What's important to Migration Watch and the Express is not a baby boom as such, but a 'foreign baby boom'.
What’s important to Migration Watch and the Express is not a baby boom as such, but a ‘foreign baby boom’
According to Migration Watch and the Daily Express, my fiance is a ‘hidden migrant’ despite being born in Britain and spending her entire life in this country.
So, in fact, are plenty of other people, including two of Nigel Farage’s children and most non-white Britons.
As the Express reports:
‘New arrivals and their offspring accounted for 3.8 million out of a 4.6 million expansion in numbers in the UK between 2001 and 2012.
‘Official figures hide the true picture because they fail to include births to immigrant parents, according to Migration Watch, the pressure group. Unless annual migration is drastically cut, Britain will need 10 new cities the size of Birmingham to accommodate the extra population, its report found.’
In other words, the gutter-press have moved from veiled talk about Britain being ‘swamped’ by migrants to something dangerously close to racism. What else can be said about a position which refers to people who have lived in Britain their entire lives as ‘hidden migrants’?
Not only is this technically incorrect but it’s also deeply sinister – a person may have spent their entire life in Britain but, according to the Express, they would still be a ‘hidden migrant’ and part of a ‘foreign baby boom’.
As well as the nasty assumption that the children of migrants can never truly be British, Migration Watch also make a glaring statistical error: in coming up with their figures they oddly assume that those Britons who emigrated between 2001 and 2012 would not have had children had they stayed.
Indeed, they don’t even factor this in – they simply assume that the only children worth counting are the children of migrants.
And so, then, it seems that what’s important to the Express is not a baby boom as such, but a ‘foreign baby boom’. It’s not the population increase that matters, but the foreign population increase – the children of migrants still being foreign, apparently.
To be clear: this is dangerously close to open racism.
Migration Watch has since criticised the Daily Express for using the term “hidden migrant” and described it as “not appropriate”.
James Bloodworth is the editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow him on TwitterLike this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.