• Heather Paterson

Why I oppose immigration . . .

Updated: Mar 25, 2019


So in the latest us vs them media furore there is an attempt to create mass hysteria over the influx of Bulgarians and Romanians to the UK. Now there are many arguments against this being a bad thing, I could make the argument that immigration overall benefits the country economically and culturally, I could challenge the racism and xenophobia involved in the debate, or indeed counter with the examples of the mass migration from the UK to other parts of the globe, but there are many others who make this point much better than me in the written word, spoken poetry and film.

You may have noticed that the title of this blog is why I OPPOSE immigration. Now I don't oppose the moving of people from one place to another for many of the reasons detailed above. What I do oppose is why immigration is even a thing. Let's look at this logically: We as a race (by which I mean the human race) live on one big lump of rock which we have done for millions of years (sorry Christians / other religious folk) and from the first maps 25,000 years ago we have drawn lines all over the globe separating the countries we have created.

At some point we decided that those lines could decide how we live with differing laws and living standards on either side for no reason other than the imaginary lines we have drawn. Why can I travel 9,000 miles (across Russia) without crossing a country border, yet the same distance elsewhere on our lump of rock and cross tens of borders each requiring various checks, passports and visas just to enter / leave the different areas ? I can sit drinking a coffee with one foot in the Netherlands and the other in Belgium, we can change our mind and move these borders as has been done in Palestine / Israel with deadly consequence. It just doesn't make logical sense.

When it comes down to it, there are practically no arguments from either side as to where people live geographically. The arguments are about laws, benefits, economics etc. but if we hadn't created a system where your human rights, healthcare and general standards of living depend on which side of an imaginary line you reside on then there wouldn't be an issue. The people who want hot sun and beaches would be balanced out by the the pasty ginger folk such as myself who would prefer cooler climates, the city dwellers balancing outdoorsy country people. We could all coexist quite happily.

Just think of those early cartographers and travellers who created the first maps to identify places, to travel and explore and move around sharing their knowledge and experiences as they did so. This country and indeed the rest of the world has benefitted greatly from the movement of people, but we have also suffered great pains and losses from the fights over the borders. In almost every case I can think of the negatives have been associated with man made borders and the associated rules either side rather than the physical movement of people which has been almost universally beneficial.

So it may not be the easiest thing to do overnight but I propose we get a giant eraser and remove the borders and work together to continue the benefits as we move around. If there are issues of mass groups of people wanting to cross a particular line, then look at the reasons for that. If human rights are limitted on on side, work to address the imbalance. If you have different legal rights or health care access, campaign to improve those issues. The problems will not be addressed by further restrictions, closing borders etc but by addressing the inequalities that exist either side of them. We created those borders so we can also remove them.

www.heatherpaterson.co.uk


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