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The immigration policies in the UK need to be stricter, if only to give the immigrants here a better reputation! I am a Caucasian, blue eyed, English-as-a-first-language immigrant to England married to a British man. I am well educated with two university degrees, bilingual, never been on benefits, and have worked since I immigrated here (making a decent wage, paying taxes, and contributing to a pension).
I had a by-the-books ordeal in moving here. However when my husband mentions his wife is foreign, everyone makes assumptions like I'm a Thai bride, I am on benefits, I'm a refugee, or I can't speak English. When they do finally meet me, I always get comments like "Oh, American! That's not a proper immigrant!" I am, in fact, Canadian but no one seems to understand the difference it's a Commonwealth country for goodness sake!
I'm always told I'm not a real immigrant and then someone goes into a rant about the immigration system and how they shouldn't let anyone in. I left my family, country, and entire life to come here and I'm not really an immigrant? How strange. People will compliment my accent one minute, then rant how they can't understand the foreigners in this country and they should learn English. Everyone wants immigrants to conform to UK customs, but I am constantly asked to bring Canadian products, clothes, and food to people someone even asked if I was having Thanksgiving this year. "No, I am not", I said, "It's not a British tradition!" Then there followed a protest about how I should keep my culture, even though I live here in the UK.
Is there such a twisted double standard that people don't even notice they are conforming to it? What if I were from a country other than Canada? Would people still stare at me in public when I speak? Would everyone still ask me if I miss 'home' and say they'd love to go there?
There seems to be a hierarchy among immigrants; a level of acceptance that is granted to me and not others. It reminds me of something about cake and eating it too.