‘go home’ is not an immigration policy

The Guardian’s recent news story on the immigration bill by UK home secretary Theresa May has drawn 1000+ comments in 36 hours.

It’s clear that I care deeply about immigration policy and political rhetoric around immigration and integration. I draw this conclusion based on two facts:

  1. The rate at and length to which I comment on the topic whenever it crops up in the news or conversations
  2. The ease awith which I accomplish 1.

Now back to that particular bill. Why is Theresa May sowing fear and distrust when she should be working towards creating socially inclusive and cohesive communities instead? A prosperous society is open and welcoming, not fearful of foreigners. Because make no mistake: this bill will make Britain a “hostile environment” all right – for everyone, not just illegal immigrants.

Theresa May has a particularly nasty ‘DEPORT THEM ALL!’ kind of air about her. No one could accuse her of being a compassionate, loving or kindhearted human being after reading her bills or listening to her on the subject. I’m not saying we should all just be laissez faire about illegal immigration, but her approach is so hateful. This reflects her campaign a few months ago with the “GO HOME” posters, which, like this bill, targets illegal immigrants but affects everyone (I think non-white British citizens will especially feel the sting). The discrimination potential is mindboggling.

As for whether or not this bill is justified, she “declined to give any estimate of the scale of “health tourism”” – because it is not big enough of an issue to justify this fearmongering.

I am not saying everything would be fantastic and all problems can be solved if only we removed all barriers to immigration. I am also not saying that illegal immigration doesn’t cause some problems. What I am saying is that illegal immigrants provide an extremely easy scapegoat for societal problems, many of which have root causes elsewhere.

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