Becca Jane St Clair

Personal Blog

I am an Immigrant

Apparently, there is going to be a speech made today (or maybe it has been made already) about more changes to the UK immigration system. My reliable source told me not to worry, and it looks like by “cutting family visas”, they mean more restrictions on people who come over as dependants of people here on work visas. Not family visas where you’ve moved to the UK to live with your family. Whew. My friend also pointed out to me that they already did put restrictions on the family based visa, based on the new English test, which isn’t aimed at people from English speaking countries anyway. The government scrapped the “Earned Citizenship” route as well, which affects my permanent residency, because it now looks like I am back to applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain in December 2011 instead of the new Probationary Citizenship that was to go into effect in July 2011.

But all the talk lately about immigration rules changing, caps being made, and fees raising reminded me of a conversation I had with my friend Erin a few weeks back. It was right around US election day and I mentioned to her that I hadn’t registered for an absentee ballot. My reasoning behind this was that I felt since I no longer lived in Lancaster/Pennsylvania/the United States, I really shouldn’t be making decisions on how things are run. I’m not there every day to experience life under [insert name of politician], and being in the UK means I only get exposed to print media, which as we all know, can be biased. I don’t think not voting made me a “bad American”, either.

I can’t vote in the UK, either. I am an immigrant, and even with permanent residency, I still can’t vote. In order to vote in the UK, you need to have citizenship. I have every intention on gaining UK citizenship when I am eligible (should be January 2013, if my calculations are right) because I feel that since I plan on spending the rest of my life here, I should be able to state my views on the government and be able to vote. It killed me not being able to vote in the May election.

I was discussing things over with Erin, and I proposed to her my idea — You should be able to vote where you live, regardless of immigration status. Obviously, some rules would need to be made to keep people from moving just for an election, but why shouldn’t you be able to vote where you live and vote for the candidates that you support?

I’m also in favour of “world citizenship” and having it not matter where you wish to live. Ever notice on a sci-fi show how they almost always refer to the government as “earth” or “world”? Why can’t we have that now*? Yes, I know. Overpopulation. If we had world citizenship, then everyone might move towards the “desirable” places to live, and places that were “undesirable”, like deserts where you can’t grow anything, would soon become abandoned. But it’s a nice thought, isn’t it?

I never thought I would become an immigrant. Immigrants were my dad’s parents, and my mom’s great-great-grandparents. Not me. But, here we are. I am an immigrant. And I’m happy.

*Okay, so it’s been pointed out that a government controlling the world isn’t such a hot idea…but that’s not really what I meant. I’m more for the “world citizenship”, not world government!

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4 Comments so far

  1. falnfenix November 23rd, 2010 14:50

    the idea of one big government ruling the entire world absolutely terrifies me.

  2. Rebecca November 23rd, 2010 15:05

    Okay, so maybe not one government ruling the entire planet, but there has to be some way of allowing people to move wherever they want without all the crazy beurocratic red tape!

  3. Jenee Agre December 2nd, 2010 3:04

    Hi, my sister recommended this blog. I like what I see so far, but I will have to check back a few more times before I put it in my daily bloglist.

  4. Avery B. August 1st, 2018 6:26

    A friend wanted me to see this article.

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