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在英國的羅馬尼亞人:「不受歡迎的移民」和「受歡迎的貢獻者」只有一線之隔

Alexandra Bulat,照片經本人允許使用,來自她於倫敦大學學院(UCL)的官方頁面

用人類視角看待英國脫歐會是如何?英國跟歐盟「離婚」了嗎?幾百萬人處在充滿著不確定性的官僚主義下,抑或面對獨斷、不公的條款和規則。英國脫歐留下許多爭議,需要修補改變現有體系,方能避免人民繼續受害。

根據英國《太陽報》(The Sun)報導,目前約有360萬歐盟成員國的人民住在英國,其中包含60萬名孩童。在他們之中,脫歐者(Leavers,支持英國脫離歐盟的人)特別對東歐人加諸「不受歡迎」的移民標記。東歐人常被貼上「來英國偷取工作的利益乞丐」的標籤,且這種情緒已不是第一次,歐盟在當初中東歐加入成為會員國時,就對其移民設下諸多工作限制,使得他們早已感覺自己是二等公民。英國對這些國家開放勞動市場的決定,可以說是脫歐派如此反對歐盟移民的原因。

攝影師Deividas Buivydas分享了他在英國林肯郡波士頓拍攝的迷人照片,該處與東歐人民的緊張關係顯而易見,英國後脫歐(post-Brexit)的焦慮也不斷攀升。此為英國脫歐投票率最高的城鎮,高達75.6%,被冠上「英國脫歐首都」(the capital of Brexit)的稱號,卻也是全國東歐人口最多的地方。

Alexandra Bulat是一名在英國頂尖學術機構工作的羅馬尼亞學者,她的人生故事是活生生的例子。2017年1月,她針對英國首相德蕾莎·梅伊的知名發言表示:

我是羅馬尼亞籍的哲學博士(PhD)學生、助教、研究員,也是@德蕾莎·梅伊 所讚揚的「最聰明、頂尖」、「歡迎你們的貢獻」的人士之一。

今天的 #週二想法 我想分享我的故事。來到這一步以前,我在各方面都是個「不受歡迎的移民」。

Bulat小姐在推特上分享她的故事,這一系列的推文被多次轉推,故事概要如下:

My first experience in the UK was in 1997. My father got a temporary [National Health Service] contract as there was a skill shortage. I attended the hospital's nursery for 7 months but my family chose to return to Romania. My mum was unemployed and my father had limited rights to work.

Meanwhile my parents got divorced. I attended a free school and skipped many classes in the last college years. Grew up mainly with “working class kids” sometimes doing dangerous things. But I achieved the highest grade in the Romanian Baccalaureate and this opened many doors.

I returned to the UK at 18 to study. I passed an IELTS exam but this was not enough to understand even half of what my British colleagues were saying. Should I have been “sent back” then as I could not properly engage in English conversations in my first few months?

Three years later I graduated with a first class degree from . It was a fun but difficult time. My mum came looking for work when I was in my second year and we shared a studio room at some point. I worked various part time jobs. Met my British partner.

In 2015 I received offers from both  and  to do my Masters. In the summer I worked as an intern in London to save money. We had no savings and definitely not enough to pay the 10,000 pounds tuition fee. Should I have given up my dreams?

I borrowed money from the bank for my fee and accepted my Master of Philosophy (MPhil) offer at Cambridge. I had barely enough to cover the first term of college accommodation and no idea what to do next. My mum was made redundant and things were not going well.

Meanwhile one of my colleagues was shocked to hear my experience of college – “So you did not have prep classes for Oxbridge interviews???”. Nope. This is maybe why I failed my Oxford interview for undergrad despite passing the written test. Oh, also my poor English.

I read my MPhil handbook saying we should not do any paid work. I did paid work throughout my MPhil and finished with 72% overall. Meanwhile mum got a job and things got back to normal around graduation time, after a year of familiarizing myself with Sainsbury's Basic [a supermarket chain offering low cost produce].

Should me and my mum have been deported due to insufficient resources in those times? “If you do not make a net contribution you should be sent home”, some claim. Life is not a tick-box as the immigration categories are.

