VA > On > Immigration
Note that I resided in California for 10 years and mix with people of all types as part of my life.
1. There are several catagories of immigrants:
a) Those (like the Australians and Poles who used to populate London before the credit crunch) who come over to work hard and earn enough to get by and either remain here or return to their homeland after a few years. I knew many such people who were polite and very hard working.
b) Those who are trying to escape a (genuinely) oppressive regime or way of life overseas (with no political or armed way out) and so come here to start a new life or await change at home before returning.
c) Those who simply desire to live (and perhaps procreate) in a different country because they prefer their new destination over the prior. For example, those who leave the UK to reside in Spain or the USA.
d) Those who take advantage of our lenient government handouts and literally live off the state despite being physically and mentally capable of working to earn a living.
2. Trying to accertain which category visitors fit into is difficult without infringing on their civil liberties. However, the American system is excellent. When I won the green card lottery, I was made to go through all sorts of hoops in order to gain my (imigrant) visa.
a) Fate would have it that it was raining hard in London when I visited the US Embassy in London from California – and I was dressed for California too!
b) One is made to wait almost half a day to be processed. While I was waiting, a young man who I assume was ‘running away’ from something, began to cry and left the embassy before being processed.
c) One is then given a medical check to test for AIDS and other diseases that they are keen you do not bring into the country.
d) You sign a form to say:
i) You have or are not a member of the Nazi or Communist party.
ii) You will not be a ward of state (IE, laying in bed on behalf of the tax payer). I had in my hands at the embassy a Sonovista BiT BOPPER made by my employer in California, so I had enough evidence of the initiative I had gone through in the US to remain independent. (Bar investors!)
iii) You do not suffer from AIDS. (And I think one or two other illnesses.)
Further, in 1991 when I first arrived in the US, (with long hair and in a sweat top), I was made to stand at a security desk for around 40 minutes while they checked my details. After some appologies, I was allowed through. However, I later learned that the long wait was designed to make any guilty party (drugs?) begin to panic and sweat – therefore giving the game away.
All of this makes perfect sense and is probably why there is so little immigrant crime in the US. (Most dodgy people I met in the US where Brits who probably got in without any of the more racially profiled checks of today’s much changed world.)
3. California is or was the world’s 8th largest economy – and a lot of that is thanks to the hard working Mexicans who do all the jobs others don’t want to do or have upgraded from.
In conclusion, my own take on the British (and perhaps any nation’s) immigration policy is that it should emulate the American system.