Straight talking from Brandwood residents on immigration

Steve McCabe MP hosted his second recent conversation on immigration with constituents to hear loud and clear what they have to say on the issue.

On Thursday 20 November at St Bede’s Church, Steve held his second meeting in a series of immigration events following an email consultation he recently did which revealed that 86% of people think that immigration is an important issue. The end result of the constituency wide consultation will feed into his work in Parliament and will be used to help inform Labour’s policy on immigration. Only last week, Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Rachel Reeves announced that she would extend the period for which EU migrants are prevented from claiming out-of-work benefits from three months to two years and would scrap child benefit and child tax credits being claimed for children living in other countries if Labour win the general election. Steve shared these announcements at the meeting which were welcomed by the majority of constituents.

The very lively participants split into working groups and reported back on a variety of issues including their views on international students, the impact of immigration on jobs and local services and EU immigration. There was consensus that more action should be taken against employers that pay immigrants less than the minimum wage to undercut wages and exploit immigrants as well as local people.  Constituents also agreed that the immigration system should be based on those who want to come and contribute to society and that immigrants who come to the UK should learn English. Some constituents felt that the free movement of people from the EU should be restricted. The feedback from local residents was that they valued the chance to have their say in an open and honest discussion about immigration.

Speaking after the event, Steve McCabe MP said:

“It was good to hear from so many people at my second immigration event, it was a lively session and people didn’t hold back on what they thought on the various issues. I find these kind of events very useful and the whole point of holding them is to hear directly what people really think. It can be challenging and controversial but what is the point if we can’t let people have their say?

“I will definitely be feeding my constituents’ suggestions back to Labour’s Shadow Immigration team. My impression is that people in Selly Oak are both fair minded and realistic but they have strong views on immigration and they want to know that politicians are listening to them. They’re far too smart to fall for glib solutions and ‘sound bite’ answers. They treat the matter seriously and they expect politicians to do the same. I’m embarked on a number of these events all over the constituency and I look forward to hearing what other constituents have to say on the issue.”

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