MP’s and peers have said that migrants should know English well in order to get integrated into the British society. English should either be a pre-requisite for immigration, or English language classes should be provided and taken upon arrival
Mahin Siddiki – TDO –The cross-party group has emphasized that being able to speak English would lead to better integration for immigrants. They have also said that ministers should consider allowing different parts of the UK to set their own immigration laws and regulations.
A recent study by Dame Louise Casey has revealed worrying levels of segregation in some parts of the UK, and urges the government to take action through giving more English classes to these isolated groups, in order to deal with this social issue.
An interim report by the All Party Parliamentary Group has gone a step further in their suggestions and said that English should be a pre-requisite for coming to the UK, or, English classes should be taken as soon as arrival within the UK. The group has justified their remark by saying that integration should begin as soon as migrants arrive in the UK, and the best way to integrate oneself with the British culture is through proper knowledge of English.
Labour MP Chuka Umunna has commented and said that learning English is a “two-way street” and while migrants need to show interest and work hard to learn English, the government must also do its part and provide English learning classes and other resources needed.
He further said that there are ways to prove whether or not migrants arriving have a basic knowledge of English, and in the final report of the All Party Parliamentary Group report, this will be explained.
The cross-party group has also emphasized upon the need of regional immigration laws, regulations and quotas by reflecting upon a similar model used by Canada, where region-specific visas can be issued by provincial governments.
There are parts in Scotland, for example, said the cross-party group, where a higher number of immigrants are needed, whereas in other parts of the UK, parliamentary members and the public would like to see a reduction in immigration numbers. Therefore, letting individual regions of the UK regulate their own immigration laws would be helpful.
The report also advised a new strategy of integration for immigrants which would focus on English language, making immigrants aware of the host country’s culture, tradition and laws and providing immigrants with access to the labour market.
Mr Umunna’s concern is regarding the need for new, better “integration” strategies once Britain leaves the EU. According to the report, there will be major changes in Britain’s immigration laws overall, once Brexit occurs, and the freedom of movement rules no longer apply. Brexit also gives Britain a better chance at dealing with their high numbers of immigrants; way over their target of 100,000.
The vast number of immigrants in Britain has affected many different communities in different ways, which has often scared many people. Integration of immigrants needs to be addressed in order for immigrants to feel like a part of British society, and in order for native citizens to also deal with the changes to their communities.
The inability of adaptation and lack of knowledge on both ends creates vacuums where extremists can exploit the fear and hate that may build. Therefore, integration is a must for both immigrants, and for native citizens.
The Home Office has commented and said that it is making funding available for more English lessons. They have also, however, commented upon the problem of having to deal with vast numbers of immigrants and how that creates pressure upon government funding.
The goal of the government at this point, and especially after Brexit, is to build an immigration system which “works for everybody” and also grants the control needed to the government.