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Where Do We Draw The Line Between A balanced Immigration Debate And Xenophobia?

United Kingdom: stamp

United Kingdom: stamp (Photo credit: Sem Paradeiro)

It has been interesting to watch how the debate on immigration in the United Kingdom has developed over the past few months.  It is fair to say that most of the headlines have been full of emotive language aimed at evoking a reaction from the public. There is no doubt that issues pertaining to immigration need to be discussed openly but one can not refute the fact that the language being used by some in the media is borderline xenophobic. Individuals who complain about this are often seen as disruptive and stifling honest debate on immigration. This has sent a message to some sections of society that it is perfectly fine to post racist and xenophobic comments on social media sites.

It is astounding that in the 21st Century  in a globalised world, with increasing economic intergration people still have unjustified fear of being swamped particularly in industrialised countries. A policy that was recently unveiled in some parts of London where vans with posters telling people who had allegedly over stayed in the United Kingdom to “GO HOME OR FACE ARREST”, was not well received by a good number of citizens particularly people of colour, who were born and raised in United Kingdom. This campaign was condemned by a number of public figures such as Yvette Cooper who referred to it as “divisive” and “a complete gimmick which should never have been approved by the Home Secretary“.

It is certainly true that divisive politics is at play and this is seen in the way immigrants are being blamed for the current economic woes. For some reason, the global economic crisis that affected a industrialised countries seems to have been forgotten. No one wants to admit that the real reason for the current economic problems are down to bad management and dishonest politics.

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