We held a structured discussion – the results of which fed into the national debate
we also took part in the Wolverhampton Stakeholders' meeting the results of which http://nationalconversation.uk/wolverhampton-generational-change-and-historical-legacies-of-migration/
Date: 20-07-2017 Location of conversation: Wolverhampton
Who we are: Wolverhampton, Bilston & District Trades Union Council
General views on immigration
Please summarise a few points you agreed on, both positive and negative:
- Term immigration has confused the debate nationally and in media. Often migrants only considered as such if from Eastern Europe or Africa those from USA, Australia, Canada not treated the same or as badly.
- Negative remarks from the past that died out before are now being reused
- Need to reverse reasons for forced migration due to wars that Britain has been involved with. Most migration in the world is due to war and most people move to camps in neighbouring countries with no life.
Some concerns we shared:
Any concerns you may have about the impact of immigration and the effects of immigration controls
- Migration is not new always happened; birth rate has lowered, a falling population will need carers in the future. Need planned net immigration to the country, numbers do matter.
Some points of agreement on local impacts and integration:
What did the group share about the local effects of immigration?
- Diverse local population has grown up together. Integration in schools is key. Academy chains based on religion will cause future harm. Northern Ireland has changed their future based on school integration
- Wolverhampton & Bilston TUC anti fascist campaign has assisted over the last 17 years to ongoing community relations along with council initiatives in Wolverhampton.
- Cutbacks and all public services due to austerity means to former support for communities is now hard to meet - meeting places are closed
- Competition for social housing and school places but immigration used to fill unwanted homes and empty school places
Some points of agreement on refugees:
What did the group share about refugees in your local area?
- The effect of immigration on the NHS has been positive; lack of training, no incentive to train when we have immigration for nurses Greece now, before it was the Philippines.
Some points of agreement about EU migrants:
What did the group share about EU migrants in your local area?
- EU Fortress Europe policy prioritised predominantly white EU citizens over those from the rest of world.
If there were one or two things your group would want to suggest to the
government, what would it be?
- Employment rights should include anti exploitation, unscrupulous employers paying below minimum wage and driving down wages; agency employment uses immigration
- Asylum seekers need the right to work many lose their skills after years of waiting for a decision