My mother was born in a tiny village in Surrey, my father in a tiny village in Transylvania. They didn’t choose their birthplace. It just so happens that after they met, they came to live in the UK in the 1960s because his country was a dictatorship then. Random circumstances and it could have been the other way round.
Is she worth more than him, is her presence here more legitimate than his? Is a person’s worth to be decided by where they were born? The underlying implication of immigration being seen as a problem is that those people from other countries have less right to be here but what makes a citizen? What you choose or what you have no control over? Paying taxes? Working hard in the community? Or blood and family and the randomness of your birth place?
Is England a lesser place for my father coming here?
Is England a lesser place for my being born to those two people, for all the sons and daughters of immigrants staying here, working, paying taxes, volunteering, and then raising children of their own?
Or is our country stronger for each individual’s small contribution, regardless of the place where they were born. Because as I said before, we do not choose our birthplace so we cannot be judged on that any more than you can judge us on our gender or colour of our skin. But we can choose how we conduct ourselves in life and you may judge us on that.