Myths on Migration

This is a really-old blog post I wrote on a old site in 2010. Have reposted here as I feel it’s still relevant but never want to direct anyone back to that silly blog! 

You often hear someone declare that this country is being “over-crowded by foreigners”, and how many of us have heard that horrible phrase of “British Jobs for British People”? Well no more. No more myths, no more unjust prejudices. It’s time to have some honest facts

-courtesy of The Peoples Right To Work-

Myth: Britain is in danger of being swamped.

More people does not mean less wealth or a lower quality of life. Holland has almost twice as high density of population but is a rich country. Albania is half as densely populated but is very poor.There is not a fixed cake of wealth within each nation, with the slices getting thinner each time a new person arrives. Every immigrant is a person who can contribute to society and immigrants are on average younger than the existing population so can help support the old.

Myth: Migrants are a drain on the UK economy.

Migrants make a huge contribution to the UK economy, paying £2.5 billion more in tax each year than they take out in services. The taxes and national insurance contributions paid by migrant workers into the UK economy provide more resources to fund out public services.

Myth: Asylum seekers get housing before local people.

Asylum seekers do not jump the queue for council housing and cannot choose where they live. They are often housed in ‘hard to let’ properties and the local council does not pay for it. The truth is, a decrease in the building of public housing and an increase in right-to-buy of council properties over the years has contributed to very long waiting lists for public housing.

Myth: Immigrants only come to Britain to scrounge Benefits.

Living on benefits isn’t easy, but asylum seekers have to manage on even less. They are entitled to only 70% of Income Support, and cannot claim many of the benefits other rely upon, such as Disability Living Allowance. Oxfam and the Refugee Council found that 85% of asylum seekers experience hunger, 95% cannot afford to buy clothes or shoes and 80% are unable to maintain good health. EU citizens who come to Britain to work are not necessarily entitled to benefits when they cannot work, for example if they have a baby or are injured at work.

Myth: Britain is a soft touch for asylum.

Britains asylum system is very tough; it is very difficult to be recognised as a refugee. Of the people fleeing from Iraq, 88% were turned down at the earliest stage in 2006. Many thousands – including children and families – are imprisoned at detention centers (Think Children of Men – the film) not knowing when they will be released or whether they will be deported.

No one is illegal…

There can be no such thing as “fair” or “just” or “reasonable” or “non-racist” immigration controls. No one Is Illegal (NOII) makes no distinction between “economic migrants” and “refugees”, between the “legal and the “illegal”. These are political categories invented by politicians. By dividing us, they distract our attention from the attacks being made on all of us.

No One Is Illegal exists to put an alternative vision forward: that our interests lie in supporting each other, that organised labour is stronger if it fights with migrant workers and that a society free of divisive and oppressive immigration controls is possible.

No One Is Illegal: www.noii.org.uk

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