Dear Priti Patel,
I am an eighteen-year-old currently studying Politics & International Relations and the proud daughter of two incredibly hardworking and diligent immigrants.
I am writing to you about the “crisis” of Immigration that we face both as a Nation and Worldwide. Like you, I agree that there is a crisis, except it is not us who are the victims, but them, these immigrants we depict as thieves and demonise, meanwhile treating them as animals. These same individuals who only seek asylum and refuge from the chaos we, first world countries, have caused whilst playing with our weapons and carrying out our strong chants of heroism in their homeland.
Of course, I will not name any names. (The United States and United Kingdom.)
The truth of the matter is that colonialization never ended, it has been a profitable cycle that governments, such as the British government, benefit from economically. What is different now, is that it has been renamed, with the right narrative we have been given the ability to flip the story around to one that solely benefits us and mocks them. We claim to have reason to enter and essentially destroy another country (Afghanistan) to only leave it in a worse condition. Is it expected for those citizens to remain put, in suffering?
Your proposed anti-Immigration Bill is nothing but an attempt to criminalise those who are in dire need for safety. Under International law, the individual has every right to apply for asylum and remain until their request has been heard. It is recognised as a human right, a fact that this British government has purposely blurred out and what your proposed bill threatens and is ready to go against.
Inevitably, for these individuals who are in such desperate situations, the bill holds little meaning to them. It does not compare, in any way shape or form, to the challenges that they have faced. It does not bring them justice, safety, or realistic help. It does not encapsulate their pain and suffrage, and it fails, gravely, to protect them and their families. The bill, benefiting us rather than them, those who truly need it and who will feel the wrath of its effects.
So, we ask ourselves this question – why would you result to a system that never worked in the first place? The legal process this British government offers is weak and lacking. There is no way around it, in other words, it is cruel and prolonging. One individual may be lucky enough and must only wait a year, one may be rejected, and another may be detained in a centre. Or, if truly lucky enough, they will be granted asylum and most likely face xenophobia, racism, sexism as well as religious prejudice due to our Prime Minister, as well as today’s general British Politics, having given these opinions a platform and therefore have become tolerated within British society.
The Covid-19 Pandemic, the impact we have had particularly within Middle Eastern Conflicts, will all result to an escalation of this Immigration “crisis”. I believe that a good first step, would be to change the narrative held against asylum seekers and refugees, they are human beings and not animals, they do not flee out of choice. I also believe that an adaption to the Immigration bill is much needed, where your priorities should not lie in “cutting Immigration down by 100%”, but in creating a bill that will truly aim to help these people who are only seeking to live a decent life, as is their Human Right.
On a final note, from Woman to Woman, I respect and admire your strength and persistence, particularly in the strongly male dominated British Politics today.
Thank you for taking the time to read my letter,
Samanta Abreu Franco