What are your feelings on immigration, illegal or otherwise? Yes, I realise it’s a contentious subject but it seems to be one that angers many people and I’m at a bit of a loss to really understand why. The media portrayal seems to be that immigration = more crime and less jobs for the indigenous population but is that really the case or the result of our prejudices?
In the UK, people who’ve lived there for years are being deported, in the US Trump wants to build a wall to stop people entering the country. In Italy, they are claiming that their economy is in a state of emergency due to the large numbers of immigrants that the EU have insisted they take. In fact, all over Europe and in the US people are complaining about these ‘foreigners’ who are ruining their way of life, taking their jobs and threatening their sense of security. Why?
I suppose I can understand the problem in the UK, it’s an island and there is limited space, especially in the capital. The NHS is over-burdened and in a state of near collapse and, an additional 250,000+ people arriving in the last year alone is not going to help matters…..unless they work. So, what is the UK doing to encourage new businesses to to open their doors in that green and pleasant land? Taxes are high and extremely complex, people want cheap food and cheap clothes so much of what is for sale is imported from China or India (where people often live in destitution), salaries are low because business expenses are getting higher and higher, especially for insurance and legal costs, and therefore motivation and morale have plummeted.
Even small companies hire law firms just to keep them up to date with the increased burdens caused by a mountain of employment law. Actions by employees are now the responsibility of the employer so, if an employee makes an off colour remark, the business can be sued because they didn’t offer enough “awareness training in matters of equality, diversity or the possibility of unconscious as well as conscious prejudice”.
The welfare state is such that you can spend your whole life living on handouts without too much trouble. Free healthcare is a huge plus for UK residents as it’s so expensive elsewhere in the world but the system is abused; the litigation budget alone is astronomical, running into the tens of billions each year. Everyone is so aware of their ‘rights’ that new ways to sue the State and businesses are being found every day and, with the advent of Social Media people are finding more ways to complain about their ‘unfair treatment’ which results in increased levels of dissatisfaction with their lives and the State.
Dissatisfaction promotes unrest and unrest leads to increased levels of violence, also often attributed to immigrants and yet some studies show that first generation immigrants are less likely to commit crime than second or third generation so that argument doesn’t really stack up. Perhaps by the second generation they’ve had time to become disillusioned and dissatisfied?
What may be a contributing factor is the fact that the media promotes jealousy; the rich and famous are lambasted and adored in the same paragraph. Young people can make millions by posting pictures on Instagram, by setting up YouTube channels, by taking part in reality TV……..and then, once they’re successful they are wholeheartedly criticised by their peers. They’ve gained weight, lost weight, drunk too much, paid too much for their new clothes, worn too much make-up etc. etc, You name it and they’ll be pulled apart for it.
Newspapers will tell us how much people earn, how much they paid for their house; they won’t mention the struggles they may have undergone to find their success or what it cost them mentally or emotionally to get to that position. Rather, the cry is invariably ‘it’s not fair’. We have a new generation that screams persecution and discrimination at the drop of a hat because they are not given the ‘respect’ that they demand; long gone are the days when respect was something that we earned! All of this has led us to a point where many feel deprived if they are not millionaires by the the time they’re 21 and hatred for those that have ‘made it’. In a nutshell, they want to be people that they despise………
We have become dissatisfied and, if this is true in the UK, it would seem to be doubly true in the US. American cities pay out an average of £1.2 billion each year to people who have sued them for one reason or another. Medical malpractice suits resulted in payouts of around £4 billion in 2018 which means that healthcare insurance is now out of reach for many people. On top of that there are more frivolous lawsuits filed than one could hope to count. Maybe all that began when Stella Liebeck was awarded almost $3 million when she burned herself by knocking over her just purchased cup of McDonald’s coffee?
It seems that pretty much everyone is unhappy about something and they’re quite happy for their lawyers to find someone to blame. So, what happens when half a nation is unhappy? The same thing, they’ll look for someone to blame and what better place to start that someone they don’t know? Immigrants are essentially faceless and they are all bandied together in a big pile labelled ‘trouble’. If there aren’t enough jobs they make the perfect blamehound, if crime levels go up the same applies, if the economy is in trouble well, it must be their fault. The media fuels the fire because it sells and people whip themselves up into a frenzy on social media. Of course, there are many studies which show that crime rates actually haven’t risen but in these days of ‘fake new’ who knows the real truth?
In the case of the US we should also probably consider that millions of families are only third or fourth generation so, in fact, their forefathers were all immigrants. We only have to go back 400 years (roughly 12 generations) to find the very first immigrants on American soil.
Of course, despite that many people will argue that immigrants only take from a country and I suppose that some do but many don’t, many contribute enormously for example: Albert Enstein, Levi Strauss, Joseph Pulitzer, Rupert Murdoch, Oscar de la Renta, Arnold Schwarzenegger….the list goes on and on. Maybe it’s only the illegal immigrants that are the problem? The ones who aren’t ‘approved’ to life in their country of choice? Well that would be Arnold Schwarzenegger out for a start (yes he worked illegally in the US as did Melania Trump apparently!)
What is it that we fear? Are immigrants who can speak English less of a worry for English speaking nations? Are those who have money in their pockets more welcome than those who don’t? Are we scared that somehow our lives will be less as a result of their staying in ‘our’ country?
Maybe it’s their desperation? Whatever it is that drives them to travel thousands of miles, in terrible conditions, knowing that they will risk deportation or imprisonment wherever they finally land. The thing that makes men leave their wives and children and then risk their lives trying to find a place that will accept them and allow them to earn enough money to save their families from starvation. Perhaps we fear that genocide may, in some way be contagious and that the terrible trials visited on millions of suffering people could somehow find a way into our lives?
Perhaps what we fear most is ourselves. The part of us that can find hate in our hearts for people who want all those things that we are so dissatisfied with. Minimum wage instead of $5 a day, an emergency room that they can go to that will actually have the medicine they need, protection from the State rather than persecution, the freedom to speak about politics and current affairs without risking their lives. Do we fear ourselves because they want the things that we take for granted…. want them so much that they are willing to risk death. ……..
Let me know your thoughts, I’d love to hear from you