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JCWI says immigration should be discussed with good manners and grace

Date of Publication: 
10 May 2017

JCWI publishes light-hearted etiquette guide as Iain Duncan Smith calls some EU migrants "low-value" people

JCWI says immigration should be discussed with good manners and grace

10 May 2017

With the general election looming, the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) yesterday published a light-hearted guide with a serious message: immigration should be discussed with good manners and grace by politicians and journalists. You can download the 1-page guide here.

It came on a day when Conservative politician Iain Duncan Smith faced criticism for saying EU membership and freedom of movement meant "low-value" people had been let in to the UK.

Duncan Smith told BBC Newsnight that a work permit system would allow Britain to bring in high-value people from the EU and fewer "low-value, low-skilled people".

JCWI said last month that migrants have been subject to hostile public debate and increasingly aggressive policies in recent times in the UK.

"Our politicians have not always been open about the vital contribution made by migrants, and nor have they invested in the resources needed to help immigration work for everyone. These failures have led to concerns among business, the public, and migrants alike about the way immigration is being handled," JCWI stated.

With this in mind, JCWI recommends that when discussing immigration, you should:

• Use appropriate and specific terms such as students or workers rather than just 'immigrants', and don't mix up terms such as 'asylum seekers' and 'refugees'.

• Research and check the facts and figures you give on immigration.

• Don't use offensive and inflammatory terms such as "illegals", "bogus" or "failed" asylum seekers, or "health tourists".

• Don't conflate other social issues (such as hospital waiting lists or a lack of school places) with immigration.

Finally, JCWI recommends that politicians should not make grand promises to "slash immigration" or "remove all the 'illegals'".

Meanwhile, news media reported on Monday that the Conservatives are set to retain a manifesto pledge to cut net migration to the 'tens of thousands'.

"We do want to bring net migration down to sustainable levels. We believe that is the tens of thousands," the Guardian quoted the Prime Minister as saying.

Sky News' senior political correspondent, Beth Rigby, wrote that the pledge isn't deliverable, has been missed for six years in a row, and the policy "doesn't stack up practically or economically", as the UK economy is running at near full employment and hundreds of thousands of migrant workers are doing vital jobs and paying taxes into the exchequer.

Rigby called the pledge a "millstone" that May has chosen not to drop as it may serve her well in the election campaign, but beyond the election, Number 10 needs to move the immigration debate on from cutting numbers and towards "taking back control".

We'll publish the sections on immigration from the main parties' manifestos on EIN news when they are available.