This article first appeared on UKIP Bournemouth‘s website.
[We apologise to all tabloid editors for having a little fun with you regarding the title of this article!]
This is a tale of “two star crossed lovers” who without a stunning string of events most likely would have never met! One is Daliana Sanchez, an immigrant to this country from Colombia and the other is Morgan Harvey a member of the UK Independence Party and Committee member for UKIP Bournemouth West.
Daliana met Morgan while she was here in Bournemouth studying English. Morgan’s parents had been hosts to language students for years, and he grew up with people from all over the world staying in his parent’s spare room. Through friends attending the language school Morgan met Daliana at Mary Shelley’s Bar and they stayed together for 5 months until she went home to France (her mother, step father and brother live near St Malo). They kept a long distance relationship going for 18 months, Morgan travelling to France for long weekends and Dali travelling to Britain for her holidays. And one day, Morgan popped the question, she said yes, and so the story of Daliana’s immigration to this country begins…
Q: Good morning Daliana. Welcome and thank you for taking the time to talk to us.
Daliana – It’s my pleasure, I’m happy to help.
Q: Can you share your experiences of your immigration to this country with us?
Daliana – It was a very long and hard process! First I had to apply for a marriage visa to be able to come to Britain to be with Morgan. They wanted many documents; proof of earnings, proof of relationship – little things like ferry and plane ticket stubs going back two years! And of course we had to pay about £1000. That visa lasted for about 6 months and then I had to apply for ‘leave to remain’, this is another visa that lasts for 2 years. More documentation again – bank statements, references, hours of form filling and of course more expense, this time just under £1500. After that I applied for ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’ which means I can stay in the UK for 10 years. More of the same but I had to re-supply all the previous documentation from before and also have an interview. It was very tiring and stressful at times and it was sometimes very hard to keep having to pay so much. As well as this there was the Citizenship Test where I had to learn about your history and culture – I actually enjoyed this but it was a lot of work! But it was worth the effort because in September last year I got my ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’ visa so I can now call Britain my home.
Q: How do you feel about that process?
Daliana – I feel good about the process actually. I think it is the right way to do it and it allowed me to learn more about your country, your language, your history. Now I know a little more about what makes you, you. It has helped me to fit in better and get used to your culture. I think it’s important that immigration should be controlled and a challenge to be overcome; you have to really want it to go through such a long and hard process. I think it is normal to check what kind of person you are, what you can bring to the country and that you are serious about it. Also, I think if you’re getting married to someone from Britain it is important to prove that you really have a relationship and love the person. I don’t think there is anything wrong with checking these things for every immigrant who wants to come here.
Q: What do you think makes you a positive addition to the UK?
Daliana – Well I speak 3 languages fluently- Spanish, French and English. At the company I work for they need people who can switch between languages from one call to another and sometimes even in the same conversation! I am from Colombia so Spanish is my native language; I lived in France for 7 years so I had to become fluent in French. I learnt English in school and from my time here as a language student and from Morgan of course. He is a very good teacher! I have my own medical insurance and I never intend to claim benefits unless I really have too – if I couldn’t support myself I wouldn’t have come. I am a hard worker and I believe it’s important to make a real effort, as I have to show that I deserve to be here.
Q: What do you think of the current policy of open door immigration from the EU?
Daliana – I do not agree with this. I think every country should protect its own interests, a country is like your home, you need to take care of it. It’s fine to invite people to live here but you need to make sure they are good people. It’s like in your own home; you don’t just invite people in without talking to them and getting to know them first, and sometimes you meet people and decide that you don’t want them in your home and so you don’t invite them. You can only have a certain number of people in your home at a time.
Q: What is your opinion of certain immigrants who do not learn English, respect British culture and do not wish to contribute?
