7 Misconceptions About Migrants

They are the same as refugees 

You can thank the media for this one. There seems to be some confusion about the difference between migrants and refugees. Migrants are people who decide to move to another country to get a better job, to live in a nicer country, to enjoy a nicer climate or to be with friends and family. A bit like retired Brits moving to Spain.

Refugees are people who are literally fleeing their ‘home’, in order to get to safety. They may be running because their sexuality puts them at risk of death everyday. They may be leaving a country following a natural disaster. Or they may be fleeing war and the aftermath of war. A bit like Syrians seeking safety following ongoing  horrendous conflict, violence and starvation

The two are not to be mixed up. However, the topic of refugees is one that needs its own post. Today we are focusing on the former: migrants.

They steal our jobs 

Ah yes. The classic argument. Lets take Kenny from down the road. We all know a Kenny. Has been unemployed for 3 years because the migrants have ‘stolen’ all the jobs. However, there is actually a farm about half an hour from where Kenny lives that has quite a few job openings. Its minimum wage, yes. Long hours, yes. Hard work, yes. But its a job? The problem is, Kenny doesn’t want that job. But the new migrants to the street want to begin their new lives, and are desperate for a job. So they have applied for this job, and begin on Monday. It is not the nicest of jobs, but it needs doing or else there will be vegetable shortages in the supermarkets!

On the other hand, there is a job opening at the local hospital for a consultant. Sadly, Kenny has very little in the way of qualifications and no relevant work experience. A migrant with a PhD and 15 years of work experience manages to get the job. She has saved countless lives since starting, and proves an asset to the team.

But of course, it is the migrants fault that Kenny has no job. Nothing at all to do with the fact that the agricultural job up the road isn’t the job Kenny wants. Nothing to do with the fact that Kenny hasn’t applied for a job in 3 years. Nothing at all that he lacks the qualifications for some of the professional jobs available.  Not at all. Its all because of the immigrants. And of course, Kenny was clearly already holding the position as a consultant or at the farm when it was ‘stolen’ from him, as something can only be stolen if it is already held by someone else.

As you can see, there is no logic to this argument. Jobs cannot be stolen. In order to get the job you need to be the best applicant- regardless of where you come from. And there are plenty of jobs for locals to do, they just don’t want to do them!

They ruin culture

There is the age old claim that Britain just isn’t ‘Britain’ any more due to the addition of new cultures and traditions from migrants. The question is though- what is “British Culture”?  A roast dinner?  Last time I checked you can have a joint of beef on a Sunday without any bother. Our nations favourite dish, the Chicken Tikka Marsala is inspired from Indian curry. Our Team GB team is our pride and joy, with athletes such as Mo Farah making us proud event after event. Half of the music we listen to and clothes we wear is made in other countries. Perhaps “British Culture” is the celebration of all the accumulated cultures from the people who have moved to this country over the many years. If we look at it from that angle then we can see that migrants enhance our culture!

They only come here to claim benefits

The American surgeon who replaced your grandmas hip? The French teacher who taught you at school? Ignore that. The hundreds of farm workers that provide us with fresh fruit and veg every day? Lets brush over that. The majority of migrants want to work. And they do work. They then pay tax on top of that which goes back into the governments penny pot to fund the NHS, schools and emergency services. Sometimes, things go wrong, and the job they were promised falls through or becomes dangerous to them. They might need a bit of help until they find the next job. Its what these things are for. Of course some people cheat the system. Non-migrants do too. Overall however, the vast majority work and earn their own money.

We don’t need them

 Most of our ancestors were migrants at some point, and migrants serve us in the NHS, the schools, the farms, the shops- they bring a whole range of skills and fill a range of jobs that are vital to the success of this country. Migrants are responsible for the range of yummy food we eat every day (McDonalds? Nandos? Curry?) and for influencing some of the music we all love.  If we want to have access to affordable food, good education and healthcare, the opportunity to buy goods and eat a variety of foods then we defintly need migrants.


There will always be some people who are xenophobic or racist, but they are in the minority. I like to think most of us welcome the variety migrants from across the globe bring to this country. If people want to sit in their armchair and moan about the country being “taken over” then that is their choice. As for me? I’m going to order a Chinese.



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