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The Huddled Masses

Desperate refugees drown in the Mediterranean. Undocumented migrants leap into lorries at Calais.  Europeans fleeing economic disaster book one-way tickets to London. Politicians from all sides are agreed: we have an immigration “problem”.  And the solution seems clear: if we want to fight inequality at home, we need to stop migrants arriving from abroad.

But what if this assumption is wrong? What if the drive to restrict migration isn’t reducing poverty at all, but instead helping to create a global migration system that is actually exacerbating local inequality?

In The Huddled Masses: Immigration and Inequality, migration researcher Katy Long shows why we need to urgently rethink the relationship between immigration and inequality, and avoid pursuing current policies that pit poor immigrants against poor workers – at the expense of both groups.

Drawing on cutting-edge research, Long offers an incisive analysis of our migration system, showing how efforts to restrict immigration are widening the gap between wealthy corporation and ordinary citizens, at terrible human cost.  She exposes how companies like G4S and Serco profit from a billion-dollar migration industry while locking their own workers into a low-wage, low-skill economy and how stringent minimum income requirements mean half of Britons no longer have the right to live with a foreign spouse in the UK.

The Huddled Masses also assesses the real contribution that migrants make to the economy, exploding the myth that migrants “take our jobs”. It makes clear that immigration plays a critical role – both in terms of human capital and tax revenue – in sustaining the social institutions that offer citizens real protection against widening inequality.



“Part of an anti-racist project is to address this confusion by exposing the lies and providing a facts-based truth. Long’s book helps us do this. It is a short, accessible and useful resource, discussing many of the key issues concerning immigration and more generally providing excellent data with which to undermine racist interpretations of immigration. Though primarily focused on the UK, the book provides valuable insights into general worldwide trends and issues… Long’s book is a valuable resource for anti-racists and I would urge people to buy it.”

International Socialism

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