1. Hmmm, that's a lot to think about. It is hard to respond without the lens of US immigration. I don't think of myself an immigrant, just aUK resident who can come and go. I think of an immigrant as someone who never moves back to their home country. I think England has similar problems with immigrants as the US yet on a smaller scale - yet as an island, fewer border control problems. I haven't been approached by anyone with petitions, etc. I'll have to chew on this topic a bit more.

  2. No, you're not the only person who feels this way. There was an article in the opinion section of the Irish Times the other day by a woman who felt bullied by Irish immigration in that she couldn't just extend her 3 month visitor visa easily because she 1.) is Irish-American and 2.) has a lot of money. Isn't she the type of person the government wants to visit? All she would have had to do was leave the country and come back to reactivate her visit visa (they're not as strict here as the UK). Sorry, just because you're a rich American doesn't give you the right to dodge the laws. Oh, and everyone in the US seems to be Irish-American. Give it a rest.

  3. Hi, I just found your blog via Laura and I just wanted to say I think you're not alone feeling how you do about this. I'm originally from Australia, and I think there are problems there that can be likened to the issues in the UK and perhaps the US. I would probably take a similar stance to you if was I requested to sign petitions.
    I think immigration control is important. Throwing open the borders is simply not feasible, but equally there should be channels via which people can legitimately come to live in this country. To my mind control or restrictions are simply about preserving the country's integrity so that the people who are here can find jobs, access public services when needed and so on and so forth. (My father is English which is what allows me to be here). If I ever suggest that control is importhat, I inevitably have to justify myself because there is always someone who will say I am an immigrant (I think it's my accent gives me away :) ).
    I feel that any immigrant who is here legitimately and has gone through the immigration process of obtaining visas etc should be able to say that those wishing to immigrate after should also go through the same process.
    Anyway, that's my two cents (pence) worth :)) Will try and comment a little more lightly next time - Melissa

  4. Hi Melissa - thank you for taking the time to comment. It is a definetely a strange issue with a lot of expats I have spoken to.. glad to see I am not the only one who has taken a less popular, less politically correct stance :)

  5. You are not alone.

    I don't think I have met many people yet who are not opposed to the huge volume of immigration coming to the UK - except immigrants from third world countries who feel hostile to any indication that some of them may not be able to emigrate to the UK anymore.

    It is not that the Brits don't like immigrants. They do like them, and they do sympathize with their argument of wanting to create a better life for themselves. They just don't want SO MANY of them. But truth is mass immigration to the UK is destroying Britain. It destroys everything from their cultural identity, to service sectors, to degrading healthcare quality from immigrant employees and just about anything else imaginable. Only the buildings remain as a reminder of a Britain that is no more. If the British had the same argument about India to justify their stay in India to create a better life for themselves no one would agree. But immigration in the UK has become an invasion and not an immigration.

    In America people have always been used to a multi-identity culture. They don't know life before such a culture. But in countries like the UK the negative impact of immigration is apparent since its quite new and mass immigration has happened in less than one generation. These drastic changes may not be noticeable in America as there is nothing to compare with.


  6. Mark - thanks for your input! You make some very good points.