UPDATE 21st April 2020: Citizenship for essential workers?
It's become clearer as Britain has rallied round our essential workers that 'unskilled' does not mean 'unnecessary'. This crisis has laid bare the facts - postal workers, bus drivers, hospital cleaners, bin collectors and, yes, nurses and health workers are the ones keeping us safe and well.
Each of these essential jobs are worked by people who weren't born in Britain, but who have made this island their home. The government's proposed points-based immigration system would lock many of these people out. They wouldn't get enough points to stay here because they're 'unskilled'.
We add to this petition our call to the government to recognise that the value of a worker is not just how much they get paid. We call for essential workers to be recognised in our new immigration system.
Putting more in than taken out
Britain is a country built in no small part by immigrants.
It is a simple fact that immigrants put more into our economy than they take out. You’re far more likely to be treated by an immigrant in hospital than to stand behind one in a queue to be seen.
More than one-third of doctors, dentists and pharmacists are foreign born, as are 20% of nurses. The NHS relies on their hard-work and compassion.
Staffing our NHS
But more importantly, their contribution to our nation cannot be merely quantified. For most of us, immigrants are our friends, our partners, our parents. Culturally, personally, socially, the impact of immigration is immeasurable.
The Government’s new ‘points based’ policy threatens to undermine all the benefits of immigration Britain has enjoyed. People defined as “unskilled” will not be given visas.
'Unskilled' is not 'unnecessary'
“Unskilled” workers, from Britain or abroad, provide vital services up and down the country, work that is already undervalued and underpaid. The points system will increase the shortage of such crucial labour. That means fewer carers, cleaners and ambulance drivers.
Let's not lose out
The policy ignores the fact that many people come to Britain to train, learn and improve themselves. The UK will lose out on untold potential and will deny thousands the opportunity to contribute to our country.
That’s why I’m calling on my MP to oppose the government’s changes to immigration policy. Will you join me?