The first speech given by the new Minister of State for Security and Immigration, James Brokenshire has been nothing short of scandalous. It has elicited a widespread response from people but, unfortunately, for all the wrong reasons. The Home Ministry has yet again lived up its reported reputation of callousness. In the much talked about speech, Brokenshire condemned educational institutions for accepting too many foreign students. His speech conveyed that much stricter checks will now be put in place before issuing visas to foreign students, since, (according to him) many students are just migrants trying to gain entry into the United Kingdom.
As expected, his speech drew sharp criticism from academics around the world, including British academics. As if to add insult to injury, he went on to explain that this proposal was not at all unfair and was necessary for protecting the integrity of the United Kingdom. His proposal essentially shifts the onus of vetting students on to universities and educational institutions. Naturally, these institutions have protested the move and don’t appreciate the added and rightly deemed to be unnecessary work. The Immigration Minister explained that the “highly trusted sponsor” status enjoyed by many educational institutions entailed these responsibilities.
However, the worst hit will be foreign students hoping to pursue an education in the United Kingdom. Due to the proposed reduction in the acceptance quota from the current “generous” 20 percent to a paltry 10 percent, a number of deserving applications will have to be rejected simply because the government won’t allow so many foreign students to be accepted. The students resented the spurious generalization made by the minister stating that all students are actually migrants and most enter the United Kingdom donning the garb of students just to work. This speech is a part of the Tory Party’s campaign promise of driving down immigration rates from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands. However, this clamp down on foreign students is nothing more than a weak, feeble effort to achieve that end. It seems like the Minister’s party has been unable to actually control migration in any significant area and is now choosing international students as an easy target. The unfairness of this ideology and system is pretty obvious.
His speech also claimed that these students or ‘migrants’ start working in the United Kingdom causing the wages of the common British citizens to drop. He accused all businesses and households employing any non – British individuals, regardless of the legal status of said individuals, as perpetuating and supporting this trend. Basically, he indirectly hinted that normal British citizens can’t compete with any foreign workers. He went on to blame voters for immigration. Unfortunately for the minister, his speech’s flowery language did not fool the audience. They clearly understood what he was hinting at and did not appreciate it in the least bit. The popular British daily, The Telegraph went as far as saying that the speech was ‘the most stupid, intellectually bankrupt and vacuous address of the year’. Whether these policies will actually be implemented or whether public opinion will force the minister to change his stance remains to be seen.