Let's be totally blunt about this; the formation of the Con-Dem coalition government in 2010 completely changed the political context of the immigration debate when they made one of their primary policies to reduce net migration by "tens of thousands" per year...
We are calling on the government to rethink its proposals to ensure that all children and young people have access to free healthcare while they are in the UK when they need it, regardless of where they're from or who their parents are.
The government is unable to admit that there are different kinds of immigration: immigration that works for Britain and immigration that doesn't. For example, in his first speech, the new Immigration Minister James Brokenshire didn't seem to differentiate between a highly-skilled engineer coming to work in the UK, or postgraduate students carrying out research and low skilled migration.
Most members of the public are concerned about something. Maybe it's the environment, income inequality, the cost of childcare, creeping privatization of the NHS, unemployment, poverty, the punitive treatment of disability claimants, foodbanks, or the seemingly endless appetite of the British ruling elite for foreign military adventures.
If we're really to humour the idea that only white people can be racist, what about the rest of the world where white people don't figure? Those African countries wiping out their neighbours are doing it just for the power, silly - perish the very idea that genocide or ethnic cleansing has anything to do with racism...
It baffles me that the immigration debate in Britain always focuses on how much it costs to bring in immigrants, rather than how much they offer back. Right now in the US, for example, 60% of the top technology businesses have migrant founders. Can we in Britain really afford to risk turning away the next Sergey Brin?
With the pressure that the current immigration discourse is putting on Romanians and Bulgarians living in the UK, it wouldn't be surprising if the girl with the beautiful high cheekbones didn't take my friend's question as a genuine invitation to talk a bit about herself and as an opportunity to learn something about him.
Ever since the coalition came to power in 2010, they've carried out reform after reform under the sanctimonious presumption that we've got to 'trim the fat' off of Britain's social safety net... Less than a year into the implementation of these callous reforms, that same, self-inflicted shot in the foot has landed us on the precipice of a humanitarian disaster.
One of the familiar gripes of those opposed to immigration is that we don't talk about it; but if you're a migrant, it feels like we do little else. Early February show on Channel 5, the Big British Immigration Row, sums up everything that's wrong with the current discourse on immigration: lots of heat and very little light.
The reality is that in the case of Romanians 'benefit tourism' is a myth because from 5.7million working age benefit claimants in the UK last year, only 1,740 were Romanians, which represents 0.03% of the total claimants, or 1.45% of the Romanian community in Britain. To compare, the percentage of working age benefit claimants for the whole UK population is 9.5%.
Immigration may well prove to be the death knell of the EU as we know it. But if it is, it will not have been due to immigration itself but rather to Brussels' tone deaf, inflexible, and insensitive response to the issue. The matter is highly emotional and goes to the very heart of people's values, sense of fairness, cultural identity and social cohesion. Trying to counter that either with cold numerical and economic arguments or with dismissive insults of xenophobia is not only futile, it is grist to the mill for the political parties which have successfully made immigration their main platform and that seem on track to form the largest single grouping in the European Parliament after the May elections. But it's worse than that. The Brussels response will be constructed by many as being absolute proof of a type of Union they reject.
Over the last five or six years, as poverty and hardship have deepened, unemployment soared and inequality increased across Europe, so has xenophobia festered - with the rise of far-right parties such as Golden Dawn in Greece, and uncomfortable parallels can be drawn between the current socio-economic climate and that of the 1930s, which paved the way for Hitler's rise to power.
My hunch is that, paradoxically, the Swiss Yes to immigration quotas makes a Scottish No to independence more likely. There'll be more warnings of the price to be paid for years of political uncertainty, potential instability and investor nervousness. Pro-independence campaigners will call it bullying; the anti-independence camp will call it setting out the facts.
In the debate the Home Secretary claimed that the whole point of the measure to make it easier to remove certain people from the UK. However she was unable to explain how she was going to remove people whom she had rendered stateless and so would have no passport.
It is vital for bisexual people's stories to be heard; for biphobia and bi erasure to be called out for what they are. Bisexuality doesn't fit neatly in a gay/straight narrative. That doesn't make biphobia any less hurtful or harmful - sometimes, as in this case, in a "life and death" sort of way.
Hopefully a compromise can be found that can both please the EU while still allowing Switzerland the right to make sovereign choices without pressure to just go along with what the EU is basically telling them to do.