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Unfortunately, the national news is constantly teeming with negative quotes and statistics on immigration, leading many members of the British public to view both immigrants and immigration itself in a negative light. It is, therefore, an incredibly refreshing change when immigration is promoted and spoken about positively, as it is in the new campaign by Movement Against Xenophobia, entitled ‘I Am An Immigrant’.
The pro-immigration campaign has launched this week in almost 1,000 rail and bus stations around the country, with 400 of them featuring at tube stations in London – the epicentre of multicultural British society. The campaign was thought up by the organisation after it recognised that many Britons are becoming ‘fed up’ with the negativity and hostility directed towards immigrants, both in the news and in our society. The ‘I Am An Immigrant’ campaign features posters depicting 15 immigrants who have moved to the UK and made a significant contribution to society. The immigrants featured include people from all walks of life, from Mohammad Taj from Kashmir, who has been working as a bus driver for over 40 years, to Polish born Lukas Belina, who has been saving British lives as a firefighter for the past 7 years. Other immigrants featuring in the campaign include a head teacher, a barrister and a mental health nurse – all contributing significantly to British society within their respective sectors.
Contrary to the negativity that is consistently seen in the media, it would seem that the UK population are, in reality, incredibly supportive of our migrant population. The entire ‘I Am An Immigrant’ campaign, including photography, poster creation and placement and part time campaign staff, has all been crowd funded with contributions from the public – a total of £54,000 has been raised to date, surpassing the initial fundraising target.
The posters recognise inclusion and highlight the mixed heritage that we have in Britain, reminding us all that we have been benefitting from the positive aspects of immigration for generations. It also publicises that the majority of Brits reject intolerance of immigrants, and, instead, embrace our cultural diversity.