Born abroad

I'm always interested when immigration is in the news.  The BBC have a story (and map) of immigration to the UK in the last decade, many of them land in the Southeast.  I am a first-generation immigrant to America.  Maybe that's why the Ellis Island Museum of Immigration freaked me out so much.  Everything in there could have been applied to me, from the anti-immigration posters to the country-by-country quotas.  We hold green cards now, as permanent resident aliens.  In a few years we can apply for US citizenship.  Americans have been very welcoming, the only anti-immigrant vitriol I've seen is on Slashdot, and they're an unpleasant crowd at the best of times.

More than 1.1 million people moved to Britain in the decade to 2001, research revealed by the BBC suggests.  Figures show just over half of Britain's population growth in recent years can be attributed to immigration.  The most extensive assessment of migration ever produced shows 7.53% of people living in Britain were born overseas - up from 5.75% in 1991.  The IPPR think tank obtained the figures, which exclude Northern Ireland, from the 2001 census.  The data - collated for the Institute for Public Policy Research by experts at Sheffield University - is being published on the BBC News website in a way that allows the public to learn how immigrants play a part in every region and neighbourhood of Britain.

Migration Watch want UK immigration to stop, on the basis of overcrowding.  The usual Slashdot anti-immigration argument is "those filthy immigrants have stolen all the best jobs and they're working for cheap and now I can't get the job I want!  Everything bad is their fault!  Wah!"  That mindset knows little about the actual immigration process.  I like America, and I'm in favour of sustainable, legal immigration.  Illegal immigration is a problem that should be dealt with, it's law-breaking and that's wrong.  Ideally there would be heavy fines on companies employing illegals, enough to make them think twice before breaking the law, and regular checks of employees.  There will always be migration from country to country, it gives you a very different perspective on life, and I don't think any country should close its borders completely.

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