Daliana – I have made a huge effort to be here because I wanted to be with Morgan. I had to quickly improve my English and pass several tests which I had to pay for. When I see immigrants who do not speak English I feel disappointed. I also think it’s such a shame that there are immigrants who dislike this country, if you don’t like it here, then you should leave. I came expecting to have to make some changes, this is not my house, so it’s not my rules. There are things about British culture that I don’t understand, but I still respect them.
Q: What is your opinion of the UK at the present time?
Daliana – I’m sad to be honest, because Britain has become my life. It could be so much better, for everyone. Britain is being spoiled by letting too many people in, and not making sure the people who are coming are going to appreciate the opportunity that you are giving them. British people love their country and you’re proud of it, I really admire that about you, you’re really decent people. My impression of Britain has always been that you are so good at so many things! Sport, Films, Science, Trade – that’s the image you have in the world. It’s so sad your governments cannot see this.
Q: What are your voting intentions once you have earned your citizenship?
Daliana – I want to vote for someone who shares my opinions; I want to protect the country that has welcomed me. I want to see Britain become better and better for me, my husband and for my future children. When the time comes I’m going to take it seriously and learn as much as I can. For me UKIP are a good party. I like their honesty, and the vision they have for Britain – they want to really change things. They’re actions speak for themselves – they don’t just talk. They offer an opportunity for change, for a better future, for everyone.
– The great question of our time. Good or Bad? How many, how much and who? These are important questions and they need answering – now. Some say that we shouldn’t allow any immigrants in at all; that Britain should be for the British only. Others, our current establishment among them, say that immigration is so one-sidedly beneficial that we should leave the doors wide open to any and all comers. Both of these extreme positions ignore important points, and both are not in keeping with the spirit and history of the British people.
The fact is, Britain has a long and proud history of welcoming immigrants from all parts of the world – the British temperament is one of the most tolerant and welcoming you could hope to encounter. On the other hand, in recent years we have seen such a huge influx of immigrants, mainly from the EU, that essential services like hospitals and schools are at their breaking point. In the past, immigrants have come to this country and have become productive and enthusiastic members of our society – often more patriotic than native Britons. Saying this though, today many immigrants do not even have a basic level of English and often flout our cultural norms to the point of unlawfulness.
What has changed?
Unlike in the past, where we selected who came to this country and in what numbers – we now have an open door and a red carpet rolled out for anyone from the European Union. This not only means we have no control over numbers, but we also have no control over the calibre of immigrants who settle here. The power of decision, for the first time in our history, is out of our hands.
What is the solution? Carry on as if nothing is wrong – as the establishment would have us do? Slam the door in the faces of everyone – including decent, hard working immigrants like Daliana; immigrants like those who have fought for this country in two world wars; immigrants who do indeed contribute towards making Britain great – like the BNP and the Far-Right would have us do?
Where is the middle ground? – The United Kingdom Independence Party!
Only UKIP stands firm on the considered, common sense foundation of controlled, selective immigration. We welcome immigrants from all over the world who show they can work hard, integrate and become a part of our great nation. But we understand that we can only accommodate a certain number at a time. UKIP knows that immigration needs to be for the benefit of both the immigrants and ourselves, and that allowing such enormous numbers of people to settle here is to the detriment of everyone – immigrant and native alike. Controlled numbers, Work Permits, No benefits for 5 years, Immigrants having private medical insurance, A basic standard of English, Deportation of foreign criminals – these are policies that are pro-immigrant and pro-Britain at the same time. Ensuring that we are protected, and that immigrants are rewarded for their hard work and honesty.
As you’ve seen from this interview – this is not just an issue which vexes Britons. Open door immigration is a slap in the face to all those immigrants who have come here, both past and present, with good intentions and in the spirit of cooperation and renewal. Successive UK governments have mocked these people with their lacklustre or non-existent immigration control, and silver platter policies ranging from translation services to free housing. To see your efforts to learn English, get a job, pay tax and work hard rubbished by allowing a free pass to anyone and everyone must be galling indeed.
UKIP firmly occupies the sensible middle ground on the immigration issue – will you join us?