In many countries of mass migration there are services provided for the new residents that ensure their quality of life. These services are not as some believe special privileges denied normal citizens; they are a guarantee that all residents in a country have equality of treatment.

In the current national debates regarding immigration, the realities of life for new #migrants are often misunderstood and even worse misrepresented.

Language

As anyone brought up in a migrant family knows, language is an important issue. Often the parents have a little knowledge of the new language and therefore of local customs and services.

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Naturally the children of these families begin learning the local language at school and act as the bridge between the parents and the authorities, but this is not a role that they should carry out in every occasion and in some it may even be counterproductive, if not downright dangerous.

It is both ethically and professionally wrong to expect children, often young and inexperienced, to be interpreters for their parents in doctors’ appointments, beginning with the most delicate of circumstances, gynaecological examinations.

Beyond the personal embarrassment of both mother and child, the children lack the specialized language needed for such occasions. Mistakes in translation could have disastrous consequences.

In addition, the same problem occurs in appointments for work, even in meetings with authorities such as police, or even in the normally routine activities of filing forms, applying for assistance, or seeking help for specific circumstances.

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Directed Programmes

This is the basis for those programmes that opponents of #immigration often consider “special privileges” for migrants.

The provision of interpreters, providing forms in other languages, specialized staff to deal appropriately with new arrivals does not give them any more rights or privileges than any other member of the community.

These services guarantee that the new residents in the country have access to the same services as their neighbours and that they do not suffer due to their ignorance of regulations, services and any other situation that may apply to them.

Sadly, in a world that is becoming even more intolerant towards foreigners, the lies told about these “special privileges” have become part of the problem of Racism afflicting many countries.

Government authorities, beginning with the highest Office in the land, have institutional responsibilities to all residents in the country and not only to the citizens who may have voted for them in an election.

Migrants pay taxes, pay for the services and contribute as much as their neighbours who are citizens and for these reasons have the right to access the services that they have paid for.

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Migrant President

President #Donald Trump is the 45th President of a country founded by migrants and is the grandson of migrants himself. As the man now sitting in the Oval Office he should be the first to be aware of the realities of life as a new resident of the country.

The current level of antagonism towards certain categories of migrants which are then extended towards other new arrivals is unhealthy for the country as it leads to civil strife and in extreme circumstances even in deaths.

The provision of specialized services to migrants is not a privilege for a few, it is the guarantee that the newest residents of the country become the newest productive members of the population.

The cost of not ensuring proper integration of migrants is in social disruption and ruined lives. The price to be paid for not guaranteeing integration is too high, it would be the failure of the country to respect its origins and its ideals.

This too will be one of the measures by which the future will judge the Trump Presidency. #Special Services