Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I don't think the British public fully understand their own immigration system and really, why should they? They were born here and consequently, don't need to carefully read visa applications or be interviewed and fingerprinted or pay thousands of pounds to only have their said visa application denied because they entered the wrong address. I mean, why else would some of the British public applaud the coalition government's announcement today that they are capping immigrants to the UK from outside the European Union to only 21,700 from next year. Either they don't understand their own policies or they're just dicks.

Do people not realise that this feckless announcement is an attempt to appease the xenophobic voters amongst us? Surely most people understand that limiting immigrants from outside the EU to an arbitrary number won't solve societies woes? I KNOW the British people are intelligent enough to decipher that much, right?

Yet, I cannot fathom why the Conservative/ Liberal Democrat government wants to limit the amount of highly skilled workers coming to the UK - beyond the obvious reasons of pacifying the more right wing voters of this country. When even Chief Executives in London warn that such a cap will only damage UK businesses, you know it's a pointless affair; surely Britain wants to attract the best and brightest scientists, architects, professors, artists, performers and so on?! Surely we want to attract such people who would earn high salaries usually associated with such highly skilled jobs and would, in turn, pay high taxes!?

Honestly, it really makes me angry and lose faith in the British public; how can some people fall foul to such empty political acts?!

However, it isn't the highly skilled workers who will lose out - it's international students. You know, the ones who pay THOUSANDS OF POUNDS each year to attend prestigious British schools? Work related migration to the UK accounts for only 20% of the overall reduction needed for the government to reach the target of 21,700 - meaning non-EU students will need to make up 60% of the cut, with the final 20% coming from family visas and their dependents.

This is but a short-sighted policy that puts economic growth and recovery at risk. And indeed, I would argue that most politicians know this and in fact, that immigration brings benefits to our economy and society. As an immigrant myself, I KNOW this first hand. Governments know this as well but fail to argue as much and instead, pander to the right-wing media and voters.

And if you might think I'm wrong, take my home country of Canada as an example: Canada has a fairly broad immigration policy and is a very multicultural country and proudly so. In 2008, there was over 270, 000 immigrants to Canada and considering the population of Canada is only 34 million, that's quite a substantial number.

So, if this immigration cap isn't really about xenophobia, then what's it all about? Because all of the evidence leads me to believe as much.


David T. Macknet said...

I sure am glad that my student visa won't be needed beyond 2011, because it's likely that tuition will be going up even for foreign students. On the other hand, I'd thought that maybe I'd stay for awhile after.

Looks like Canada is by far the better option.

What do you think about Vancouver?

Jennifer said...

Hi David

Never been to Vancouver apart from the airport. Apparently it rains a lot there as well. If you like skiing or snowboarding, as I do, it's one of the best places in North America. I think it's meant to be a great city, although expensive, but you should look into it! Along with Toronto and Montreal!

Anonymous said...

This is a responsible measure to ensure that the economy can recover, and the unemployment rate can begin to lower.

It's a proven fact that mass immigration drives down labour wages--blue collar and white. Jobs that used to pay 14 pounds an hour get reduced to 8 pounds an hour, because people are willing and desperate to do so.

It's not an issue of xenophobia, because foreigners already settled and working in host countries benefit also from the caps.

You don't want the situation we have here in Canada. Very few people are earning a decent enough living to purchase homes, raise families properly, etc.

I have a corporate job, that most would consider priviledged. I barely make enough to pay a mortgage, cable, etc. each year. The labor crews I manage barely can afford to live on minimum wage that they get.

Appreciate that the government has a backbone, and is willing to risk looking intolerant in order to better the lives of people in the country who want to earn a decent living.

I'm all for helping parts of the world that need it. However, reducing the quality of life in a host country does not make sense, it's almost sacrificial.

David T. Macknet said...

Man, you just have to love people without the balls / ovaries to stand by their opinions, don't you?

