Star Letter: Our immigration rules should reward work and integration

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The UK invites people in without a consistent requirement for the language or cultural understanding that would enable them to thrive. It’s like inviting someone to your house who is accustomed to keeping their boots on, not telling them the rules, then shouting at them for making a mess of your carpet.

Some say ‘explain the expectations first’. Others condemn the shouting. Others advocate having no unifying standards at all and then criticise those who cry out under the stress of the consequences. False accusations of racism cloud the debate further. I once discussed immigration with the Hungarian owner of Killi’s on West Street. He arrived in the 60s, learned English, worked hard and contributes to his new society. He is an asset to Sheffield.

Iused to volunteer in n Romania helping to create enterprise among Roma gypsy communities, I saw fathers of 15 children in abject poverty, leave for Ireland or Spain without language or skills, only to return with less than they started with. We encourage these false hopes in our country.

I live in Tinsley and employ a local Muslim lad of Pakistani origin in my small fitted furniture business. He first arrived in Sheffield aged 14 as a dependant on his dad’s work Visa. He won awards for punctuality and student of the year as he went through school, college and an NVQ with me. Now at 22 he is helping to grow my business and gives to the economy as a tax-payer. We just heard that he has not been granted a Visa renewal.

If Mo was from Europe and not Pakistan, I fear he would have more hope of being allowed to stay, even if he was not the hardworking, reliable asset to Sheffield he is. I long to see an immigration policy that expects and rewards hard work and integration to the benefit of all, regardless of race.

Alastair Johnson