This house proposes that some immigrants are more welcome than others

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The last decade has seen the number of immigrants/asylum seekers in the UK skyrocket. This is largely attributed to continued conflicts in places such as Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and some areas in Africa. Nonetheless, the entry of refuges/immigrants in the UK does not in any way imply their acceptance. Also important to note is the role played by the media, through the words that they use to describe immigrants, in fueling the anti-immigration sentiments. For example, in an interview with the British new station ITV, David Cameron used the word “swarm” to describe the entry of immigrants into the UK. We all understand that “swarm’ implicitly connotes insects. The other word that is commonly is “illegal immigrants”. From a sampled 34 articles written before 2013, the term “illegal immigrant” (or variations such as ‘illegals’) appeared 90 times. However, not all immigrants into the UK fall are described with such words. For instance, the article by Mawuna Remarque Koutonin in the Guardian questions “Why are white people expats when the rest of us are immigrants?” Africans, Arabs and Asian are classified as immigrants. This contrasts to the whites who are described as “expats” or expatriates. In effect, the public anti-immigration sentiments directed towards Africans, Arabs, and Asians is much greater than that directed towards Europeans. Therefore, in light of this debate motion, I disagree with the motion that some immigrants are more welcome than others. Michael Skey in his article notes that “there is a general tendency towards and a willingness to recognize non-whites as British.” This means that asylum seekers and Britons can co-exists peacefully if only the media does not fuel that anti-refugee sentiments through the choice of their words.

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  1. Briant, Emma. “The UK Media Needs To Stop Referring To Refugees As “Illegal Immigrants””. Newstatesman.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 25 Feb. 2017.
  2. Koutonin, Mawuna. “Why The Language We Use To Talk About Refugees Matters So Much”. Washington Post. N.p., 2017. Web. 25 Feb. 2017.
  3. Skey, M., 2014. ‘How Do You Think I Feel? It’s My Country’: Belonging, Entitlement and the Politics of Immigration. The Political Quarterly85(3), pp.326-332.
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