Refugees have been in the news.
Refugees have been crossing the Channel in small boats hoping to settle in the UK but most have, apparently, no legal right to do so. Many Britons oppose immigration generally, or at least uncontrolled immigration, and are angry. Parliament is demanding a review of the situation and ministers are demanding the French try harder to stop such people setting out in the first place.
What have I said about refugees?
Not much! But I have provoked a strong negative response on Twitter. I commented on someone’s tweet about the arrest of someone trying to photograph one group of apparently illegal immigrants as the authorities were putting them on a minibus. Although I said that I did not like the authorities’ infringing anyone’s rights, I also said that they might be concerned that if someone identified the individuals, they could be vulnerable to attacks by racists. Since then, I have conceded that many were wearing masks, thus hard for anyone to identify anyway. Otherwise, I cannot see what the photographer was doing wrong. But I do not have the full facts. My response did not satisfy everyone.
Why do people hate refugees?
- Some people are afraid that immigrants, legal or illegal, will compete for jobs at a time of economic downturn and uncertainty.
- Others object to illegal immigrants jumping the queue to the disadvantage of those who bothered to go through the correct process.
- Still others believe that the authorities and the media do not admit to the numbers arriving.
Where do I stand regarding refugees?
Let me clear up the confusion.
- I don’t believe in an open-door policy and I think the government should manage all types of immigration.
- There should be more international cooperation in dealing with this.
- The government should publish the numbers other countries have accepted, as the UK is far from the most generous.
- The system for processing asylum and immigration claims should be faster, more efficient and transparent. This should include the process for returning those whose applications the authorities have rejected.
- There needs to be international cooperation to deal with the problems of war, famine, natural disasters and persecution of minorities, as these factors are driving people to travel long distances to reach here. Measures should include diplomacy, development aid and emergency relief, all of which should reduce the numbers trying to get to Britain.
- We should all remember that refugees and other would-be immigrants are human beings.
Are the numbers of refugees being seen in proportion?
Statistics can mislead. Perhaps you should read this book.