One wrong impression leads to another. And, in the end you have a distorted picture. It’s true for immigration as well.
Attribute it to the political compulsions of so many political parties in the UK, or anti-immigration hype created by a section of media. The fact remains the masses have a wrong impression about immigration.
And, going by this logic, some of the apprehensions expressed by them and the critics are not only ill-founded and unsubstantiated, but also patently wrong.
The annual Transatlantic Trends Immigration survey suggests suggest most of the people in the UK have the impression that there are more immigrants in the UK than there actually are.
The people answering the survey rather believe the immigrants account for 31.8 per cent of the population.
Now, this is not just exaggeration, but gross exaggeration.
The impression they have is nearly three times the exact figures. Just 11.3 per cent of the population is actually foreign-born.
When the base is wrong, how can the superstructure be right. The aftermath of the wrong impression is there for all to see.
So many Europeans believe immigrants are a burden on social services. And, even though it is now an established fact that the immigrants are the oil that lets the economic machinery run smoothly, approximately three in five or 58 per cent people in the UK complain immigrants take jobs away from British workers.
This is against 57 per cent in the US, 36 per cent in Spain, 30 per cent in Italy, 25 per cent in France and just 23 per cent in Germany.
Associate director of the IPPR think-tank Matt Cavanagh says the people are more positive about international students and skilled migrant workers. Yet, this is precisely where the government is ending up clamping down, in an attempt to reach their immigration target, ignoring public opinion as well as the economic and other benefits these migrants bring.
It’s now for the powers that be to set the picture right — not just in the interest of the immigrants, but also the national interest. After all, it’s the nation and the national economy that’s benefiting from immigration.