UK’s Proposed ‘Barista Visas’ Are A Slap In The Face To Migrants

The United Kingdom is considering offering a special visa, but only to certain migrants, to maintain the country's hospitality industry post-Brexit.

barista visa

As the United Kingdom is embroiled in Brexit drama, it seems the country is prepared to implement some discriminatory immigration legislation. 

According to The Root, the U.K. is proposing “barista visas,” which would allow immigrants between the ages of 18 and 30 to work in the country for up to two years, but only within the hospitality industry.

However, these workers would have no access to health benefits or housing allowances and cannot be promoted into managerial positions.

Additionally, the visas are only available to certain nations, including Australia, Canada, the United States, and Japan — conveniently excluding African and Middle Eastern countries.

As The Root notes, the UK has long since been a desired destination for African migrants, so the fact that these visas wouldn’t be available to them is a clear slap in the face and a not-so-subtle indication that they are unwelcome.

Making matters worse, the proposed visas' restrictions more or less reduce migrants to second-class citizenship and ensure that’s where they remain.

"It’s not a particularly attractive offer, is it? Come to Britain to work in a coffee shop. If you get promoted? You can’t stay. If you fall in love? You can’t stay. If you set up a new business or establish yourself as a writer while working at a coffee shop? You can’t stay," Stephen Bush wrote in the New Statesman.

Apparently, the effort is being pushed by Migration Watch UK, a right-wing think tank that campaigns for stronger immigration controls, and UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd, according to TIME.

"We can meet the needs of pubs and restaurants and maintain our links with young Europeans by allowing them to come for a strictly limited period of two years to work,” Migration Watch UK Chairman Andrew Green reportedly said. "They could work at any level but would not become long term immigrants who would add to the pressure on public services."

In a nutshell, aside from being discriminatory against brown-skinned migrants, this endeavor sends a troubling message that these people from other countries are only good enough to serve coffee and clean hotel rooms, but not worthy of being permitted to build a life for themselves in the UK beyond that. This is the nationalist attitude that allowed Brexit to occur in the first place.  

Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters

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