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#InMyShoes: Immigration - A Boom to the Economy or a Curse to Society?

29/04/2015 14:10 BST | Updated 27/06/2015 10:59 BST

Immigration is one of UK's hot topics today. Many politicians especially "You-Know-Who" have created a negative image of immigration and migrants. The key questions to ask are: "Does migrants have a negative economic impact in the UK? Are migrants claiming all the benefits? Are our towns and schools really "swamped" by migrants? Was the traffic jam on M4 really caused by increased number of migrants (claimed by You-Know-Who)?"

Well, to get some answers let's look at some facts.

Immigration Study

Last year on 5 November the results of an immigration study were revealed. Two important aspects and findings of the study were related to: chance of benefit claim; contributions and public costs during years 2001 to 2011.

As the graph shows below, immigrants are 17% less likely to claim benefits:

2015-04-27-1430135470-7741379-ChanceofBenefitClaim.PNG

(Source: University College London)

During those years, it was found (as graph below shows) the contributions of EU and non-EU migrants were more than their public costs. However, the figure for UK-born citizens wasn't very impressive.

2015-04-27-1430135821-578964-TaxRev.PNG

(Source: University College London)

Looking at these figures, should we not be more worried about taking steps to ensure that our own contribution is greater than our costs? I think we should be!

International Students and Shortage of Expertise

Let's now consider foreign university students. No doubt we have top ranked universities in the UK - I belong to one myself! Foreign students pay a fortune to come and study at our universities and after they finish their degree, which is highly valued anywhere in the world, what do we do? We show them the exit door as there is no PSW (post-student work visa) for international students. This is one of the main causes why we see a shortage of expertise today including a shortage of GPs, nurses and IT professionals. Yet we are introducing tougher immigrations rules every few months which is now making it difficult for our universities to attract more international students who are more beneficial to universities in terms of the monies they bring in. Many politicians continue talking about reducing migrant numbers and removing foreigners from the UK. Do they even know that more than a third of all professional in the NHS were born outside the UK? Removing them would be a disaster and our NHS would collapse overnight.

Final Remarks and What to do?

We need to protect and respect our immigrants and minority group instead of attacking them and alienating them all the time. I'm not suggesting we open our doors to everyone in the world. Controlling immigrations is important but it's about how we control it. Do we take greater measures to stop clandestine entering in the UK and make it easier to remove foreign criminals who can be a threat to our national security, or do we keep on showing the exit door to our international students once they finish their degree and keep on immorally removing people who do not have a criminal background and have strong ties in the UK disrespecting "human rights" of thousands of people including children?

Part of the BBC initiative, #InMyShoes for @InMyUK. Join the conversation on Twitter, watch more of our videos on YouTube and find us on Facebook.

This blog was written by Mohammad Ali Salik, who's a BBC Generation 2015 contributor. His views are entirely his own.