Alexandra Bulat,感謝本人允許使用圖片

In 2016 after a summer of work on a temp contract I accepted my fully funded PhD at . This was the best thing that happened to me. I was sad to leave Cambridge uni but I could not have afforded a PhD with no funding. Funding is very competitive in social sciences.

My mum's job was again subject to restructuring in 2017. After a few months of job searching she decided to leave to Germany. She also was concerned about after Brexit. They are not guaranteed yet. She is working in Germany now, the UK lost a skilled professional.

In 2018 all things go well. I speak fluent English, have a lovely British partner and I am halfway through my PhD. But I, like all and are still . Our reduced are not secured in case of no deal.

In the mind of many people rudely commenting on posts such as the stories shared in ‘s articles, we should be sent back home unless we are a constantly producing tax payment machine. It is important to realize the complexity of migrant stories. According to these people's logic, my mum should have been deported every time she lost her job and I should not have been allowed in with little English or “insufficient resources”. We have not claimed a single benefit all these years, not even job-seeker's allowance.

To everyone that tells me to stop criticizing settled status because “I will be fine, cos I am a PhD student and skilled migrant”, I am saying: no. I will not close the gate behind me just because I managed to become a “desirable migrant”.  were promised for all.

我第一次來英國是在1997年。由於當時英國缺乏技術性人才,我父親與 #英國國民保健署( :National Health Service)簽了一份短期合約。我在醫院的幼稚園待了7個月後,因為我母親被裁員,而父親在工作上有諸多限制,我們全家選擇搬回羅馬尼亞。

與此同時,我父母離婚了。我進了一間免費學校就學,在高中的最後幾年翹了很多課。跟我一同成長的人大部分是「勞工階級的孩子」,我有時候會跟他們一起做危險的事。不過我在Romanian Baccalaureate(羅馬尼亞和摩爾多瓦的高中畢業時必須參加的考試)得到最高分,開啟了通往未來的大門。

18歲那年,我回到英國讀書。我通過雅思(IELTS)考試,但英國同事講的話,我連一半都聽不懂。在英國的頭幾個月,我的英文會話程度不好,當時是否該被「遣送回國」?

三年後,我從薩塞克斯大學(Sussex University)社會學系畢業了,拿到一等學位(first class degree,英國評判分數的標準,一等學位是最高學位,平均分數須達70分以上,對應亞洲分數約為85分)。這段時光雖然有趣,卻也艱辛。大二時,我母親來英國找工作,我們分租一間套房。我同時打好幾份工,也遇上了現任英國男友。

2015年,我通過劍橋大學牛津大學的碩士班申請。那年夏天為了存錢,我在倫敦找了份實習。我沒有存款,也絕對付不出10,000鎊的學費。我當時該放棄夢想嗎?

我跟銀行貸款繳學費,決定去劍橋大學讀哲學碩士(Master of Philosophy,簡稱MPhil)。我幾乎付不出第一學期的住宿費,不知道之後該何去何從。我母親被解雇,所有事情都不順利。

我同事聽到我高中的經驗時,覺得很驚訝--「所以你沒有上準備課程,籌備橋津大學(Oxbridge,劍橋大學和牛津大學的合稱)的面試嗎?」沒有。雖然我通過牛津大學的筆試測驗,但沒上準備課程大概是我面試失敗的原因吧。噢,還有我的破英文。

我讀了哲學碩士的手冊,上面說我們不該做支薪工作。不過,我讀哲學碩士的整個過程都有打工,最後還以72分畢業。在Sainsbury's Basic(販售低價商品的連鎖賣場)工作一年後,我快畢業了,母親也找到一份工作,一切都回到正軌。

這段時間,我跟母親該因為資源不足而被遣送回國嗎?有些人說:「如果你沒有做出淨貢獻,就該被送回原國。」移民類別是個打勾框,但人生可不是打個勾就能選擇的。

2016年夏天,我打了一份短期工,然後學期開始了,我在倫敦大學學院斯拉夫與東歐研究學院(University College London School of Slavonic & East European Studies)讀哲學博士,領全額補助。這是我遇過最棒的事。我離開劍橋大學時很難過,但沒有補助的話,我負擔不起哲學博士的學費。在社會科學的系所裡,每個人都搶著領補助。

