Migrants need a rite of passage – Hayes

Have your say

IMMIGRATION levels have been too high and too fast, and migrants who come to this country must go through a “rite of passage” – according to South Holland and the Deepings MP John Hayes.

Mr Hayes, a Government minister, spoke last week in support of David Cameron’s high profile speech on immigration, and said the Prime Minister’s words will chime well with people in South Holland.

Mr Cameron pledged to cut the numbers of migrants coming into the UK into tens of thousands a year rather than hundreds and said that communities have been affected by influxes of people who do not speak English or appear willing to integrate which he said has “created a kind of discomfort and disjointedness in some neighbourhoods”.

Mr Hayes said: “I think it was the right speech, on the right subject at the right time.

“I have been saying similar things over a considerable period of time. A lot of what he said will resonate well with people in Spalding and South Holland.

“It is really refreshing to hear the Prime Minister talking in these terms, which is the language of most people.

“It is what my constituents say to me all the time.”

Mr Hayes, who lives in Moulton, feels that the pace and volume of immigration into this area has created problems – and feels there’s needs to be a process of integrating newcomers into the way of life in south Lincolnshire.

He added: “There has to be a rite of passage like when you start a new job and when you move into a new place. There’s a process of joining in, becoming part of what’s there already. It’s no different when you move countries.”

However, he feels the onus is on people who come here to do their bit to fit in to the existing way of life.

Mr Hayes added: “People that come to Britain have a responsibility to understand that part of integrating is a respect for the rule of law and the prevailing values which underpin our society.

“I’m afraid that I believe ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do’.

“It shouldn’t be for us to feel obliged to change the way we are to suit small minorities of people.”

Mr Hayes has lobbied immigration minister Damian Green to try to get Spalding police more powers to send home a small number of foreign nationals who have no job, are homeless and are sleeping rough in the streets and committing crimes and anti-social behaviour.

Mr Cameron’s speech was criticised last week by Vince Cable, head of the department for Business, Innovation and Skills, in which Mr Hayes is a minister.

Mr Cable said Mr Cameron’s words were “unwise” and fellow Liberal Democrats accused him of electioneering ahead of the May 5 council poll.