It’s the time of the year when people are busy setting goals and making plans. I’ve got trouble focusing on anything but the fact, that I am one of three and half million people in the UK, who presently can’t make any plans for longer than a year ahead, because apparently we’re a threat to this country.
In fact, a lot of my European friends’ plans include leaving this country.
I can see a lot of you rolling your eyes and say, “Stop going on about it, it’ll be fine. They shouldn’t charge you to be able to stay, but stop moaning.”
And I feel bad about even mentioning it, because I'm aware that, even after living here for 15 years, I'm still a guest here and I should shut up and be grateful.
But this isn’t about being charged to stay. Because, actually, they charge us to APPLY to be allowed to stay. They’re not guaranteeing us any rights. Ever.
Yes, they smile into our face and say, “oh, as long as you are who you say you are, have no criminal record, and let us put you on our register you’ll be able to stay.”
But let’s face it, we could be rejected.
Some of us could be rejected simply for making a mistake when filling out the paper work.
Some of us could be rejected because the government makes a mistake.
Some of us could be rejected for lacking the right documentation for something we never knew we needed documentation for.
Some of us could be rejected for not being “desirable immigrants”, which doesn’t require involvement in any crime - low income, homelessness or similar would provide enough of a reason.
Some of us could be rejected because our case worker is having a bad day.
This government has worked hard to create a “hostile environment”, and it’s not only illegal immigrants who are made to feel unwelcome. I’m well aware of the fact that whoever will be going through my application will in all likelyhood just see me as a number or a name, to them I won’t be a person, I won’t be much more than a “low-skilled migrant.”
I’m aware of the fact that even if I should be granted settled-status, I will be discriminated against. By landlords, employers, the government. I’ll be on their special register, I will carry a special ID, and if they should not like me, they can deport me anytime.
If I don’t shut my loud mouth, if I critize them in any way, they might see me as a threat and deport me.
If my income should be below the minimum income they require non EU and future EU immigrants to have, they can deport me.
If I should ever accidently drive through a red light, I’ll subsequently live in fear of being deported.
Don’t anyone tell me it’ll be fine. Because it won’t be. Don’t anyone tell me my rights won’t be diminished. Because it’s a lie. Don’t tell me I’m a citizen, because I’ll always be a guest.
They’re going to fingerprint us like a criminals.
We’re not beeing given rights, but being controlled.
I hope you understand my anger.
Happy New Year anyway.