The fact that people with higher degrees in understanding the workings of economies are opposed to this ... well, I'm going to have to say: their opinions would seem to carry far more weight than an anonymous posting in the comments, no matter how lengthy and filled with anecdotes.

Jennifer said...

Anonymous - it's a proven fact that mass immigration drives down labour wages?! Link, please?!

If wages are being driven down by anything, it is corporate/ individual greed and rather than blaming "mass immigrants" (which, by the way, Canada does not have), corporations should be held responsible. Also, you do realise that a lot of immigration stems from international students, coming to Canada to study at prestigious universities like Dalhousie, right?

Anonymous, you are speaking to me as if I don't understand what is happening in Canada; did you miss the part where I ANNOUNCE all over my blog that I am Canadian!?

I fail to see your logic by saying that economic development depends on less people (i.e. immigrants)?!

Anonymous said...

The logic is that a scarce amount of resources + additional competitors = more people left out in the cold.

Couple that with the politically correct culture gone mad, which often promotes certain sections of the population just because they are, not because of what they have to offer, and you get a broken system that operates on tokenism, not merit.

There are two sides to every issue, and I see yours, but can you see mine...

I think immigration is important--but going the route Canada did is not ideal. Caps are sensible. Not only caps, but stricter regulations. Regulations that actually get enforced. Many people gain entry not being able to speak english, with no intention of learning. Some come in their 50s and 60s as sponsored members, only to hit the hospital bed and spend taxes from a system they never paid into.

Look at the cover of metro T.O newspaper yesterday. Guess who gets the majority of welfare in Canada(the amount of $ is staggering, makes the dole in Scotland look like pittance)...Is that the purpose of this social experiment...send them on over and we will outfit them with training wheels for life. Perverse and patronizing at the same time.

Next time you are back in T.O, spend some time in Thornecliff, or Jane and Finch...you can wonder at the marvels of the system you adore.

I applaud the Scottish government for haveing the testicualr fortitude to say no to the madness sweeping through the PC culture of the west. Over the next decade it will reveal how much better an immigration system can operate when it has enforced checks and balances.

P.S No hard feelings, just stating my opinion. You are entitled to yours just the same.

Anonymous said...


I am not even close to the person you would like to dismiss me as.

Two degrees. UWO and U of T. I have been forced to confront this issue on a daily basis in T.O

Also a diverse family, etc.

It is a seperate issue from xenophobia altogether, but the PC leftists have demanded it only be framed as such.

Jennifer said...

It's political correctness gone mad!!


p.s. Again, Anonymous - it's a proven fact that mass immigration drives down labour wages?! Link, please?!

David T. Macknet said...

Degrees ... in sociology? Economics? Politics? Somehow, I think not, but let's see what "anonymous" chooses to make up.

This immigration restriction, coupled with the huge cuts in education funding, is going to absolutely murder higher education: the most profitable students, to the universities, are those from outside of the E.U. (the very ones being capped), as those students pay phenomenally higher rates of tuition. International students will not be able to obtain visas to come to school unless they elect to obtain a non-working student visa; their spouses will not be able to come at all, because the dependent visa allows for work.

So - there goes British Academia. Welcome to America, Britons.

Ya Bite said...

hahaha i am reminded of the tv cartoon show UGLY AMERICANS, you should check it out.

Phil said...

One of the key things that let the BNP get a foothold was the abscence of a reasoned debate on immigration.

Any person daring to suggest controls on in-flows was called a racist. Hence those who were worried about very high levels of immigration were pushed into the arms of extremists.

Your post seems to suggest that we are either being fooled or we are racists. Also 'anonymous' seems to get pilloried for disagreeing. I'd describe that as highly patronising and an example of the failed discourse described above.

There are many legitimate concerns about immigration that are not informed by racism. There is no one 'truth' regards economics either by the way. As for CEO's in London, well they were against the minimum wage too remember. Ever think they like immigration because it increases labour supply and therefore wage demands fall?