immigration /

UK Home Secretary Says Multiculturalism has 'Failed,' Warns of ‘Uncontrolled Illegal Immigration’

'We are living with the consequence of that failure today – you can see it play out in the streets all over Europe'

UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman warns the “dogma of multiculturalism” has failed, citing the consequences of “uncontrolled and illegal immigration” into Europe and the United States.

“In order for nationality to be sustainable – economically, culturally, and in terms of public support – it needs to encompass everyone,” she said during a keynote address at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 26.

“The country cannot grow exponentially and still maintain the harmony needed for everyone to feel that we are all in this together,” Braverman said. “If immigration is uncontrolled, it makes it harder for society to adapt and accommodate new cultures and customs and for communities to meld together.”

“Uncontrolled immigration, inadequate integration, and a misguided dogma of multiculturalism have proven a toxic combination for Europe over the last few decades,” she added, citing German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 2010 comment that multiculturalism had “utterly failed.”

Braverman also referred to similar comments from former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and former British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Braverman continued:

Multiculturalism makes no demands of the incomer to integrate. It has failed because it allowed people to come to our society and live parallel lives in it. They could be in the society, but not of the society. And in extreme cases, they could pursue lives aimed at undermining the stability, and threatening the security, of our society. We are living with the consequence of that failure today – you can see it play out in the streets all over Europe.

She added: “If people are not able to settle in our countries and start to think of themselves as British, American, French, German, then something is going badly wrong.”

Braverman argued against uncontrolled, illegal immigration from the vantage point of civics, practicality, security, and democracy, referring to the phenomenon as an “existential challenge for the political and cultural institutions of the West.” She cited the “rule of history” that “nations which cannot defend their borders will not long survive.”

She went on to question if the United Nations Human Rights Convention (UNHRC) signed in 1951 could benefit from reform.

“The global asylum framework is a promissory note that the West cannot fulfill,” she said. “We have created a system of almost infinite supply, incentivizing millions of people to try their luck, knowing full well that we have no capacity to meet more than a fraction of the demands.”

“Where individuals are being persecuted, it is right that we offer sanctuary,” Braverman said. “But we will not be able to sustain an asylum system if, in effect, simply being gay, or a woman, or fearful of discrimination in your country of origin, is sufficient to qualify for protection.”

Braverman claimed “it is very hard to renegotiate these instruments,” due, in part, to “the fear of being branded a racist or illiberal. Any attempt to reform the refugee convention will see you smeared as anti-refugee,” she said.

The Home Secretary’s comments were swiftly criticized by the UNHRC.

“The refugee convention remains as relevant today as when it was adopted. Where individuals are at risk of persecution on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity, it is crucial that they are able to seek safety and protection,” UNHRC said in a statement, per The Guardian.

In response to Braverman, Amnesty International’s UK Chief Executive Sacha Deshmukh sought “to call out this assault on the convention for what it is: a display of cynicism and xenophobia.”

“[The] verbal assaults from the Home Secretary don’t alter the harsh realities that cause people from countries such as Sudan, Afghanistan and Iran to flee from conflict and persecution,” the statement reads. “What urgently needs to be addressed on the world stage is the glaring inequality of countries sharing responsibility for refugees a matter in which the UK is severely lagging.”

Deshmukh added: “Instead of making inflammatory speeches decrying the rights of people fleeing persecution and tyranny, Suella Braverman should focus on creating a functioning UK asylum system that tackles the massive backlog her policies have created, so as to be able to meet the limited refugee responsibilities that fall to the UK.”

Others took to social media platform X to point out a perceived hypocrisy that Braverman is the daughter of Indian parents who migrated from Kenya and Mauritius to Britain in the 1960s.

“The nation state has endured because it means something real to almost all of us and that is true the world over [and] it must be protected,” Braverman said in her speech. “Saying so does not make one anti-immigrant, nor does it mean you’re anti-immigration. I am the child of immigrants, and it’s no betrayal of my parents’ story to say that immigration must be controlled.”

She added:

Opinion polls and successive national votes could not be clearer: people the world over want their governments to control their borders … who we allow to come into our country and become one of us is a fundamental issue. Without public consent, immigration is illegitimate. Dismissing as idiots or bigots those members of the public who express legitimate concerns is not merely unfair, it is dangerous.

Braverman closed her speech, titled “UK-US Security Priorities for the 21st Century,” by asking a series of questions aimed at how nations can approach the issue of escalating illegal immigration.

“While we may have different views as to the solutions, I hope we can at least agree on one thing: that we are living in a new world bound by outdated legal models. It’s time that we acknowledge that,” she concluded.

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