A new report calls for London’s leaders to push for fair and progressive policies towards migrants

GMT 14:10 Thursday ,01 July 2010

 Migrant Voice - A new report calls for London’s leaders to push for fair and progressive policies towards migrants

A report released by the Migrants Rights Network (MRN) on June 21st argues that, in the context of national public sector cuts and a negative national discourse on immigration, London’s leaders have an urgent and vital responsibility to promote fair and progressive policies towards its diverse population. MRN’s report “Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London” shows that, with 33% of its population born overseas, immigration has been a big contributor to London’s cultural and economic vitality in recent decades. National public concern about immigration is not mirrored in London, which harbours a more positive attitude towards migrants. The recent defeat of the British National Party in East London indicates that Londoners are capable of roundly rejecting extremist positions on immigration. But London’s leaders face a growing set of political and economic challenges around meeting the needs of its diverse population. Restrictions of migrants’ rights on a national level have led to a significant population in London being excluded from services. Development of local immigration enforcement means that migrant integration faces rising suspicion about immigration within local communities and the Migration Impacts Fund – a £35 million fund established in 2009 to support local migrant integration in the UK – is currently facing the chop as part of swingeing spending cuts. The author of the report, Juan Camilo Cook, says “we urge London’s political, community and business leaders to respond sensitively to the challenges presented by national immigration policies – and worsened by the current economic climate. Now, more than ever, we need strong voices representing London’s interests to lead the public debate on the need for fair and progressive policies towards immigration”.  

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