I am both disappointed and disgusted.
The measure of putting a cap on non-EU immigrants is a ridiculous, useless and blatant xenophobic measure that panders to the far right, who shout and berate that there are too many immigrants here. I am sick of people stating thinly-veiled "concerns" about immigrants coming to the UK, taking "British jobs for British workers"and sponging off the system.
And yet, I am astonished that some people dismiss my concerns because I'm "Canadian". That these draconian measures don't really apply to my circumstances when, in actual fact, they do. These measures limit OUR RIGHTS. We immigrants have just as much as a right to be here as British people. We have struggled and worked VERY hard to move to the UK - be it for work, love of the country, or just love.
And although it is entirely blatant, these measures are, no doubt, an attempt to limit the number of immigrants from places like India, Pakistan, and Asia. The foreign "other". And although not many, I have had people point this out to me; that the British public isn't so much as concerned about Canadians, Americans, and Australians flocking to the UK, so much as people who "can't speak English". As if such an argument would satiate my disgust and rage, when it only magnifies the underlying racist tones.
We need to clear the air on common misconceptions about Non-EU immigrants. So, shall we?
1. WE ARE NOT ALLOWED ANY PUBLIC FUNDS. NONE.
- Even though we (happily) pay taxes and National Insurance, we are not allowed to claim any benefits ever. For example, if I ever lost my job, I could not claim job seekers allowance. If it got REALLY bad and I couldn't pay my rent/ mortgage, I could not claim housing benefits.
So, we pay into the system but CANNOT sponge off it. NOR DO WE EXPECT TO.
2. WE'RE NOT STUPID.
- Although, personally, I'm not a "skilled worker", I'm not stupid either. Many immigrants come here for various reasons and I can attest that most of us have had to work damn hard for it. Filling out UK Home Office forms isn't easy and you probably need a Bachelor's Degree just to make sense of it all. Many of us immigrants have degrees and indeed, we're probably better educated than compared with UK-born folks.
3. MANY NON-EU IMMIGRANTS ARE STUDENTS
- A lot of UK universities depend on international students to pay international tuition fees (around £20, 000). Do you like your free tuition (only applicable in Scotland for Scots)? Yes? Then you better hope the foreigners keep paying those hefty fees.
I am so disheartened by these announcements. Such a knee-jerk measure to a complex issue will draw approval and applause from all the wrong people, who will only confirm that it's a "step in the right direction".
This is a step in the WRONG direction. This is a draconian measure that doesn't make any sense for the economy, businesses, or schools. It isn't right nor is it fair. At the moment, I feel completely driven and utterly powerless. In a way, I feel the need to stand up for us immigrants because who else will?
And yet, how can you calmly state your case to a screaming mass of "if you don't like it, go home?"