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Posts Tagged ‘Immigration’

International Family Day 2010 – Impact of Migration on Families

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on May 30, 2010

‘What does it feel like to be a migrant or growing up in a migrant family? The impact of migration on families was the theme for the United Nations International Day of Families 2010 that was commemorated around the world by many chapters of the Universal Peace Federation. In Bromley, near London, several people who either were migrants or who are from migrant families, spoke on fairly similar themes about their experiences.’

‘I hate to see wasted talent.’ Was the first comment of Sheridan Mangal. He went to explain that he mentors 6 young boys from disadvantaged backgrounds from ethnic minorities in the UK. His motivation for this came from his father and mother who came from the Caribbean to the UK in the early 1950’s. They came for the economic opportunity with the attitude that the UK as the motherland was doing them a favour. It was a difficult course for them as a couple and later us as a whole family because they were people with talent and willing to work hard. Soon they were faced with resentment and bitterness from the indigenous workers as they were given greater responsibilities.

His house was always crowded with family members who followed them to the UK. His parents helped many close relatives to establish themselves in the UK. This led to some tensions as some paid rent regularly but others did not. His parent’s attitude was to keep their heads down and work hard. They encouraged him to do the same and try to get a Government job. However, he grew up here mixing with British children who were encouraged to reach for the stars. He did not understand why he should keep his head down and did not feel that the UK was doing him a favour. He saw that his parents had made an immense contribution through taxes and later by employing others.

Rohema Miah was one of six children who grew up in the UK. Their father is from Bangladesh and their mother is Welsh. Their father did not return to Bangladesh for 42 years but sent money back to support the family. The main route for Bangladeshis in the UK is through restaurant ownership. This has contributed £1.2bn per year to the British economy.

She added that their parents never imposed a religion on them. They were allowed to make their own choice and despite making different choices they have remained close as brothers and sisters.

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Posted in Community Cohesion, Marriage and Family | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Immigrant’s Contribution to the UK: November 24th, 2009

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on November 25, 2009


Immigrant’s Contribution to the UK

House of Commons, Committee Room 12

November 24th, 2009

Photo Link here

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown

‘I am described as the most hated man in England’ said Keith Best, the Chair of Immigration Advisory Service UK (IASUK), referring to a BNP website as an illustration of the controversy and confusion that surrounds the immigration debate. He compared the UK where 10% of the population were born overseas to 12% in the US, 14% in France, 20% in Canada and 25% in Australia adding that none of those nations are in danger of ‘immediate social disintegration’. Yet the UK has a higher level of negativity to immigration than those other nations. (IASUK Press Release link here.) Yasmin Alibhai – Brown commented that the media had surrendered the debate to the anti – immigration lobby and that the situation was as bad as the 1960’s with both the centre left and the centre right uniting against immigration. She pushed for serious research into the effects of immigration highlighting changes in the UK since the 1960’s.

During a wide-ranging discussion on immigration chaired by Tom Brake MP and organised by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF), there were also presentations from Prof. Lord Bhikhu Parekh, Mark Brann Secretary General of UPF Europe, Baroness Uddin and Seja Majeed. There were views also expressed from Pakistani, Afro-Caribbean and Philippine communities.

Lord Parekh explored how to frame an effective discussion (full speech link) of the immigration issue targeting neither those vehemently for or against immigration but those who remained to be influenced by accurate and logical debate. He emphasised that the immigrants who came to the UK were mostly resourceful and industrious and added £3-4 bn to the UK economy and the vitality of its culture.

Seja Majeed

Baroness Uddin

Mark Brann described the UPF ethos of ‘One Family Under God’ through True Love. He could see the growing international familial bonds through globalisation, migration and inter-marriage. He emphasised the need for the Christian indigenous community to see the Muslim and other faith communities as a challenge rather than a threat that could re-invigorate Christian values in the UK economic, social and political life.

Seja Majeed illustrated the experience of immigrants coming to the UK at one year old from Iraq via Algeria, becoming an active volunteer for many years and now a face of the Vinspired campaign. She suggested that if families involved their children in volunteer activities in their pre-teen years they would be most likely to continue.

Posted in Community Cohesion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Prof. Lord Bhikhu Parekh: Effective Arguments for Immigration Debate

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on November 24, 2009


‘Effective Arguments for an Immigration Debate’ *

Prof. Lord Bhikhu Parekh

House of Commons, ‘Immigrants Contribution to the UK’

24th November 2009

Professor Lord Bhikhu Parekh

Lord Bikhu Parekh, Chair of ‘Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain’ Report in 2000, started with the classification of the audience. He mainly classified the audience into two groups: converted (ie generally supportive of immigration) and racists or nationalists. “What I would like to do is to ask a different kind of question: We can easily talk to the converted and convince them that immigration is a wonderful thing; because we are all immigrants; this is the kind of things they want to hear. So it is easy to convince the converted.  It is impossible to convince the racists. Those who are racists, those who don’t like black and browns at all and those who are nationalists in the mould of Enoch Powell, either  don’t want black people or want to keep a certain way of life.”

Referring to the points of remittances mentioned by Best, Lord Parekh said, “Keith made a very beautiful argument that when you go to Bangladesh or to Mirpur or to India there are villages where remittances from immigrants here have made a profound difference. Now if I go to the audiences here and say look with the same kind of argument; they will say I don’t know what you are trying to tell me. This argument has a meaning only if I have a moral obligation to help people in that part of the world. I don’t recognize any such obligation. So while that argument is very attractive to us but it will not cut any ice with this audience I am thinking about.”

Britain had no tradition of immigration
Lord Parekh mentioned that Britain had no tradition of immigration. “It is worth bearing in mind that until now certainly in Britain we have had people coming from outside but they are not immigrants. They are asylum seekers; refugees; we never positively went out to recruit immigrants, in a way that Canada and Australia and the United States did. Therefore, we have no tradition of immigration and therefore we have no vocabulary in terms of which we can talk about immigration. That is the first point to bear in mind,” said Lord Parekh and added, “When people came in the 1880s; 1920s, they were not immigrants; they were asylum seekers, they were refugees. So what kind of immigration that we are talking about.”

Immigration is a post-war phenomenon
Lord Parekh said, “It is a post-war phenomenon. Therefore, it’s a new to British life. We must bear that in mind. Because there are no old arguments, the traditional arguments upon which we can rely; we have to create our own tradition of arguments.”

Lord Parekh in the aftermath of that report on immigration went round the country and began to ask himself: “Can I speak only to satisfy my conscience or do I want to achieve something? And if I wanted to achieve something; how do I relate to the audience; what is my audience? Racists I cannot touch, converted I don’t want to touch. In the middle there are 75% to 80% of the people. What language they do understand?  At the same time  it’s not enough to know what language they do understand is also important that I should share the value of that language.”

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Posted in Community Cohesion | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »