I have just sent this to my MP.
Informing would-be migrants of the realities of life in the UK
Mass migration is a grave global problem that is going to be with us for many years, and needs to be addressed at many levels. Putting up barriers to immigration, whether physical or bureaucratic, addresses the symptoms only, and causes more suffering to the many refugees, children, women and men, who have a legitimate reason to seek safety in the UK. Migration is a fact of life. We must accept that fact and respond in a humane way.
This is not to deny that migration is a problem, both for the migrants themselves and also for receiving countries. Resentment against migrants is on the increase, and unfortunately certain elements in the right wing press are exacerbating that emotion.
must address the root causes of migration, which are :
- oppressive regimes
- environmental degradation
The migration crisis must motivate the international community to find new ways to address these problems with greater urgency, and I hope the Government is already looking for new approaches within the UN, and stepping up efforts to address them. However, it will take a long time for benefits of such actions to work through.
We need to look at any measure which could affect the decision to migrate in the short term, even if it is only a few. Interviews suggest that many migrants have an unrealistic view of life in the UK. Is the FCO already taking steps to inform would-be migrants in sending countries of the dangers and difficulties of making the journey? Is it commissioning articles in newspapers of sending counties? Is it taking out advertorials and full page advertisements explaining the realities? Is it explaining that hundreds of people are drowning, that the UK is a densely populated country, that hundreds are stuck at Calais, and indeed that resentment is rising against migrants in some areas?
I expect that this is already being done, but if not, is there any reason that the FCO is not doing it?