Food for thought on “the brightest and the best”

In the Guardian letters columns recently, there were good letters from Michael Meadowcroft, Mike Cashman, Malcolm Pim, and Guri Singh on the new points based system for migrants.

All expressed views on those that the Government is saying it would welcome, such as doctors and highly skilled people, but however making points that we do need to think about encouraging them to leave countries where their skills are needed.

Another issue is that we have many asylum seekers in the UK, who are not welcome in their own countries, to put it mildly, and have fled here for sanctuary and safety. A lot of them are highly skilled and qualified; all that can work are very keen to do so in whatever way they can. They want to contribute to our society.

However our Government does not allow them to work whilst waiting for a decision, making them live on a meagre allowance instead. Even after 6 months the level that they can learn English at is basic, and for most there is little help in transferring professional qualifications when they do eventually get the right to remain, and therefore to work here.

It is a waste of skills, waste of enthusiasm, waste of years of life, and even a waste of money. We all lose, and our Government should be ashamed.

* Suzanne Fletcher was a councillor for nearly 30 years and a voluntary advice worker with the CAB for 40 years. Now retired, she is active as a campaigner in the community both as a Lib Dem and with local organisations. She is Liberal Democrat Seekers of Sanctuary's parliamentary and external relations officer.

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2 Comments

  • Peter Hirst 3rd Mar '20 - 1:28pm

    We need a pragmatic as well as a compassionate integrated immigration and asylum system. This will not be devised while a xenophobic culture remains. Allowing people who want to to work is a start as is conditional entry. I favour a period of some years in which significant demeanour leads to deportation for all recently arrived immigrants.

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