In Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day, Lord Darlington compels himself to fire two of her housemaids for no other reason than they belong to a hounded class of that time. His butler, Mr Stevens, the protagonist of the novel who In the totality of his professional commitment believes that in achieving greatness and dignity recognising emotions or feeling them do not count no matter the circumstance. In the end, both lost their humanity and went down in history. Baroness Scotland in sacking her maid in the name of the law, the French immigration minister in moving ruthlessly against the migrant’s camp in Calais, the churches in choosing to acquiesce to the Home Office demand of not permitting marriage for illegal immigrants are all repeating the dark practices of 20th century Europe.
Philippe Legrain in his frequently brilliant book, Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them' have already articulated a compelling case for the economic necessity of immigrants both legal and illegal thought I don’t think human life should be reduced to its economic worth. The Mayor of London has added his voice to the demand for amnesty. All of the Queen’s Christmas Message of 2007 was a plea for the illegals ‘people who feel cut off and disadvantaged; people who, for one reason or another, are not able to enjoy the full benefits of living in a civilised and law-abiding community.’The struggle to make our illegal brothers and sisters equal to us in status and opportunities belongs to the same spectrum as the abolition of slavery, women suffrage, fight against racism and fight for gay rights. Everyone has to take a stand.
The is something finer than visas and nationalities; the heart. And a heart that can beat beyond gates and rules is a heart worth having.