Speaking for Ourselves

We need a complete change in the treatment of migrants

We need a complete change in the treatment of migrants


 Migrant Voice - We need a complete change in the treatment of migrants

There has been a lot of talk about immigration during the General Election. What we need to focus on now is moving forward and creating a positive environment for migrants. Migrants form our communities. We are your colleagues, friends and families. We are the people you see every day. We are people at the end of the day.

We are not abstract statistics to be thrown around as a political soundbite.

We are people with families, families which have been ripped apart by cruel policies including minimum income requirements.

We are people facing the same issues which affect everyone. Extortionate visa costs have added to the cost-of-living crisis for many of us, forcing migrants into destitution.

We are people coming to the UK, for those fleeing war and persecution, seeking a better, and safer, life.

We are people who work in public services and the care sector, supporting everyone. We are vital to creating new business, new jobs, new technology and new opportunities. We teach, provide hospitality and play a crucial role in all aspects of people’s lives. We bring new skills and knowledge.

We are mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, nephews and nieces. We are the people you speak to on the street and the ones you laugh with in times of trouble. We are human. We are people. We are here.

We are the people whose lives and experiences need to be listened to in any “debate” about immigration.

There is an opportunity now to change the direction the UK has been travelling in, an opportunity to stop the hostile rhetoric and policies. This is an opportunity to reverse the toxic environment which has surrounded this debate, and start to implement policies which not only support migrants, but the country as a whole.

We need a fairer visa system, one which does not charge migrants seven to ten times more than the processing costs in an effort to make a profit off of human life. We need to ensure that nobody has to wait more than five years before they can apply for permanent residency. We need to ensure that families are not separated because one partner does not earn an arbitrary amount of money. We need to totally scrap the Immigration Health Surcharge, a cruel form of double taxation which currently costs more than some private medical insurances do.

We need a system which ensures that people can reach the UK to seek asylum safely, and receive the support they need once they do. A system which protects people against exploitation, rather than the current one which can increase it. A system which actually processes individual’s asylum applications, and doesn’t leave them in limbo in squalid and unsuitable conditions.

We need a system which allows migrants to be recognised as people in our own right, not only for what others can get out of us. A system which doesn’t treat us as criminals, and instead allows those of us like the tens of thousands of students unjustly stripped of their right to study to get the justice they deserve.

These are not big asks. They are the bare minimum which any future government should be looking at and implementing. We deserve the same rights as anyone else, yet our voices are overshadowed by those who try and demonise us and treat us a scapegoat. We have seen that play out throughout the election. It’s time for change, and that change has to be now.

Get in touch

Migrant Voice
VAI, 200a Pentonville Road,
N1 9JP

Phone: +44 (0) 207 832 5824
Email: [email protected]

Registered Charity
Number: 1142963 (England and Wales); SC050970 (Scotland)

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