Immigration often pops up in the press with people complaining that the numbers are getting out of control or that officials have no idea how many immigrants are actually in the UK. While there are people who follow the correct process and use immigration lawyers to ensure everything is above board, there are also those who slip under the radar and live in Britain illegally. So do we know how many immigrants are here and is it really an issue?
The problem with immigration is that it seems to only be the negative stories that make the headlines; the illegal immigrant who was convicted of murder or the group of immigrants who were blamed for a spate of petty crimes are just two examples of the sort of thing we regularly read in the newspapers. However, it’s rare that we see stories of immigrants successfully making a name for themselves in the UK; nobody wants to read about that.
It was recently discovered that the official migration statistics are ‘unfit for purpose’, implying that the UK actually has no idea how many immigrants are in the country. So with that in mind, have things got completely out of control? How can the country possibly get back on track with knowing the numbers of immigrants in the UK? And even if they can, does it really make all that much difference?
Immigration in itself doesn’t seem to be the real problem here. It would appear that integration is the real issue. While some immigrants clearly make an effort to become a part of society in the UK, there are plenty of them that don’t and this is where the problems seem to start. With some eastern Europeans reported to have not bothered integrating in the British towns they have moved to, the locals have started to complain.
It would appear that nobody is bothered about people coming to the UK to live, but the lack of interest in the British culture is becoming a bit of a thorn in the side of the locals. With one school revealing that none of its pupils speak English as a first language, it’s easy to see why some people are starting to feel that immigration is getting out of control.
Of course, in light of this, the government has been taking steps to change the situation and crack down on illegal immigrants. The problem obviously isn’t going to just disappear overnight but it would certainly appear that things are changing. It would appear to be that immigration isn’t something that British people want to put a stop to, it’s simply something that they want to have better regulation of. It’s one thing for immigrants to come to the country, get a job and make a life for themselves in the UK. It’s quite another to sneak in illegally and live a false life, without integrating with the local society. It could well be that if this can be sorted out, the whole attitude to immigration could shift significantly to be a more positive one.
Lauren Sutton is a UK-based journalist who writes on a variety of legal topics for Adams Law solicitors in London.