The Question of Escape


The Immigration Dilemma

Over the course of British history, the question of immigration has been a controversial one. The last 70 years has seen migration numbers increase; especially from those coming from South Asian countries; even though the original voucher scheme was stopped after the publication of the Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1968. The act; was a regulation to “restrict the future right of entry previously enjoyed by citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies, to those born there or who had at least one parent or grandparent born there”, in other words only those people were welcome who have been born in the country or had at least one parent living here. This is the feeling caused by the thousands of people fluctuating in to the country; hiding themselves away and refusing to integrate in to a completely unpredictable environment.


Numbers from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that there was an increase of visas issued over the last quarter of the year; this being a 4% increase from the previous quarter, which brings the number to 526,749 visas being issued; a total of 20,749 of these visa applications that were accepted came from India. Additionally there was a 60% decrease of study visa applications from Pakistan. There was also a 14% increase of asylum applications, which included individuals from Pakistan and Bangladesh. In terms with type of visa applications; India lead with work related visas with 48,627 issued; Pakistan had a sum of 5,001.


The reason being? To create a better life for themselves and their family. To generate income which will ultimately stabilise their life and provide for future generations? However, this mentality has changed from previous generations as newer migrants have started to come over to get a taste of the Promised Land. Carrying on this attitude from earlier immigrants, those who have been arriving in the last couple of years have failed to integrate. The majority of individuals who have migrated; mostly on students or spousal visas; have come to acknowledge a very different situation from their cultural homes to the one that lies ahead of them. Priorities and responsibilities such as bills, tax, insurance and the many precedence of family has left little act of patience to their aura.


Therefore, the question remains; why would you want to leave a life of comfort in the Indian subcontinent where you have been treated next to royalty and come to areas so disadvantaged and ridden in crime, unemployment, and heartache. Being served by servants, having the latest cars and lavished in fine clothing should have been enough; shouldn’t it?


Is the reality of escaping to an unknown land and the excitement of knowing that a new challenge awaits justify the plight that you will have to accompany? Is it not enough for you to accept and recognise that what has been your home for so many years should be your safe haven for you? Acknowledging that the once Promised Land is not what it used to be? Shouldn’t the conventional responsibility of any citizen be, to become a mature and engaging civilian; making it a prosperous, blooming and flourishing country?


Enoch Powell’s “River of Blood” speech was recently mentioned by the United Kingdom Independence Party leader, Nigel Farage, who said: “that the basic principle of the speech was right.” The speech, which was criticised by all sectors of the country, attacked the Conservative Government’s commonwealth immigration policy in 1968. There are, undoubtedly, parallel resemblances between Enoch Powell’s speech and many politicians that are attempting to climb the ladder of political correctness, but instead land in the discontent and dissatisfaction of public outcry and frustration. A dazzling illustration is that of Dominic Grieve, who recently accused the Pakistani community of corruption. Instead of coming out and saying there was a problem with fraud and dishonesty in society; he laid the blame solely at the feet of the Pakistani community. A lack of community spirit and communication, from immigrants, has left the door open to suspicion and doubt; which has further been heightened by cultural tensions.


Migrating from countries full of cultural heritage should teach any individual to respect the laws and customs of a country. Integrate. Learn the laws of this great country and contribute to society. Are we asking too much?


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