Multiculturalism and inclusion are not things to be feared. Yet the Home Secretary and Government’s divisive rhetoric on migration is alienating certain groups of people while failing to address systemic and structural causes of discrimination. We must remember that these are not caused by multiculturalism, but by the State.
The Home Secretary’s comments at the National Conservatism Conference highlight the problems with the narrative of ‘integration’. The subtext of this is that they expect migrants to give up important parts of their identity, language or culture in order to be accepted and worthy of rights. It reinforces the dangerous idea that migration is ultimately a threat to the perception of ‘unity’.
In an increasingly hostile environment, it is important to ask how we can expect ‘integration’ when some migrants and refugees do not enjoy the same rights and privileges that others do.
“As a migrant in this country, we have limited and conditional access to some fundamental rights and are then told we are not integrating enough. We are seen as economically valuable while ‘taking’ from British people. We cannot win.”