Dr Alex Bulat Profile picture
Your Romanian neighbour. Consultant. Co-founder @migrantdemos. Project Manager @polishmigrants. @UKLabour Abbey Cllr @CambsCC. Co-founder @migrants4labour
Dame Chris🌟🇺🇦😷 #RejoinEU #FBPE #GTTO🔶️ Profile picture William Hite Profile picture 2 added to My Authors
Apr 5, 2022 8 tweets 2 min read
Countless times I knock on doors and ask if someone is registered to vote and they say "No, I'm not British".

In England, British, Irish, Commonwealth & EU citizens can vote in the local elections on 5 May.

Please share. I also did not know I can vote when I came to the UK. I say "in England" because in Scotland & Wales since 2020 all residents can vote in devolved elections. This is called residence based voting rights and it's a fair and progressive model which we should have UK-wide for local elections. Join the campaign: ourhomeourvote.co.uk
Mar 21, 2022 5 tweets 1 min read
I’m tired.

Tired of hearing immigration policy should be “evidence based” when all the academic evidence and third sector expertise shows how the hostile environment is damaging for migrants’ lives and integration … yet the hostile environment prevails as a political choice. Tired of speeches on “embedding lived experience” when the reality is most consultations on immigration policy already know the result and “lived experience” becomes a legitimising tick box, not co-production.
Jul 1, 2021 10 tweets 3 min read
I cannot respond to the 100s of comments of 'personal responsibility', 'it is their own fault' & I'll definitely not respond to the insulting comments calling me all sorts of names. But I'll do a thread highlighting types of people who, unlike me, had difficulty applying on time: Children. Days before the deadline I was contacted by parents who had not realised they had to apply for children, even children born in the UK who are not automatically British. This is what every charity working with EU citizens found too:
Feb 6, 2021 18 tweets 4 min read
"We need more women in politics."

"We need more young people in politics."

"We need more ethnic minorities/migrants in politics."

I am in all of these 3 categories & stand for election in 2021 for the first time. Here's a subjective thread about barriers to representation. [1] The first step to get into politics is to know you can be involved in politics, i.e. voting and candidacy rights. Many migrants are not made aware of their rights. I even met elected Councillors who did not know EU citizens can vote and stand for election. Yeah, I know... [2]
Aug 22, 2020 6 tweets 1 min read
Troll cheat sheet: Top 5 comments I get from people who disagree with my views on migration & answers.

1. Comment: "Why don't you go back to Romania if you don't like it here?"
Answer: "I'm at home in the UK, and I would like it even more if some policies will change." [1] 2. Comment: "Stop interfering in British politics!"
Answer: "I have the same right to express my views, however critical of the Govt, as you do. I also can vote & stand in local elections as an EU citizen and soon in national elections after the citizenship ceremony." [2]
Feb 1, 2020 8 tweets 2 min read
With a few notable exceptions, I am very disappointed by the media coverage on EU citizens in the UK yesterday.

There were so many demonstrably untrue things said by guests about settled status & left completely unchallenged.

This will have real impact on people. /1 I heard *EU migrants* say pre-settled and settled status offer you the "exact same rights as before". Incorrect. Take for instance pre-settled status. It expires in 5 years. You need to re-apply before. Your won't have continous residence if absent for more than 6 months. Etc.
Jan 21, 2020 9 tweets 2 min read
Dear journalists,

Here are some key questions that Ministers who go on TV to praise the EU Settlement Scheme still have to answer:

1. What exactly are the 'good reasons' or 'reasonable grounds' for applying late?

Follow-up: Is "I thought I did not have to apply" a good reason? 2. How can the Government possibly inform every single person who has to apply when there is no exact number of EU citizens living in the UK?
Jan 18, 2020 10 tweets 2 min read
I've probably done around 100 media interviews about settled status. Unlike some commentators on the topic, I am not influenced by political party lines, I read legislation & I actually assist migrants applying for status so I see the reality. Some personal observations... The numbers frame is unhelpful. Don't ask me "How many applied so far?", the Government line already praised that earlier. Big numbers are so unhelpful without context and in most interviews, there is little time to explain this *really crucial* context that will affect people.
Jan 16, 2020 10 tweets 3 min read
Today is another day of big numbers and soundbites without proper context.

I know a lot of you cannot read @BrandonLewis's article on the EU Settlement Scheme because it's behind a paywall.

So let me review the most problematic points in the article.

thetimes.co.uk/article/were-g… 1. Pitting EU citizens in the UK against UK citizens in the EU. 'We are going the extra mile', says the title, why are the EU not doing the same? From the start, British in EU worked together with EU in UK & we are all set to lose rights. So we won't be divided by politicians.
Dec 13, 2019 9 tweets 3 min read
In 2016, EU migrants were told 'nothing will change'. Everything is set to change, forever.

Since 2017, I have been campaigning for citizens' rights with @the3million.

I met 100s of EU migrants over these years, and today I think about every single one of them & their worries. Today I'm thinking about the Romanian student who thought she doesn't have to apply for settled status because she's a student and because 'Brexit may not happen'. I'm also thinking about her student debt, the huge rent she pays & her future working in the UK after her studies.
Sep 23, 2019 15 tweets 6 min read
A few days ago, I wrote a thread about how the Home Office and their PR team frame the message on the EU Settlement Scheme, to make you, the public, believe it's going much better than it actually is.

