Okay, let’s have the debate shall we? Let’s have the debate about who you would look in the eyes and say it is fine for them to be tortured or drown in the channel. Let’s have the debate about whose kids you think should be denied a parent.
Let’s not pretend it is a “left/right” debate. Let’s acknowledge that we are where we are because of decades of policies, or that arguments about the “brain drain” on developing nations don’t feed into it.
Let’s not try and ignore how the “good/bad” immigrant argument hasn’t impacted on this. Let’s not try and say it is “leave vs remain” when you have remainers complaining about Indians or Hong Kong citizens.
Let’s not pretend it is about the NHS, housing or infrastructure, when without immigration all would collapse, and the failures related to them are all based on government policies.
Let’s not claim that implementing forced transfers to Rwanda is combating trafficking when we know the strategy increases trafficking, or that “scientific age assessments” do anything other than see kids as adults.
Left, right and centre, every party for decades has demonised migrants. They have used asylum seekers to deflect from their own failings. They have ignored how the money sent home exceeds foreign aid. They have ignored benefits to wages or reduced prices.
Most of all, they have dismissed how behind every statistic is a mother, father, son, daughter. They’ve dismissed migrants’ own agency. They have perpetrated xenophobia and racism.
You want the debate? Fine. Pick who lives and who dies, and you had better try and make your argument not include where they were born. Sorry if this is “woke”, I have this silly idea that shipping people to a country in which they can be murdered is bad. I know, I’m soft.
But go on, let’s have the debate. Let’s have the debate you want. The debate where you try and argue that denying people rights based on where they are born isn’t racist. The debate where you try and argue that you aren’t blaming migrants for your own failings.
Let’s have that debate shall we? The debate where you argue that the country which takes less per head of population than most others of vulnerable asylum seekers should take even fewer.
The debate where you argue that those who pay more in taxes and work in the public services “don’t contribute enough”. The debate where you argue that families should be split up and children ripped from parents.
Let’s have the debate.
Or, here’s an idea, we stop treating human beings as statistics. Stop treating them as resources. Stop blaming them for the government’s or our own failings, and start treating them as people with human rights.