Changes to the Immigration rules put forward by Teresa May are going to make a massive difference to a lot of people hoping to settle in the UK. May Mansour has penned a piece for us explaining why these changes are wrong.
Recent adjustments in the UK Family migration rules have triggered outrage amongst overseas citizens, as well as British nationals living abroad or in the U.K. Amongst the most contentious alterations is the New Income Threshold of ÃÂ£18,600 for those who wish to sponsor a non-EU partner or spouse, which consequently affects 40% of the population in the U.K according to the National Earnings Survey website. As a minimum wage salary is ÃÂ£6.08 an hour, for a lot of people it will never be possible to acquire an annual salary that could come close to ÃÂ£18,600. The situation is more or less hopeless for new couples looking to settle in the U.K.
The new migration rules set by Home Secretary Theresa May seem quite discriminative against ordinary British citizens and on some level utterly racist against citizens of other countries. Not only will they decrease the potential of foreign businesses looking to invest in the U.K but they will also create a social uproar against such a new motion of blunt fascism.
In regards to how this relates to my background, and in what sense / how it affects me as an agnostic Egyptian female from a Muslim family, I assume my culture is included as part of “the threat”Â for social and economic reasons! We’re not progressive or rich enough so to speak! Boohoo.
So it is understandable that people have noticed an increase of asylum seekers and immigrants within the U.K! But why is THIS the problem? Even if the way they look or dress alienates them from their surrounding environments? So what of Punks and Goths then? Or the conservative Jewish communities? According to Theresa May in this article it is a matter of “Setting new standards for those who wish to live among us”Â.
I am a constant visitor and perpetual wanderer in England, and I have come across ethnic minorities who have no problem maintaining the same lifestyle they have been exercising in their former home countries, (I.e wearing headscarves or full-body veils or whichever “mannerisms”Â that go hand in hand with their certain cultures). This seems to confuse the British government when they Try to identify the difficulties at hand; specifically in regards to social discomfort. I however believe it is the immigrants who Impose their belief system among others within the country that are the problem! Nevertheless the UK Government should not interfere by appointing such severe migration rules that will unfortunately be enforced upon everyone! Conservatives and Fanatic Extremists as well as broad-minded anti-fascist, anti-racist Liberals who seek to settle in a country they can realistically relate to, and commit to with an aspiring, well-driven and relevant flair!
I for one am an Egyptian female citizen who’s escaped her own country in pursuit of a more liberal and receptive society as I have been a constant victim of verbal harassments and assaults back in my home town, for being myself; which seems to annoy the majority of males in my society and mislead them into thinking that I perhaps may be a prostitute or something for having male friends whom i’m openly “chummy”Â and comfortable with on the streets, for smoking cigarettes in public or for wearing leather pants or skirts! Coming to London often in search of sanctuary I find myself yet again a victim of the same assaults made by other Arabs or Middle Eastern immigrants, for simply claiming my nationality or religion through casual conversations with Falafel vendors, or waiters at cafeterias or restaurants on Egdware road or passers by on Tottenham Court Road, Marble Arch and Oxford Street who intentionally and interrogatively approach me to know where I come from and react accordingly! Sometimes I’d hear sexist or perverted remarks / mumbles in Arabic as I walk by, I turn around and defend myself because it turns out I understand the language and accordingly I must be Arab or Muslim, and it is as though they have the right to insult me even more then! I have been insulted or simply even frowned upon because of how I look and dress, which is not even remotely provocative in the eyes of any regular British or European citizen, but according to my fellow obnoxious muslim extremists, I am a disgrace to my kind! But aren’t we all subject to verbal or even physical assaults? By men of all races and ethnicities? And aren’t there just as many struggling Brits as there are other ethnicities within the country? So apart from my personal rant on social discomfort, there are several other factors that may have bugged the Government enough to enforce stricter migration rules that technically bypass all ethical or humanitarian prospects! But for citizens of other countries, it is now one hell of a nightmare! Especially for those of us who were already bewildered and constantly struggling to belong to the British culture as we more or less have the mentality for it! But alas, we aren’t “rich”Â enough.
So what becomes of us? The artists and musicians, the aspiring journalists and authors, the innovative youth who’s ideas and beliefs are simply condemned by their own governments. Are we not entitled to attempt to settle within a society that accepts us? Especially if we are committed to an EU-member? No matter our financial assets or whether or not we desire to be employed by a highly corporate, first-class business. Families are being destroyed as we speak because of the new family migration rules; and their only options now are to separate or struggle to settle in some other country. The solution is not to restrict all non-EU citizens from attempting to work, study or settle in the U.K with their partners or families. But to take action against those specific individuals who wish to distort the country’s cultural, political and social advantages, inspite of their ethnic backgrounds, and that may just be the most sincere manner of dealing with such an issue. Diversity must be welcomed within any country for it to flourish with grander and more stimulating ventures! Where immigrants may express, practise and develop their abilities in any worthwhile position!
Reducing net migration in the U.K is a simple guise behind the Home Secretary’s initiative towards class warfare; to protect the wealthiest of individuals, and reduce economic risk. Instead of encouraging any uprising potential, the aspiring, perfect-English-speaking, high-minded youth who wish to invest in the British community, slowly but surely. Alas! One tends to resort to Money and Power, over Character and Virtue. and that’s a right shame!
All words by May Mansour. More articles on Louder Than War by May can be found here.