Writer Anne Booth has described in the Catholic magazine, The Tablet, how her parents, both economic migrants, came over from Ireland in the 1950s to work in England. Her mother was a maid at a finishing school near London, and her father was a labourer on building sites and motorways.
She says that their faith ‘sustained them and gave them a deep-down sense of their own worth and dignity’, and that ‘people like them who have come to Britain from all over the world have given so much to our nation’.
Anne believes that ‘we have a special duty to speak out loudly when politicians and the media demonise them or subtly, but deliberately, conflate wanting to migrate to improve life chances for oneself and one’s family with greed. We must keep insisting that all immigrants, all ‘strangers’, whether fleeing from war or from economic hardship in an unequal world, must always be treated with love and respect, and their human rights affirmed and protected’.