Speaking for Ourselves

International Migrants Day - Letters to the Editor

International Migrants Day - Letters to the Editor


 Migrant Voice - International Migrants Day - Letters to the Editor

It’s International Migrants Day! 18 December is a day especially to celebrate migrants and migration. Today we recognize all that’s good about migration, but we also remember and raise awareness of struggles and concerns in our ongoing work for positive change.

This year, many of our members have written letters to the Editor to local and regional papers reflecting both what we celebrate and the injustices we call out in the hope of change.

Read some of the contributions here:


Dear Editor

Happy Migrants Day!

As a Polish migrant in Glasgow, I'm raising a quick toast to the incredible blend of cultures here. Decoding local slang and embracing haggis together has been a joyride.

Thanks, Glasgow, for being an unexpectedly fantastic home!



Dear Editor

Migrant entrepreneurs give so much.

In the UK, 14% of businesses are owned by migrants. Apple and Google, among the world's biggest companies were founded by migrants in the USA.

We're all migrants, but above all, we're humans.



Dear Editor

Migrating means starting a new life and building new relationship. In fact, expatriate life is painful, but it is sometimes a solution to the problems of staying in the home country.



Dear Editor

When I mentioned to someone that I was working at the University of Glasgow, they asked whether I was a cleaner or working in the canteen. I guess my accent made them assume that I couldn't possibly be an intelligent and professional laboratory scientist. 



Dear Editor 

As migrants, our mental health matters and our lives matter. Increases to the amount which they are forced to pay to bring a loved one into the country harms this. Allow spouses to join their families for peace to reign. A healthy mind produces better quality work.




Dear Editor,

It's ridiculous that I had to consider myself “lucky” for finally securing a shared flat with five others in Glasgow Southside after months of relentless searching, while many of my friends were still struggling with the daunting task of finding a reasonable place to live. 

For overseas students studying for medical degrees, soaring rents and living costs come on top of university fees of up to £67,892 per year. 

After reading report the 8 November report by Generation Rent, "Minority ethnic people are more likely to be ignored when searching for new privately rented homes," I am compelled to ask: Are the hefty tuition fees, visa charges and mandatory health insurance premiums delivering the promises by the universities and the government, or are they designed simply to milk international students,  even as they make huge contributions to the UK economy? 



Dear Editor,

When I moved to Scotland, I was welcomed with open arms. I have made amazing friends, built a professional career and more importantly created a home with my partner who was the reason I came to the UK in the first place. It is heart breaking to see that after April 2024 this won’t be possible for thousands of couples affected by the Home Office’s new immigration rules.

I have friends who have made their lives here, too. They have stable jobs, some have  bought homes, and most have met partners here. But the new rules could mean they will be unable to continue living here because they do not earn the required £38,700 a year to extend their work visas. Their partners also do not earn this amount, so are not eligible to apply for a visa for their spouse. 

Other friends, mostly in the health sector, who have been working hard to bring their partners and have a family life in the UK, will now find this impossible because their salaries do not meet the new threshold. 

Like my friends, thousands of people are giving their skills and knowledge to this country, and yet now face an impossible situation that will ultimately separate them from their partners and the life they've built here.




Dear Editor

I am a migrant in this country due to war. War is man-made and innocents are victims, and become refugees. If any government’s leaders support war, it is their responsibility to accept refugees in their country. 



Dear Editor

The current restrictions on asylum seekers of being provided with only £9 per week, and being denied the right to work and study, is unjust.

Many of those seeking asylum do not have much, and they need emotional and moral support, as much as financial.

While some of this comes from charitable organisations, it is the government from whom help must come first.



Dear Editor

Today I want to remember everyone that has tragically died in the process of seeking a better life in this country. May their lives not be in vain but as a reminder for us all to put a value to every human life.

We remember them all.



Dear Editor

On this year's International Migrants Day it is we must recognise the importance of giving refugees legal status, allowing them to have a dignified life, a sense of belonging to the country they migrated to.

Refugees have been forced to leave their home country due to difficult situations such as war or persecutions and need a safe place to build their lives. The migrant came with a wide range of skills. Given the opportunity to work migrants can contribute to the host country and improve their lives and wellbeing.

My story is important, as I fled my birth country in East Africa, due to threats to my life. I left behind a very beautiful career in tourism which I enjoyed as a tourist guide, showing different groups of tourists from all over the world the rich heritage and magnificent tourist sights my country has to offer. Without status I am left to depend on charity for basic needs food and shelter, a feeling of worthlessness felt by many others in my situation.

Human dignity is fundamental right and on this International Migrant Day I wish to request the same dignity be accorded to all immigrants. 

Yours sincerely



Dear Editor,

How painful and difficult it is to live the life of a migrant. For the sole reason of having wanted to find refuge in a territory where you were not born, you are the laughing stock and the adversary of all. You must fight for a fresh start, for acceptance, for survival. 

Your life automatically become scoops for the media. A good subject to attract attention and a perfect instrument for manipulating opinions by politicians.

Even when you play and important role in society, you are not allowed to live peacefully. That is why the government can introduce bills prohibit you from living with your own dependants.

This is what life as a migrant looks like. My life on this occasion of celebrating the International Migrants Day. But who will tell them that in reality everyone would like to live in their own place, and no one would voluntarily agree to fit in where they are not wanted.

We do not choose to be a migrant to be treated as less than people. Fortunately, some people still believe in our potential even if they do not have decision-making power. If we can smile, feel like family and sometimes eat well it is thanks to these organizations which work night and day to improve the living conditions of migrants.

This is the real life of migrants.




Dear Editor

I am writing to express my deep concern about the challenges faced by asylum seekers in the United Kingdom. The plight of those seeking refuge within our borders is a matter that demands our immediate attention and collective action.

Firstly, the prolonged and uncertain asylum application process contributes to the vulnerability of individuals and families fleeing persecution. The lengthy waiting periods create unnecessary stress and hardship, hindering the ability of asylum seekers to rebuild their lives.

Moreover, the inadequate living conditions in some asylum accommodations raise serious humanitarian concerns. Access to basic amenities and healthcare must be prioritized to ensure the well-being and dignity of those awaiting asylum decisions.

Furthermore, the recent policy changes have added complexities to the system, making it even more challenging for vulnerable individuals to navigate and understand their rights. It is crucial that policies are crafted with compassion and a commitment to protecting the rights of those seeking refuge.

As a society that values compassion and justice, it is imperative that we address these issues promptly. I urge policymakers and community leaders to collaborate on solutions that prioritize the humane treatment of asylum seekers, streamline the application process, and improve living conditions.

Yours obediently,

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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