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An Alternative British Immigration Policy

The Immigration policy described by .Carter, et. al. (1996) argues that immigration policy was central in the construction of racial identities in Britain. Despite having literal global influence because of its former imperialistic practices, and going so far as to state that it’s former colonials are citizens of Britain, the British government did all that was in its power to limit the number of non-whites who entered the Mother country. It was perfectly ok for an individual to claim British citizenship within former colonial territories, but there was a back lash against immigrants who actually wanted to return “home” to Britain. Britain was for the whites alone. Even the Irish, who faced much of the worst persecutions in nations after immigrating, were preferred because the Irish were “not- whether they like it or not- a different race from the ordinary inhabitants of Great Britain”

This statement about who really constitutes the true race of Great Britain helps set up much of the racial divisions now visible within the country. Only “white” people, preferable from the Isles or Western Europe were thought of as racially proper and truly assimilate-able. However, this is the assumption which I challenge as truly flawed. Provided a child grows up within a British context, learns British history, and is taught to take pride is his or her British heritage, that child, regardless of his or her genetics, will develop just as much of a nationalistic feeling and pride as any white child. They will think British, speak British and act British because it is all that they know. With this assumption in mind, that people really are in fact assimilate-able, it is necessary to re-work the formerly inflammatory immigration policies

Summary of new policies for immigration to Great Britain:

1. All immigrants must be treated on the assumption that they plan on staying within the country for an extended period of time (i.e. a year of more)- This assumption is necessary to change the mindset of individuals already in Britain. Often, current residence of a country view immigrants as transient-that is they’ll come in, do a job, and then just disappear. However this is often not the case and it is important to begin to alter the mindset of the people on the receiving end of immigration. 2. Racial awareness training for immigration officers/employees. - This provision builds upon provision number one. The change in mindset must be actively pursued beginning with the people who will be admitting people traditionally viewed as non-British into the country. If Immigration officer do not view “foreigners” as assimilate-able, then it will color their decision making processes. Regardless of what policy is, it is still up to human being somewhere to approve or reject immigration requests.

3. All individuals wishing to immigrate must have a basic proficiency in English: English has become the language of commerce and a majority of the individuals on this planet who would attempt to enter Britain either know it have been in the very least exposed to it. Bearing this fact in mind, having a basic proficiency in this language is neither a difficult, nor unfair request. In order to learn about Britain, make Britain your home, and learn to love Britain, one must speak the language of the British. This is mere common sense.

4. All individuals over the age of 15 wishing to immigrate must within 3 months of their entry pass a basic skills test covering aspects of British history and culture. If the test is not taken within the 3 month period, then deportation shall be immediate. If the test is taken but failed, 1 week will be added to the deadline. After three failures, no more time shall be allowed and deportation shall be immediate. Study guides are to be provided upon entry and returned upon the completion of the test – This measure is designed to facilitate as quickly as possible the assimilation into British-ness of all immigrants. By having then learn basic facts about Britain, it will help develop a sense of ownership within the country.

4a. Citizens of former colonies are to be given preference.- This measure works with the language requirement because most citizens of former colonies already posses English skills and a working knowledge of Britain. They should already be well on their way to being assimilated into British-ness and thus be given preference..

5. Background checks for criminal behavior during immigration procedures: It is a simple, common-sense premise that one should not allow convicted felons into your country, regardless of their race or any other physical attribute. Convicted felons, since they have already demonstrated previously that they are capable of committing horrendous crimes, are more likely to commit such crimes again. It is not within the interest of the British State or the Queen to allow such individuals free reign within British borders.

6. There are to be free movement policies once within the state. - To prevent immigrants from locking onto the idea of racial identity and moving to “coastal ghettos”, governmental agencies are to welcome immigrants and allow them the freedom to explore Great Britain without harassment-be it official, or from the populous at large. Every individual is capable of contributing his or her unique skills to British Society. Therefore, they must have options.

7. Cap on the number of total immigrants determined bi-annually- Because immigration ebs and flows constantly and Britain has a very small actual physical territory, the number of total immigrants allowed to enter the country to is be re-evaluated yearly based upon total population trends. Ethnic and cultural attributes are not to be taken into account.

Plausibility of the policy The fore stated policy changes to the current immigration regime within Britain are designed to limit racial tensions by facilitating an assimilation of the immigrant into British society. British society is encouraged through the above measures to help in the process. The regime is based on a relatively utopian view of how live could be.

It is important to note that several of these measures would be very difficult, though not impossible to enact. The training of immigration officials could take place but simply because an individual receives training does not mean that he or she will follow this training. Enforcement of the fairness policies would need to be strict. People who truly cared about making the new regime work would have to be recruited and placed in oversight.

Furthermore, truly developing a sense of British-ness within all immigrants or a sense of acceptance within the current British population would be difficult. People entering the country already have loyalties to their mother countries. These loyalties would not be carelessly abandoned, but the measures put in place a step in the right direction toward fostering a loyalty towards Britain. On the other side of the issue are those people already present in Britain. They exist now within a racialized context and would not willingly abandon it overnight. While it is possible for the government to take measures to downplay race, change in the British psyche will take time. It could be an entire generation before true changes become apparent.

A new immigration policy has been proposed to alleviate much of the racial tension present in current society. While not perfect, it addresses the core issues of assimilation into British society from both the British and the immigrant perspective. Race is not taken into account anywhere and instead a sense of ownership in Britain is purposed. While utopian, this plan could, with enough time and commitment, succeed.

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