Today I'll illustrate the key strategies with the newest 'rebuttal' [THREAD] The first strategy is to differentiate between you as 'truth' and those pesky EU migrants voicing their concerns in the media as 'myth'. Us vs. Them. Then, you follow with an empty positive soundbite that you don't believe in, but that others may read and say 'aww, that's nice'.
Sep 13, 2019 5 tweets 3 min read
The Home Office PR team really don't like concerned EU citizens or laywers going on radio & TV and criticising their EU Settlement Scheme. They tweeted no less than 4 times about 1 single radio programme today. Trying to control the media message seems like their full time job. Keep them busy. Speak to the media whenever you can and ask the difficult questions they want to avoid:
- Why aren't our rights guaranteed in primary legislation?
- What will happen to those who won't apply by the deadline?
- Why don't we get a physical document to prove status?
Sep 12, 2019 7 tweets 2 min read
Political Framing 101

Issue: EU Settlement Scheme

Desired message: "It is easy, we are efficient and generous."

Strategy:

1. Start with a meaningless but heartfelt soundbite

E.g. Take inspiration from migrant rights campaigners. How about "you are our friends, neighbours..." 2. Avoid specifics whenever possible

E.g. Speak about people who "were granted status", try not to differentiate settled vs. pre-settled status
Sep 7, 2019 7 tweets 2 min read
THREAD: Top 5 negative comments I get when speaking or writing about EU migrant rights. (+ my reaction) 5. 'Why should you have more rights than my non-EU friends?'

I am also outraged about the #hostileenvironment affecting non-EU friends. But the solution to making policy fairer for non-EU migrants is not to reduce the rights of EU migrants, but to improve everyone's rights.
Jun 3, 2019 5 tweets 2 min read
I don't really use Facebook but someone sent this to me re: my tweets yesterday.

Let's unpack this "sorry but not sorry" post for a moment, it's really interesting:

1. Fake news. 15 million East Europeans in the UK? Really? Not even the Daily Mail publishes such things.

/1 2. The classic "taking our houses and jobs". I am waiting for an "indigenous Briton" to offer me their property (with the mortgage paid off) for free. Maybe then I can say I took *their* house. And jobs, yes, I cannot wait to take all postdocs at the same time, of course.

/2
Mar 25, 2019 7 tweets 2 min read
I am on a train back to Cambridge. 4 women sit down.

- 5 million signatures!
- For what?
- Article 50 petition.
- What's that?
- I don't understand the whole thing.

This is the exact conversation I often encounter outside the Twitter & academic bubble. One of the women says: "Most of my friends voted leave thinking all immigrants will be out but obviously that's not gonna happen". The others agree. The conversation swiftly moves to shoes, going out and the price of taxis.
Mar 19, 2019 5 tweets 2 min read
This Romanian mother was attacked just outside her home in #Doncaster being told, amongst others, to go back to her country.

There has been a rise in hate crime in recent years. This is what happens when xenophobia becomes legitimised.

Read more at: thestar.co.uk/news/police-la… And here's who is responsible for legitimising hatred and xenophobia:
Jan 8, 2019 17 tweets 5 min read
"THE GOVERNMENT MADE ME PREJUDICED!", cried Sarah.

I was in Clacton, in a living room with Sarah, brother Sam & daughter Linda, small children & a few pets. All three adults voted Leave & UKIP.

This #TuesdayThoughts, I want to share bits of their story with you.

#phdchat How did that happen? I asked Sarah.

"There are so many English families living in one room, yet they're letting all these in and they're housing them, having houses built for them!", said Sarah.

Who is being housed, I ask? Have you been waiting for a long time?
Dec 28, 2018 4 tweets 3 min read
Ok here's the thing, EU citizens in the UK were promised to continue their lives "as before".

But settled status is a lesser status & we need to apply, qualify & pay for it.

If you don't care about us, think about this: can you still trust the Govt with your own rights? P.S. These guys had no idea what they were talking about in 2016, did they?
Nov 17, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
Here's the communication strategy on #citizensrights of most politicians:

1. Promise "automatic grant" of all exiting rights
2. Win the referendum and realise 1. is undeliverable
3. Promise "lives as before"
4. Rebrand. "Lives broadly as before"

1/4
5. Hope no one reads legal texts and discover that rights are being lost in the process
6. They found out. Ok. PR time
7. Make sure all Government reps say on all media channels "#citizensrights are secured", including the PM. Avoid questions on specific concerns.

2/4
Nov 7, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
Just finished criticising the Remain campaign in my talk @LSELibrary.

Official Remain:
• ignored the human face of @The3Million
• focused on remote national arguments of how "the brighest and the best" contribute, rather than arguments on local impacts and community • did not engage in dialogue w the economic Leave arguments of people not benefitting from immigration locally. Alternative explanations?
• instead of presenting FoM as reciprocal, FoM was depicted beneficial for a narrow demographic of British people, likely Remainers already