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America was famously built on inward migration. The UK first introduced legislation to control immigration in 1905. Following World War 2 immigration was encouraged into Britain from the former nations of the empire. The first people to arrive in the UK from the Caribbean on the former German liner Empire Windrush gave the title to the Windrush Generation. By the twenty-first century ‘Windrush’ had become the name of a political scandal as it became clear that dozens of older immigrants had been deprived of legal rights and deported unlawfully.
Across Europe immigration, both legal and illegal migration became a social and political issue as the war in Syria caused millions to flee in search of safety. Migration from sub-Saharan Africa and war in Libya still sees people risking their lives to try and cross the Mediterranean to the EU.
In 2015 the Willkommenskultur refugee policies of Angel Merkel’s government allowed a large number of asylum seekers to settle in Germany. A year later the situation was being described by her some of her political opponents as Flüchtlingskrise – a refugee crisis. And now in 2020, Lebanon is hosting one and a half million refugees. Turkey is hosting more than three million displaced persons.
For more than a century immigration has featured as a major factor in our political discourse. Specialist Speakers on migration speak on the social, political, and economic aspects of the subject.
Anthony Browne is Policy Director for the Mayor of London's office, former director of think tank Policy Exchange, Health Editor, Environment Editor, Deputy Business Editor of the Observer, and Economics Correspondent for BBC TV and radio. He has wri... [more]