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When immigration works

I love a 'when' question. I find that rephrasing an exam question as a 'when' encourages awesome evaluation by forcing students to identify a criteria which they can then test other scenarios against. For example, turning 'To what extent is immigration beneficial?' into 'When is (and isn't) immigration beneficial?' encourages a more evaluative approach.


This article from the Economist works well if you are discussing immigration from a labour markets or supply side perspective. The article describes the transformation of Lifespring Church in Reading, UK, from a predominantly white, middle-class congregation to a diverse community with members from over 40 countries, mirroring the broader demographic changes in the UK highlighted by the 2021 census. This shift reflects the UK's increasing diversity due to immigration, a topic of political contention, especially among conservatives. Despite concerns over multiculturalism and integration, the article argues that the UK, exemplified by towns like Reading, has generally managed immigration effectively, attracting a diverse, economically active migrant population. It presents Reading as a case study of successful integration, where migrants have contributed to the community without causing significant social unrest, challenging negative narratives surrounding immigration and showcasing the benefits of a multicultural society.



I look forward to asking my students to use the article to create criteria of 'when immigration does/doesn't work'.



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