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The key issues surrounding contemporary immigration

year earlier. In the first half year of 2007 Jamaicans committed 28 sex offences followed by Indians,27 and Pakistani, 25 (Harper and Leapman, page 1, 2007).

To stop organised crime the government has formed a new elite squad of investigators. The UK-wide Serious Organised Crime Agency will use world-class hi-tech,-financial experts and 21th century technology to track down Crime bosses and prevent them from drug trafficking, people smuggling, fraud and money laundering (Homeoffice press release, 2004). The metropolitan police announced the arrest of two people on suspicion of murder of a 15-year old teenager in January 2009. The coloured teenager who has been identified as Steven Lewis was stabbed to death in London’s East end (Telegraph.co.uk, 2009). Refugee-Week is a UK-wide program of educational and cultural events to celebrate the contributions of refugees to the United Kingdom. Events like this aim at a better understanding between communities so that attacks on foreign people, such as the attacks on Romanians and Roma in Belfast in the first half of 2009, will not happen again (Leicester Mercury, 2009). The few people that are actually willing to help the victims of racism and discrimination are often attacked themselves. Paddy Meehan received a death threat after he was trying to help his neighbours in the aftermath of the racial attack against his Romanian nearby-residents. Mr Meehan gives a good example and sad he will not give up on helping those targeted by racism (BelfastTelegraph, 2009).

A better education of the culture of the host country and greater tolerance from the natives for foreign cultures are the right steps on the way forward to reduce immigrant related crimes.

The large number of immigrants coming into the United Kingdom is bringing their own background and different culture, as discussed earlier. So does immigration imply integration? In order to speed up integration the immigrant should have knowledge of the language spoken in the country he is entering. Reading and writing skills enable access to the labour market and educational systems (Voicu,2009). On the other hand inhabitants of the host country need to show tolerance and openness, an understanding of the advantages and challenges that go along with a multicultural society. Traditions and cultures need to be respected by both, the natives and the immigrants. Both should have a basic knowledge of each other’s culture and habits in order to avoid confrontations, misunderstandings and to make life in a community easier and more enjoyable (Voicu,2009). Unfortunately building a community that includes both, natives and immigrants, isn’t easy.

The large scale in which migrants have come to the United Kingdom in the last two decades often led to the existence of communities with the same previous cultural identity. The resulting separation of natives and immigrants, so called ‘ghettoisation’ is regarded as threatening by many native Britons. The extend of ‘ghettoisation’ is so big that many parts of the United Kingdom are seen as exclusively ‘owned’ by immigrant communities. Ethnic segregation is also transferred into the classroom. In the London borough of Tower Hamlets, 17 schools had more than 90 per cent Bangladeshi pupils. This separation clearly did not result from the school choice of the parents but from the residential segregation (Buofino, 2007).

A greater tolerance, open mind and interest in other cultures as well as the knowledge of different languages would mean a big step forward to the complete integration of immigrants into the British Society.

The institutions, values and a thriving economy always made the United Kingdom an attractive country for outsiders. Only in the last decade, with opening its borders, a sharp increase in the number of migrants was noticeable. The impact and effects this immigration has on the employment market, levels of crime and racism was therefore discussed in this essay. Outlining the achievements and work that has been done to integrate the migrants, as well as stating shortcomings in the integration process, leaves no question that yet more needs to be done to fully engage the immigrants into the British society.


Abdelmalek, S. (2004). The Suffering of the Immigrant. Cambridge: Polity Press Ltd.

Angenendt, S. (1999). Asylum and Migration Policies in the European Union. Bonn: Europa Union Verlag.

Attewill, F. (2007, September 19). Increased Immigration boosts knife crime and drink driving [Electronic version]. The Guardian. Retrieved November 20, 2009, from Guardian website: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2007/sep/19/immigration.immigrationandpublicservices

Buonfino, A. (2007). Rethinking Immigration and Integration: a New Centre-Left Agenda. London: Policy Network.

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Harper, T. & Leapman, B. (2007, September 23). Foreigners commit fifth of crime in London [Electronic version]. The Telegraph. Retrieved September 23, 2009, from Telegraph website: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1563890/Foreigners-commit-fifth-of-crime-in-London.html

London stabbing victim named locally as 15-year-old Steven Lewis. (2009, January 25). [Electronic version]. The Telegraph. Retrieved November 23, 2009, from Telegraph website: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/lawandorder/4337459/London-stabbing-victim-named-locally-as-15-year-old-Steven-Lewis.html

McCreary, M & Smyth, L. (2009, August 18). Anti-racism campaigner receives firebomb threat. Belfast Telegraph, p. 12. Retrieved November 15, 2009, from the Nexis UK database.

McLaughlan, G. & Salt, J. (2002). Migration Policies toward Highly Skilled Foreign Workers (Report to the Home Office). Retrieved November 14, 2009, from the UK Home Office website: www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs2/migrationpolicies.pdf

Voicu, A. (2009). Romanian Journal of European Affairs, 9(2). Retrieved November 20, 2009, from http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1420055

Weiner, M. (1996). Ethics, national sovereignty and the control of immigration. International Migration Review, 30(1), 171-197

Self reflection on essay writing

I have been asked to write an essay of about 1500 words. There were a number of titles to choose from. After careful consideration I decided to write about the ‘key issues surrounding contemporary immigration in a country of your choice’. As I am an immigrant myself I decided to write about the immigration into The United Kingdom. Using the Portsmouth University Library, the libraries online databases and Journals as well as online newspaper articles I quickly found lots of sources and interesting materials to read and choose from. The most important issues for me, when talking about immigration, are employment crime and integration. Considering these core issues I filtered my sources. Even though the sources were plentiful I sometimes found it difficult to find this one specific paragraph that I needed to support the knowledge about immigration that I already had. Having heard, read and experienced what it feels like to be an immigrant myself I could quit easily find myself in many of the situations that the newspapers and books described. Taking this and the facts that I received from the materials found, I then tried to put everything into an engaging piece of work that would be enjoyable and interesting to read. Considering that this was my first essay and the first in a foreign language, I hope I didn’t do too badly. Surely I learned a lot and will try to further improve the next essays that I will write.


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