Managing Migration

Every modern democratic government monitors and manages it’s population. A key issue in the rate of population change being to high. Natural change can be controlled by retain life and keeping people health and alive also well as introducing limits on the number of children you can have for example in China where there is a one child law. On the other hand migration is controlled by only allowing a certain intake of immigrants as you can’t control emigration, without being politically and morally wrong, you can only discourage emigration. The following case study illustrates how successive UK governments have managed migration in a way to meet it’s changing demographic and economic needs.

Case Study: The UK’s Management Of International Migration Since 1950

After the second world war the UK relaxing immigration to mainly people from the Caribbean and from what had been the Indian Empire (India, Pakistan and Bangladesh). This was because the UK had a serious shortage of labour as a result of so many killed or injured in the war. The reconstruction of the country and cities post-war also created a large labour demand.

Immigration was encouraged by an Act of parliament which gave all Commonwealth citizens free entry to the UK. By 1971 there were over one million immigrants from Commonwealth countries in the UK, at this point the government decided that there was enough labour and so controls were introduced to reduce the number of migrant arrivals.

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The image above shows how regardless of the controls introduced the total foreign-born population has increased.

In the 1990’s, the UK once again found itself short of labour, this was solved in 2004 as many young and single Eastern European migrants came to work enough to go home but some stay permanently. The push-pull factors for this are show below.

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Because of the large influx of migrants the native people of the UK took negatively towards these economic migrants because of nationalism. These economic migrants have been accused of depriving the UK workers of jobs and taking advantage of the UK’s benefits system this is shown by the image above. These nationalist critics however ignore the fact that:

  • The migrants contribute to the UK’s economy by the takes they pay and the jogs they do
  • The jobs  that many of them take up are mainly low-paid jobs in factories, hotels, farming and cares homes. Such jobs are often avoided by UK workers.
  • The migrants have a strong work ethic, which can directly benefit employers. Unfortunately there are employers who unfairly exploit these qualities.
  • Less than 5 % of economic migrants receive and sort of state benefit.

During the 2007-2009 recession, job opportunities dried up and increasing numbers of East European workers started to return home.

There will always be issues with migration no matter how big or small. There is growing concern among some people about the overall ethnic mix in the UK. At present the white component is 92%, but this is declining. looking for a scapegoat, nationalists and patriots  direct the blame to immigration form Commonwealth countries and the growing and the growing volume of illegal migration. In fact, legal immigration is quite tightly controlled by the UK Border Agency. The real cause of the slowly changing ethnic minorities. It is natural change that is shifted the ethnic balance – not immigration. Another responsibility of a government should be to ensure people have the means of knowing about the population.