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How do we create a fair asylum and immigration system that benefits Britain?

November 1, 2018 5:00 PM
By Gary Fuller in Folkestone Herald - Talking Points
Originally published by Folkestone and Hythe Liberal Democrats

Gary FullerWe're all human beings, born who and where we are through nothing more than luck. Some of us are unlucky enough to be born in places ruined by war, famine, disease, dictatorship, natural disasters or the consequences of history. Some human beings need our help. Some are simply looking for a chance at a better life. Some come to Britain.

Any fair asylum and immigration system must remember at its heart that we're all human beings. As human beings we all have the right to live, love, work and be happy, in safety, without hatred or violence affecting our lives. Such a system also needs to remember simple practicalities, like what resources we have to offer, and what we need as a society.

Much of the discussion around immigration focuses on issues that affect us at home. Issues such as housing, public services and organised crime. It focuses on changing neighbourhoods and difficulties with employment or security. It builds "us and them" scenarios, conflating individuals with sub-cultures and encouraging us to "look to our own".

That may sell papers, but it doesn't help us, as a nation or as human beings. A convenient bogeyman stops us solving our real problems and stops us being objective. A fair asylum and immigration system is one that benefits everyone. That everyone includes people that live here and people that come here, but it also includes people who aren't here.

There are real problems in the world, and we have the resources to help solve those problems. Part of that means being welcoming to people that have the potential to take solutions back to their country of origin. Part of it means recognising potential in people that leave the country they were born in. Most of it though is remembering we're all human beings.