Long: We must change the narrative around immigration

Alliance Councillor Michael Long has said we must change the narrative around immigration in Northern Ireland, after yet another attack on a foreign national in East Belfast.

He said: “I’m extremely disappointed to hear more and more often of these kinds of incidents designed to drive people who are contributing to our community out of their homes. It has to stop.

“Many people have travelled to Northern Ireland and made it their home – myself included – and it makes me so angry to see many people allow the incorrect narrative around immigration to continue. We have to tackle the ‘they take our jobs’ myth that our politicians have allowed to be used far too often.

“We all need to stand together, to tackle the intimidation that is rampant on our streets – from the marking out of territory through the use of flags and emblems, to racist graffiti that appears sporadically and the attacks on homes of ethnic minorities.

“I hope all local representatives will join me in stamping out this intimidation, in uniting together to recognise that when residents say they don’t want a fuss they are frightened and what they actually need is a positive contribution from all their community and political representatives.”

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