Talking about immigration at my coffee morning in Thorpe

Some people think that it causes problems to talk about immigration. But I think the problems come from not talking about it.

That’s why I invited local residents along to Thorpe Primary School on Saturday to have a discussion, and tell me their views about the benefits and challenges that immigration can bring to our area.

The event was well attended, and we had a good and wide-ranging discussion.

Most people agreed that the new ‘Australian style’ points-based system the government has introduced will help to improve the way we manage immigration, though some people thought this should have been introduced earlier on.

People generally felt that there should be more information available about who can and can’t enter the UK, and the different type of migrants that may arrive (for example workers, spouses, or those fleeing persecution).

They also thought there were a lot of ‘myths’ that need to be tackled about what benefits migrants are entitled to, when they can receive them, and what the rules are about migrants working.

I found it very useful to listen to peoples views, so many thanks to everyone that came along. You can find out more about the new points-based system – and about the rules, rights and responsibilities relating to immigration – on the UK Border Agency website here: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/ukresidency/

We have more coffee mornings coming up on a whole host of issues and it would be great to have more people coming along. If you would like to attend one of my coffee mornings please get in touch at ed@edballs.com or on 0113 253 9466.

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Posted October 19th, 2009 by Ed