Thursday, 19 March 2009

Will they stay or will they go?

Immigrants who came to Britain during boom years will stay despite recession, experts warn, booms the Mail. Note the use of the not-in-the-least-bit inflammatory 'warn'.

Immigrants who came to Britain during the boom years are unlikely to return home because of the recession, ministers were warned today. From 'will stay' to 'unlikely to return' in just the first line.

Higher unemployment levels will not make a big impact on the number of foreign nationals settled in this country, academics said. And now it's 'not make a big impact'.

The people behind this are an American thinktank called Migration Policy Institute. Go to their website and find the report in question and, surprise, it's not quite as clear cut as the Mail suggests. So here's some other quotes from the report which the Mail overlooked:

Migrants are unlikely to return home unless they believe their prospects there are substantially better. (page 2)

Economic growth in Eastern Europe in recent years has been robust, aided by European Union structural funds: in 2008 substantial declines in unemployment in Poland, for example, contrasted with deteriorating employment conditions in the United Kingdom. (p5)

Research on Polish migrants to the United Kingdom indicated that many only intended to spend a limited period of time, suggesting they may decide to cut this stay short if employment is not forthcoming. (p5)

Many highly skilled economic migrants...[are] more likely to return home if they lose their job. (p3)

Low skilled workers' relatively greater reliance on social networks to obtain jobs may have secondary effects as unemployment rises and immigrants are bale to pass on less information to co-ethnics about vacancies. (p4)

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