It has been widely reported that the French government are planning to close the Calais camp as ‘quickly as possible’ as stated by the French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve. This means that the remaining refugees in the camp will have to be dispersed all over Europe, as a result many of them will be headed to the United Kingdom.
Amber Rudd the Home Secretary was pressed in parliament earlier in the week about how many of the 1000 refugees Britain would take, she responded saying that she prioritises safeguarding all children under 12 years old, and that with the aid of Citizens UK she looks to bring in 387 child refugees.
In a time where race relations in the UK are becoming tense, immigration is a reoccurring topic of conversation for many in the political world and moral panics are being created by the media, British people are feeling as if their way of life is being threatened, but are their concerns justified?
A major problem lies with the environment the Syrian’s have fled from, they have left a country entrenched so deeply in war it seems there is no end in sight. As of right now one thing unites the civilians living in the camp and that is finding refuge in the west where they can start a new life for themselves and their families. With the Syrian civil war still ongoing, does the unity of trying to attain a better standard of living fall apart and the split between those who support the rebels and those who back Assad spill over onto our homeland? This is a question many Brits are anxious about.
The answer is actually quite simple. There is a huge difference in the way in which immigrants come into the country and the way refugees do, an immigrant can decide where they want to live as opposed to the refugee who is allocated to different counties all over Britain. This dispersal of the refugees is very important as it prevents ghettoization which means that the refugees will have no choice but to assimilate into the British way of living life. Considering the distance in which they may live away from each other it is logical to assume that whatever lingering hatred they may have towards each other will slowly become nonexistent as they will have no one to direct it towards, minimising any extremist threat they may hold. Due to these arrangements it will give the Syrian diaspora avenues to add something new to the multicultural society that we already live in and also encourage them take on British values which will assist them in achieving the higher standard of life they wished for as they were making the dangerous trip from Syria into Europe and on top becoming an asset to the United Kingdom.
By, Haris Ali