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Suella Braverman is Right about Illegal Migration
In the last few months, two members of my family have applied for visas to come to the UK: my mother to visit her son, daughter-in-law and newborn grandson, and my sister to visit our elderly grandmother. Both of their applications were denied on the basis that they haven’t demonstrated with sufficient clarity that they will definitely not stay here after their visas expire.
While immensely frustrating and completely wrong, these decisions offer a stunning contrast with other areas of Britain’s immigration policy.
More people have come to Britain as immigrants since 1997 than came here between 1950 and the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Or, as Home Secretary Suella Braverman put it in what some publications described as an “EXTREME speech” (sic), more people have come to Europe in the last 25 years than have come here since the beginning of time. (More on her speech and the deranged reaction to it shortly)
Such is the scale of the problem with illegal immigration that several European politicians have risked prosecution in attempting to deal with it.
The British taxpayer is currently spending £8 million a DAY on hotels for asylum seekers. Not only is this insane, the figure has risen by over £2 million a day since last year alone.
Less than two weeks ago, more people arrived on the Italian island of Lampedusa in THREE DAYS than the entire population of the island.
I do not lack compassion for those who want a better life. I want one for myself and have moved country for this very purpose.
Nor do I like writing an article which my critics will jump on in support of the false belief that I am, in fact, the closet right-wing evil bigot they’ve always wanted to paint me as, ignoring the fact that until about 2 minutes ago, everyone, Left and Right, used to agree that countries need borders:
I don’t care where you sit on the political spectrum or how kind, caring and compassionate you are. If you have a brain, you have to accept these levels of both legal and illegal immigration are simply not sustainable.
Let’s dispense with the patently obvious: the vast majority of us want to offer refuge to people fleeing war and persecution. The vast majority of us believe that immigration, when properly managed and calibrated to the needs of our societies, is a positive thing without which our countries would risk economic stagnation, staff shortages in key areas and more.
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Most of us understand the desire of poor people to come to rich countries. We do not blame them for it. You cannot blame me for wanting a house as nice as yours - it is the most natural human desire. But the fact that mine is uncomfortable and dilapidated does not entitle me to enter yours without your consent.
Yes, we believe that people fleeing persecution, especially women and children, need our help. But many of the people coming here illegally aren’t fleeing actual persecution and over 70% of them are not women and children. They’re men under 40.
In a speech to the American Enterprise Institute, Suella Braverman made these points about both legal and illegal immigration and, naturally, all hell immediately broke loose on Twitter. Particular upsetting to the chattering classes was her argument that multiculturalism has failed, a statement so controversial it was made by Angela Merkel in 2010 and David Cameron the following year.
Apparently neither the BBC’s Jon Sopel nor The Times’ Hugo Rifkind understand the difference between a multiethnic society – one in which people of different ethnicities live together under a shared identity, as in they’re British first and everything else second – and a multicultural society, in which people live in their separate tribes while formally being part of the same nation state.
Or, much more likely, these two intelligent men do understand the difference and are pretending not to.
In any event, the hysteria around any attempt to tackle this pressing problem is one of the main obstacles in the way of solving it. The reality is the overwhelming majority of Brits think immigration is too high.
Whether you personally agree with them is irrelevant. These attitudes, which will only harden as the problem continues to go unresolved, will manifest themselves through the democratic process one way or another. And if you hate hearing it from a centre-right politician like Braverman, you’re going to really hate hearing it from the people who come in her place if this issue is allowed to get worse.