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The Myth Of The Hard Working Immigrant

by Chauncey Tinker – 8 May 2019

Since the creation of the welfare state in the West, incentives have been created that have perpetuated the pressure to accept mass migration. There has been a propaganda campaign waged by the mainstream media which has only promoted the benefits of mass immigration, while ignoring the downsides. As part of this campaign the myth of the hard working immigrant has been propagated, which is not only a lie but also a great insult to the indigenous peoples, since it implies that the indigenous people are inherently lazy by comparison with the hard working immigrant.

First generation immigrants are indeed often better motivated than the poorest of the indigenous population because the wages in “Western” countries are invariably significantly higher than in their countries of origin. Subsequent generations however often soon acquire the habit of taking from the state, as they become wise to what is on offer from the state purse. This does not particularly reflect badly on those people, because immigrants who came to do the lower skilled jobs will tend to have stayed poor and be living in the poorer areas. The education available to their children will also have tended to be of poorer quality.

The bill for supporting these future generations comes to the ordinary taxpayer, because the globalists and large corporations are expert at tax avoidance. Thus there is an incentive for employers to keep promoting the idea that:

“immigration is good, because immigrants work hard and do the jobs the natives are not prepared to do”.

In reality of course immigrants are human beings like everyone else, they respond to incentives.


If we look at Muslim immigration into the UK, this gives us a good example of this pattern. It mainly started when large numbers of Muslims came from Pakistan to work in mills in parts of Yorkshire and Lancashire. Nowadays a majority of these people and their descendants are unemployed (or under-employed) because those industries closed down not long afterwards and very little new industry has been created since in those areas. Then over the years their numbers swelled as they brought in spouses from their countries of origin, often while they were unemployed and while their spouses had no prospects or intention of finding work either. They were coming from cultures which had not in any case acquired the habit of female employment.

In recent years awareness of this situation has been growing, thanks to reports and newspaper articles such as this one from the Sun:

LOCKED OUT Just one in five Muslims are in work as report finds they are held back by racism

Most news articles from the mainstream media imply that discrimination is the real cause for the disproportionate figures, for example the above headline from the Sun even states as fact that racism is the cause. An honest assessment of the causes would no doubt find multiple factors at work, including the point I made at the start of this article about incentives. An honest assessment would also need to look at disparities between ethnic groups before assuming that racism is necessarily a significant factor at all (a point well made in the previous post on the subject of Islamophobia).

The supporters of mass immigration also try to hide this reality by manipulating the statistics. The most common trick they use is to quote selectively only the figures for officially “unemployed” people, have a look at this article from the Independent for example (note the use of the word “barriers” in this headline):

6 charts which show the employment barriers faced by British Muslims

At the start of the above article is a graph which shows 12.8 % Muslims unemployed compared to 5.4 % of the general population. Obviously this is a far less alarming statistic than the “just one in five Muslims are in work” headline from the Sun, despite the disparity between the Muslim and general populations. Obviously the figure of 5.4 % for the population as a whole INCLUDES unemployed Muslims though, so the figure for the unemployed category in the non-Muslim population would be lower than 5.4 %.

Another tactic the supporters of mass immigration are using is the publication of so-called “fact-checks” such as this one from Full Fact, that are really just as biased as any other source:

Muslims in the UK: the viral poster, factchecked

One of the claims from the viral poster they are supposedly fact-checking is again the numbers of Muslims who are not working, and the poster is stating roughly the same statistic for Muslims overall as the Sun headline did:

Muslim women – 78 % don’t work and are on FREE housing/benefits

Muslim men – 63 % don’t work and are on FREE housing/benefits

The Full Fact response:

The unemployment rate amongst Muslim women was 16% and for Muslim men was 11% in 2015. A further 58% of women and 24% of men were deemed ‘economically inactive’ – meaning they are not employed and not seeking employment, for example students or retirees.

So, who is right, “Full Fact” or the Sun? The Full Fact article links to government reports, so it looks reliable on the face of it. When we look closer at the article from the Sun (not exactly a news source held in high regard in the media/political bubble) we see that they are quoting from a report by the The Social Mobility Commission although unfortunately they don’t provide a link to the report in the article. I could not find a link to the report directly (though there is a page for the Commission at the government website here). However the same claim is quoted in this Guardian article from 2017:

Islamophobia holding back UK Muslims in workplace, study finds


The study found 19.8% of Muslims aged 16-to-74 were in full-time employment, compared with 34.9% of the overall population.

Looking more closely at this claim we notice that it is referring to “full-time employment” though, not ANY employment (note that the Sun does more accurately quote roughly the same words in the text of their article). So, the Sun headline is misleading in that respect.

Looking again at the figures quoted by Full Fact, we see the total percentage of economically inactive Muslim men would be 35 % (unemployed 11 % + others economically inactive 24 %). Presumably then the difference between the two claims for Muslim men (very roughly 30 %) is made up of Muslim men working part time or perhaps also in temporary occupations. Note that the Full Fact accepts that the claim for Muslim women is roughly accurate.

