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scenario Scenarios

  • We should let everybody in
  • They have come a long way - it cant be easy
  • They are fleeing persecution

oneliner One-liners

  • who is everybody, what are their motives, what is the long term effect, what are you prepared to do?

body In-brief

  • A vexed subject as it raises so many mixed feelings. There is legal and illegal immigration, but being technically 'legal' as a varying Government policy does not make it right for a community.

    As a society we are sympathetic, but this is a lot easier when we're not really aware of the challenges.

    The UK is one of the most densely populated countries in Europe with 715 per square mile with immigration of over 7 million in last 20 years to 67 million in 2021. English is not the first language of 45% of Londoners. People born abroad represent about 14% of the UK.

    We should welcome strangers but we should also count the cost of what this means and make clear decisions about what we can afford financially and in other ways - such as deflation of wages, housing shortage, risk of additional criminality, creation of ghettos, impending discontent when migrants' dreams cannot be realised, the amount of money sent home by migrants (a key motivation).

    The Government seems quite cagey even about front-line costs of illegal immigration, but at least £4.7 million a day is spent on short-term accommodation alone, not to mention long-term accommodation,  processing, health care, support workers, lawyers, border force, training. Much of this is outsourced to non-Government organisations under contract: £4.5 billion in 10yrs, so there are plenty of vested interests. More here:

    Genuine flight from persecution is relatively rare. There is an element of trading on our goodwill - in the sense that they know we'll treat them well so it's worth the legal, financial and personal risk to make the journey.

    The Government makes the point that they will prosecute the illegal people traffickers, as with drug traffickers, but if it were not for the demand there would be none of either. Of course, both work hard to create demand, offering wealth and a utopian dream.

    Many have supported the legal immigration process for particular individuals or families, who become well-known to them and who they are happy to endorse. They want to be part of Britain and its values, speak English, work hard.

    Above all we need to have open and honest debates about all this, understanding the costs and marshalling our willingness to work to create good and just futures for all in this country.  Examples in Leviticus 19:34, Exodus 22:21, Ex 12:48 and Ruth 1 show the need first for support, then for integration - for those willing to do so, but this needs to be a process that is sustainable and works for natives as well as strangers.

    A discussion from a US perspective reflects the balance needed. A Christain MP also reflects.

shield Shield verses

  • You are to have the same law for the foreigner and the native-born. I am the Lord your God. Lev 24:22

deeper Digging deeper

Stream: Society / Section: Immigration