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Harley Miller Isn’t the Only Immigrant Being Deported

A direction sign to the UK Border force at an airport
A direction sign to the UK Border force at an airport • Photograph: David McKelvey

There has been a certain furore on the internet over the deportation of a particular well-acclaimed Australian woman.

With two masters degrees and her considerable input into our NHS system, it is understandable that people would get angry over the Border Agency’s demand for her to pack her bags and leave. Shared internationally via Facebook, her experience is rightly identified as an abomination, but why is it that this outcry is only deserving of a middle-class professional white woman?

There’s no denying that the situation that Harley Miller is facing is a horrible one to be put in: to suddenly receive a letter denying your application to stay in the UK after 9 years, to lose your job and to be told that you must leave within 28 days. However, the truth is that this happens to people on a far worse scale more often than we hear about it. Immigrants from across the world look to the UK for a better way of life, away from discrimination, from tyrannies and from war zones. Away from a failing economy, a tiny job market and poor standards of living. Put yourself in their shoes and I can guarantee you would want better than that.

The irony about those who oppose immigration is the complete contradiction they pose in their rhetoric. Individuals should strive towards personal success, using all the resources available to them to gain a better standard of life, say the Conservatives. The only thing holding people back is themselves, say the Conservatives. It’s their own fault that they’re living in impoverished conditions, say the Conservatives. Ignoring the fact that this is what most people do anyway, it appears that these same aspirations must not apply to immigrants. Most immigrants will come to the UK for a better standard of life, and who can blame them? Unfortunately for them, their better way of life involves constant xenophobia, fear of deportation and the additional role as a scapegoat. It’s a hard price to pay for a more comfortable life.

Yet, the media don’t write about these people being deported, and, thus, neither do the public hear about them. So when we get up-in-arms about Harley Miller’s deportation, step back and think of these poor immigrants who have are facing constant harassment and the fearful prospects that our international friends face daily.

Immigrants aren’t our enemies. Immigrants aren’t even something we should ‘tolerate’. Immigrants are human beings whom we should embrace. They bring multiculturalism to our country, they teach us of their culture, they bring us some new flavour to our lives. They provide us friends at university and at work, they provide business and they contribute to the tax system. Overall, immigrants provide more benefits to the UK than what they get back, and the papers (and the British as a result) don’t give them the credit or respect that they deserve. Regardless of where these people are from, they give the UK something we would never want to lose.

Luckily for Harley Miller, she’ll return to Australia with her two masters degrees and nine-years of medical experience in the NHS behind her. She’ll return to a tolerant and accepting country with no fear of persecution. The money she’ll earn from the sale of her house in the UK will allow her to instantly buy a new one in Australia. It’s a shame that’s not the case for most deported immigrants.

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