The leaders of the survey – a team of criminologists at the University of Manchester’s Criminology and Criminal Justice centre – are actively seeking a change in this detrimental mind set. They discovered that migrant males in their twenty’s are find it difficult to incorporate themselves into the culture as well as UK society and its various communities due to discrimination.
This concern was first summarized in a European Commission Report. The report revealed that migrants hope to be accepted and fit in, participating in normal activities that people their age would enjoy. They aspire to have a solid job with a good future, an active social life, involvement in a sporting team as well as hopes to start a family. For the majority, their aims have unfortunately been found to be pipedream rather than an actual reality as the survey claims they’ve typically only experienced the feeling of exclusion when attempting to settle in the UK. Males claim that they have experienced hostility in the workplace, sporting arenas and most social events that they attend, with a sizeable amount saying that they typically feel like they get targeted by the authorities and the public.
Jon Spencer, who was the main leader of the report stated that ‘The majority of the young men we spoke to said that they felt fear of victimization or racism because they feel like second-class citizens. When we interviewed them they told us that a lot of their social interactions were awkward and made them feel insecure or had the potential to cause conflict or in some cases violence.’
Mr. Spencer continued his statement by highlighting that the continuous discrimination these migrants face through MP opinions as well as the overwhelming negative media stance is only making matters worse. ‘The young men we interviewed had a right of residence and aren’t illegal immigrants, yet society in general isn’t making them feel welcome. They feel like they are constantly having to justify their status and are made to feel like they don’t belong here.’
‘Feeling accepted and part of this society is crucial to a young men’s sense of well-being and can determine the quality of their present life and future outlook.’
‘These men feel as if they are on the wrong side of the law, even if they hadn’t done anything wrong. The perception seems to be that these young men are automatically seen at risk of engaging in criminal activity.’
He summed up his findings by calling for a huge change in people’s perception. He questioned the UK Governments efforts and challenged them to address the situation instead of solely concentrating their focus on disintegrated unaccompanied minors. He strongly believes that with improved social support and a family reunion policy re-think, he thinks a positive transformation can be made for these young adult men. That is, if the made is given the respect it deserves and it is recognized as a pressing issue that is reviewed and acted upon for change.
In 2016, it is unfortunate to hear that issues like this still exist. It is no wonder to see that those who offer an immigration service are being inundated with calls regarding this issue, which is something that the majority of the public believe no longer exists. It is studies like this that highlight the issues going on that people don’t see, which is why it is so crucial they take place. By shinning light on the problems, the overriding hope is that measures are taken to remove this stigma so the migrant males who do chose to settle within the country, can do so in peace and enjoy a happy life in the UK.