The news that an elder from the community has passed away is apart from the deep immediate sorrow an event that causes many to look on the future with some trepidation. Death in this context is so much more than just the passing of an individual. It represents the severing of a link to times and sacrifices that are all too distant for many second, generation immigrants.
Through being shortlisted for the Women of the Future Awards in association with Shell, I have had many interviews where I was asked "And why will you stay in the UK to do this work?" I answered, "Because this is where it all began for me, I'm inextricably tied to this land - you see I was born here, in post-colonial context, a Pakistani."
Researchers have found repeatedly, in multiple studies, that migration has had a range of positive effects on the UK economy. It has boosted Gross Domestic Product; lowered inflation, in turn helping to keep interest rates lower than otherwise; and there has been a significant net gain to the UK budget.
In the next couple of weeks a prosperous British industry will be reduced to ashes. The industry in question is the remittance sector - a vast and growing area made up of hundreds of Money Service Businesses (MSBs) - local, generally small businesses which provide diaspora communities with a means to remit money back home.