`Fortress approach to immigration won’t work’
21st May 2010: A four-year study into British immigration by the Institute of Public Policy Research has found immigration into the UK is beneficial for the rest of the world.
Foreigners coming to the UK to work spread wealth and education across the globe, the study has found.
The authors insisted a “fortress” approach to immigration would not work; and called for a scheme to encourage legitimate means of entry.
Before reaching the conclusion, the researchers interacted with as many as 10,000 people from in seven countries — Colombia, Fiji, Georgia, Ghana, Jamaica, Macedonia and Vietnam.
Up to 90 per cent of the immigrants claimed Britain had given them more money to spend. More than half of them said they managed to send money back home.
Between 70 and 90 per cent of the migrants, in fact, claimed an increase in their disposable income
Quoting the example of Colombia, the report said people receiving cash from the UK were 12 per cent less likely to be surviving below the poverty line.
The extra money they had saved helped Ghanaians spent more on education.
Giving details, IPPR project director Dr Danny Sriskandarajah said migration was too good to stop.
Migration offered one of the best routes to improving development prospects for individuals and countries alike. More people were on the move than ever before, and their study showed this mobility was generally having a more positive impact on social and economic development than previously thought.
Even where migration caused pressure points, such as ‘brain drain’ from some sectors in some countries at some points, the money, skills and ideas that migrants send home or bring back with them often outweigh the negative impacts.
Lead author Laura Chappell said as long as there were imbalances in the global economy, migrants from poorer countries would want to come to countries where the economic opportunities were greater.
In these circumstances policies mainly designed to keep migrants out or kick them out were destined to fail.
Managed migration could be achieved, but it needed to take into account migrants’ aspirations, as well as the concerns of local electorates.
Reacting to the report, anti-immigration groups said Britain needed to accord priority to the interest of its own people first.