Loose or tough immigration policy?

Aziz Sheikhani

By Aziz Sheikhani:

Migration is one of the most controversial issues that has received wide attention globally. The question is about the future of those states that people want to migrate to and also about migration as a source of chance and fear.

The number of migrants has grown continually because of different factors, such as political, social, economic, technological and environmental changes. There are some states that attract people from different corners of the world and others that produce millions of migrants, for a variety of reasons.

The United Kingdom is one of those countries to which many people migrate yearly. The increase of migrants in this country, particularly during the economic crisis in Europe, has sparked harsh debate and criticism. Under the shadow of austerity, the focus now is only on the negative side of people moving to the UK.  But migration has both positive and negative sides.

There is no doubt that migrants come from different societies, and thus their experiences of moving to and adopting a new country and culture differ. This process challenges the UK, because their living requires a lot of capacities. For instance, asylum seekers, refugees and their families need more resources. In addition, illegal migrants and paperless people, regardless of their suffering from inhumane situations, are not a positive factor for the future of the country.

The immigration policy of the UK was, until recently, one of the most flexible among those states that people wanted to move to. As a result of this open policy towards migrants, the country has gained a lot of benefits. However, some political parties and politicians argue that the policy has caused limitless difficulties for the present and future of British society. It was said that the policy of the UK towards immigrants was looser than other states. Therefore, according to this view, it needed to be updated and more suited to today’s requirements.

Migration as a global phenomenon, has no simple solution. The world is full of inequalities that affect migration. The politicians and other groups in the UK, like other societies, have tried to project a tough image. But in moving from a loose policy to a tougher, one might override the middle way that preserves a better balance in society. It is usual that, during difficult times, people try to look for the ‘guilty’. During hard competition amongst the political parties, the blaming of immigrants is a piece of cake. This approach can be part of the lobbying by politicians to gain more votes. In fact, however, the immigrants are not factors behind the economic crisis.

The people of this country and their future cannot be in the hands of the political game and its players. History has indicated that it is the people who ultimately pay the price of wrong policies of political parties and politicians. The reality – compared to the written, interpreted words and concepts – is different.  The openness of the UK to immigrants had been a remarkable resource even though there were some painful areas. The opposition of politicians, political parties and other groups towards migrants seems more of a reaction than a clear plan and strategy. The problem is that they do not want to see the reality.

Withdrawal from the EU and blaming others will not solve the current economic, political and social problems. From the viewpoint of some politicians, the UK can return to the past powerful position, that it had nationally, regionally and internationally, and a more stable economy. However, the time has changed and the UK and the world cannot be returned to earlier decades. Hence, it cannot force the nature of time and sense, because its consequences may be worse.

The reinterpretation of the immigration policy and resolving of its related problems is reasonable and necessary. The future of migration requires a wide, in-depth investigation and well-designed strategy. Careful and logical managed migration is needed and it is a positive for economic progress. Fundamental, right-wing, pure national and emotional policy does not provide a practical solution to the current questions.

Finally, it must be emphasised that immigrants have an obligation. The question is not only about a right to have and get for their own benefit. They should bear responsibility and try to appreciate the society and land in which they live. Learning the language is the main key to building an equal relationship with the natives. Keeping a radical religious policy is not useful because it can double the problems and make a wall of mistrust higher. In addition, a lack of balance in relationships with natives affects the next generation.

It is not easy to compensate for losses in society and prevention is better than cure. Moreover, it is vital to realise that the UK and any other state need others. Isolation of oneself does not lead to success in the world.

Aziz Sheikhani is a doctoral candidate from Finland (university of Tampere). His doctoral paper is on “why the Kurds do not have their own state? Events that changed the destiny of the Kurds, 1916-26”.

Copyright © 2013 Kurdistantribune.com

2 Responses to Loose or tough immigration policy?
  1. kuvan
    June 6, 2013 | 15:47

    There are many challenges and barriers for immigrants to adopt to a new culture and society such as language ,religion and culture and in general the different mentality. Young immigrant usually have less challenge and problems adopting to the new country ,new lifestyle ,new culture and society they move into.Old immigrant or at least those who are above the age of 20 have a hard time to completely integrate and adopt to a new society.So the country who open their doors to immigrants would be better off if they accept young immigrants rather than old one unless they move in with their family and children.In general old immigrant can not be adopted and completely integrated to the new environment or society at all.So they should be understood and should not be expected , pressured ,bullied to integrate and adopt to the new society.

  2. Lorenzo Garcia
    June 7, 2013 | 09:15

    In Germany right now with a poluation decreasing, there are many immigrants who are coming to Germany and are better educated than young germans. There are coming from India, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Ireland, Spain etc.
    It is obvious than educated Young people who do not fine proper jobs in their countries are welcome in ageing Europé.
    The other immigrants with no education and a cultural gap are in disadvantadge.
    People who can not read, have no professional education etc have problems in Europé and elsewhere.
    So now, when you see the consequences of war or internal wars resulting in young people not been educated what are the chances for a decent live? I am talking about Iraq and Syria

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