2017年,我母親的工作再度受到限制。找工作找了幾個月後,她決定前往德國。她也擔心英國脫歐後的 #公民權利(),這些權利還沒受到保障。她現在在德國工作,英國失去了一名技術精煉的專業人士。

2018年,一切都很順利。我的英文流利,有個可愛的英國男友,哲學博士的學業也已完成一半。但我就像 @這三百萬人()和 @在歐洲的英國人( )一樣,仍然 @對英國脫歐後的未來感到不確定(,該推特帳號分享受英國脫歐影響的民眾故事),我們被壓縮的 #公民權利 在尚未兌現的情況下仍是沒有保障的。

很多人在  #公民權利 的貼文下留無禮的留言,就像  的文章裡分享的故事一樣,在那些人心中,除非我們是不斷納稅的機器,不然就該滾回原本的國家。了解移民故事的複雜性是很重要的。照這些人的邏輯來看,我母親每次丟了工作,就該被遣送回國,而我的英文那麼爛、也那麼「資源不足」,同理也不該有資格留在英國。這些年來,我們從沒要求過任何一點利益,連求職津貼也沒有。

那些叫我不要再批評固有狀況、因為「你會沒事的,你是個哲學博士生、是有能力的移民」,我要告訴你們所有人:不。我不會因為自己變成一個「理想移民」就過河拆橋。 #公民權利 是給所有人的。

2016年6月1日,英國脫歐公投的前幾個禮拜,「把票投給脫歐」(Vote Leave)活動團體發表了(支持脫歐的四位政治人物)Michael Gove、Boris Johnson、Priti Patel、Gisela Stuart的聲明,他們聲稱:

Second, there will be no change for EU citizens already lawfully resident in the UK. These EU citizens will automatically be granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK and will be treated no less favourably than they are at present.

第二點,(英國脫歐)對目前合法居住在英國的歐盟公民,不會造成任何改變。歐盟公民會自動被准許無限期留在英國,而且受到的待遇不會比現在差。

對於像Bulat母親這樣憂心的人,脫歐大臣大衛·戴維斯(David Davis)想降低他們的擔心。2016年10月他宣稱:「這裡的移民,每6個人就有5個人已可以無限期留在英國,而還沒得到准許的人,我們離開(歐盟)前也會得到。」然而,英國審核事實的機構Full Fact卻下了這個結論

This is not fully substantiated by the evidence and will depend on the arrangements we make upon leaving the EU. Whatever happens, EU citizens are not going to be forced to leave en masse.

未有證據可完全證實這則聲明,且這取決於我們針對脫歐所做的安排。不過無論發生什麼事,歐盟公民都不會被迫集體離開。

Full Fact也寫下其它不確定的項目,例如:英國脫歐後,歐盟法律下的永久居留權不一定會繼續有效,可能要達到一定的標準才可永久居留,像是「是否有工作或正在找工作、是否為自雇者或學生、是否能養活自己」等等;一切要視英國和歐盟的協議結果而定,但這部分還在計畫,預計2019年3月結束。

對在英國的歐盟移民,和在歐盟27國(2016年跟英國脫歐協議有關的27個歐盟國家,也就是除了英國以外的所有歐盟國)的英國人來說,脫歐派保證未來會自動授予現有權利這件事,依舊充滿著不確定性。很多方面尚未明朗,也還在討論中,如:家庭團聚權、政治權(歐盟移民只能在當地選舉投票)等等。

高技術移民(Highly Skilled Migrants)團體最近發起一場抗議,表示他們代表逾600名在英國工作的醫生、工程師、IT專業人員、教師以及他們的家人,要提高大家對英國內政部那些「歧視」法規的意識。「嚴苛的移民政策」對「海外」和歐盟成員國的移民都有影響。最新數據指出,因為英國脫歐造成的不確定性,導致搜尋英國工作的歐盟公民大幅減少。

Bulat小姐以這段推文,為她的故事做結尾:

我們需要一個可以保護所有 #公民權利 的解決辦法,就像脫歐派保證的那樣。不要再有「壞移民」、「好移民」這種分裂遊戲。大家的人生不是用打勾來決定的。政治家應該聆聽更多真實的移民故事以更加了解他們。#人民優先於政治(#peopleb4politics

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