We would need more detailed data to really understand these numbers in any depth, but overall I think it must be practically certain that if so many Muslim men are not in full time employment then a great proportion of them will be net takers from the state purse (once you factor in other factors such as free healthcare, free education, free housing). Also consider the fact that probably most of even those who are working will be in the low or no tax brackets. Also consider the fact that the Muslim birthrate is higher and so they will have more children (for the state) to support. Therefore the true economic burden on the rest of the taxpayers is in all probability a lot greater than the selectively quoted figures in the “Full Fact” article would suggest.


British workers are only not prepared to do the jobs the first wave immigrants will often be prepared to do because the British workers know there is an alternative, namely the welfare system. Relatively recently, benefit sanctions have come into force which penalize those who do not actively seek employment. If these were being applied equally across the country, the myth of the “lazy British worker” would quickly become a thing of the past. However I suspect that they are not being applied equally across the country.

Also there are simply fewer vacancies in some parts of the country, so it is a lot easier in those areas to appear to be looking (or actually genuinely looking), while never actually finding work. So far at least there has been no attempt at imposing a fixed time limit on welfare, so there is little incentive for welfare recipients to seek work in areas further afield. It’s worth remembering that the first generation of Muslim migrants mentioned above originally came half way around the world to work in low paid occupations with poor conditions, nowadays it’s quite difficult to persuade people to look further than a few miles away for work.

A typical knee-jerk reaction of governments to complaints that migrants are “only coming here for benefits” is to promise to set time periods before newly arrived migrants become eligible for welfare. Consider this article from the BBC for example looking at David Cameron’s attempts to introduce such restrictions:

EU referendum: David Cameron’s benefit ban options

However the incentive to continue with mass immigration would remain therefore, because new arrival immigrants will have a much greater incentive to work for the time period when they cannot receive benefits than those born here. The myth of the “hard working immigrant” will therefore be REINFORCED. Thus, what is sold to the voters as a government policy to discourage immigration, is actually an incentive for governments to continue allowing high immigration levels. What might make more sense is to make the system based on contributions for everybody, not just migrants.


Immigrants on low wages benefit from free healthcare, schooling, better justice. Those immigrants on low wages do not have to foot the bill for these things, it is higher wage earners who have to foot the bill. Once again the globalists and large corporations are the winners, because they benefit from the lower wage immigrant workers, while their armies of expert tax accountants ensure that they pay as little tax as possible.


The idea of “the hard working immigrant” has been used in the propaganda war around the current illegal immigration crisis. However in this recent crisis we are seeing a different pattern to the one described above where the first wave of immigrants tend to work hard. This article from Breitbart certainly suggests as much:

Switzerland: Over 80 Percent of Somali Migrants on Welfare

These are opportunistic migrants in the main, taking advantage of a humanitarian crisis in a war zone which is far away from them in most cases. They are also taking advantage of the current Western generation’s tendency towards pathological altruism, a tendency manifested in the welcoming given to recent arrivals by well-meaning Europeans holding up “Refugees Welcome” signs and handing out water bottles and teddy bears.

Legal migrants are more likely to have qualifications and skills, because those are needed to gain entry in the normal process, especially when coming from outside the EU. The current wave of illegal immigrants crossing into Europe are prepared to live in squalid and dangerous camps, they do not have high expectations. Quite what their expectations are is difficult to know, and very few journalists seem interested in discovering the truth. Some of them may be motivated by pure hatred of the “West” and a desire to spread the Islamic religion, some may even be actual terrorists, but who knows exactly how many. Hopefully some brave journalists may eventually pluck up the courage to try to find out. I have to admit I suspect these illegal immigrants are more likely to exploit our hospitality in every way they can than conform to the mythical stereotype of the “hard working immigrant”.


My own suspicion is that the disparities discussed above have very little to do with racism in fact, and probably also nothing to do with Islamophobia either. I also suspect that cultural attitudes in some sections of society probably are significant factors. What is so often missing from BOTH sides of the debate however is the role played by economic incentives, particularly those provided by the government.

It is in large part the welfare system that drives high levels of immigration, but not for the simplistic reasons that are normally given. First waves of immigrants are often not motivated by our generous welfare system, but rather by the lure of higher wages and a better general standard of living.

British unemployed people are no more lazy than anyone else, they respond to incentives just as the immigrants do. They are not motivated to do unpleasant jobs for low wages because they have an alternative, to remain on welfare. The myth of the hard working immigrant – actually a product of government incentives, is likely to remain a feature of government propaganda on immigration policy until those incentives are questioned by ordinary voters.

High mass immigration levels are good news for globalists and large corporations who have the resources to exploit the situation to the full. They are bad news for the ordinary people, who suffer from the pressure on housing, school places, and the tax burden, not to mention rising crime rates. Ordinary people also suffer from a feeling of alienation and a breakdown in community, because the immigrants are usually in much higher numbers in the poorer areas.


Fact Checking the Fact Checkers – Case 2, Snopes and the Young Male Migrants

Parliamentarians duped over Islamophobia part 3


From the UK government:

Ethnicity facts and figures – Employment

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