13 years

“The job of a citizen is to keep his mouth open.”

Günter Grass

13 years

Today is my lucky day. Someone in the government must have thought of me on this special occasion, by providing the press with a draft document of the plans regarding immigration to the United Kingdom post Brexit. Today of all days. Hooray! Let me explain, Thirteen years ago I landed in the United Kingdom. I was going to bore you all to death with anecdotes and memories of that day but instead I have spent my afternoon reading the leaked document and thanking the anonymous civil servant for their betrayal. Theresa May must be fuming. Well c’est la vie.  One tends to not pay too much attention to things that aren’t set in stone just yet, and this document is still a draft (one naively hopes so anyway) but we need to be thankful to the traitor as it has given us a glimpse of what the Government is planning for the country after Brexit. Considering how muddy and unproductive the internal conversations have been so far, the leak is extremely welcomed. Whoever you are doing the backstabbing muchas gracias.

I will be honest. I do not expect any special treatment for anyone who arrives in the UK from the EU after 2019. Once you leave the EU all those countries will be part of that ‘rest of the world’ so I agree that same rules should apply to all its citizens. Before any Brexiter goes for my jugular I said after 2019. Before that date all the special circumstances apply and I won’t be quiet until our rights and status are guaranteed to remain the same. I have to say this all over again because I am sick and tired of arguing with some leavers why I should have different rights then someone from Morocco for example.  I did not chose Brexit. I was not allowed to vote. I came to the country as part of the joys of the free movement. If I knew Brexit was coming, I probably would have chosen to go to Ireland instead to learn English. Anyway, back to the leaked document. It should not be a surprise what the Tories are thinking as a strategy for regaining the control of the country’s borders. What for me is shocking is how close their policies are to Trump’s idea of America first. We all know what his ideas on immigration are and we are all very shocked by them, but for me this is not that different. In this draft document immigrants are portrayed, I am portrayed as a threat to be stopped. Their way of thinking is let’s try to make this country not very appealing at all so they stop coming in. How do we achieve that? Let’s get finger prints, mountains of paper work, minimise the ‘family reunion rights’ and if they overcome all of that after 2 years, bye off you go where you belong.

You see, yes I understand criminal records and all that but by making such a point on criminality you sound much like Donald blaming solely immigration for putting the national security at risk and all that. I am not saying this document is Xenophobic, but it does imply that half of the problems of the country will be solved by cutting numbers, but only foolish Sun readers can agree with that. The problems that the country is facing at the moment and the ones it will face after Brexit need more than a scapegoat to be resolved. The biggest flaw of this document is its populism. In one hand the Government is talking about a transition period after 2019 but in the paper these rules will apply straight after March 2019. Not sure if they have talked about it with the EU, see how that goes down. The populism is also reflected in the silly attempt to make UK as unattractive as possible. Ok, it might work but how on earth are you going to allure the good cultured high skilled immigration you need?  By making the prospects of the country as grey as bleak as you can? I do not think that is going to work. In the end you will end up with a country which is not attractive to anyone, even to its own people.  In a society everyone is important, from the barista to the fruit picker, from the midwife to the thinker. Everyone’s contribution to society should be appreciated regardless. “Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists” said Franklin D. Roosevelt. Enough said. Hasta luego. Besos.

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