There has been furor in Britain after it was recently announced that the number of foreign workers in the UK almost doubled from ten years ago. To make it worse, two-thirds of that number come from non-EU countries, where permits have to be obtained prior to work. This made a mockery of Labour’s claim to provide “British jobs for British people”.
Now the Home Secretary wants to introduce stricter rules for migrants outside the EU to work in the UK. This was in response to the fact that people have become angry at the loss of jobs for British workers and the increased housing allotted to immigrant workers. The new rules, of course, would not pertain to EU residents, as they have free access to jobs throughout Europe.
Although the new rules may seem to be favouring the natives, it does not address the issue of granting work visas or immigration status to those who have not been sponsored by a company to come and work. The rules are in place to ensure that the immigrants will contribute to society rather than live off of it. However, if these immigrants came in and were not sponsored, they would have to find work. If unsuccessful, they would have to apply for benefits. And most likely, they would get it. After all, what will the government do? Deport them?
I find this situation very irritating. While I am not a native Brit, I married one. Before I could even come here, I had to get either a work visa or a settlement visa. By virtue of having been married for so long, I was granted an indefinite settlement visa. But in receiving the visa, I had to waive all rights to benefits. Since I was the primary wage-earner, this was not a difficult thing. However, since settling in the UK, the situation has changed. I cannot pursue my line of work without much difficulty. So that door seems closed for now. And pursuing any other line of work would require further education or training. I do not have time for that. Yet, I cannot be granted any benefits. It’s a double-edged sword. To sit back and continually fight for survival while watching these other immigrants, who have much less right to be here, get support from the government is nauseating.