Migration into Europe

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Types of migrant

Economic migrants - people eho move abroad to find work or a better job.

Asylum seekers and refugees - people who move because they're at risk. Asylum seekers apply apply for permission to live in a country, but if it's denied they're refused entry, or may be sent back (deported).

Voluntary migrants - people who move because they want to.

Involuntary migrants - people who are forced to move against their will.

Illegal immigrants - people who enter or stay in a country without permission. Illegal immigration may be for economic reasons, or it may be to escape war or persecution. Illegal immigrants may be people who've applied for asylum, been rejected and have stayed on, or they may be people who've crossed the border without the counrty knowing about it.

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Migration from former colonies

Before the mid20th century, some European countries had been colonising other places around the world, buliding empires, e.g. the British Empire inclided India, Australia and some Caribbean Islands. After WW2, these empires broke up and there was a flow of people into Europe, this is called a post-colonial flow. 

Immigrants from the former British Empire - the British Government invited people from the former colonies to migrate to the UK where there was a shortage of labour and lots of work avaliable to rebuild the damaged economies.

  • More than 60000 Indians had migrated to the UK by the mid-1950s. A shortage of trained doctors meant the NHS recruited many doctors from India, as well as Pakistan, Bangladesh & Sri Lanka.
  • People from the Caribbean Islands began emigrating to the UK in large numbers in 1948. 

Immigrants from the former French empire - from the 1950s to the 1970s lots of people migrated into France from former French colonies in North Africa. Many were economic migrants attracted by jobs created by labour shortages. Others were fleeing persecution occuring as colonies gained independence, e.g. Over 1 million people fled Algeria between 1962 and 1964 after it became independent in 1962.

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Migration from other countries

West Germany made up for its labour shortage in the 1960s by inviting workers from Turkey (economic migrants).

A lot of asylum seekers were created by the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Sweden has accepted over 40000 of these.

Huge numbers of illegal immigrants enter Europe every year. It's not known how many people try to get across, but in 2001, 45000 people were caught and refused entry to Spain alone. Many people die in attempt to cross.

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Europe and world migration patterns

Former colonies have political links, economic links and culteral links with the country that used to rule them. People liked to migrate to countries that they have familiarity with.

Countries are linked by ties between family and friends, because migrants usually leave people they know behind. Migrants are often later joined by family and friends, who move to a country because they already know someone there. 

Countries are linked by a shared language. For example, migrants whose first language is English have come to Britain to work and study. Others might speak English as their second language. Sharing a language makes it easier to find work and become intergrated into a new society.

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Migration into Europe - Consequences

Migration into Europe has many consequences, including:

  • Demographic
  • Economic
  • Social
  • Culteral
  • Political
  • Environmental
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Demographic consequences

Migration changes the population structure of the destination and source country.

  • Source countries will have a reduced proportion of people of people of working and reproductive age. Destination countries will have an increased proportion of prople of working and reproductive age.
  • An inrease in the number of people of reproductive age may increase birth rate in destination countries, e.g. around 25% of children born in the UK in 2006 had at least one parent who had migrated from another country. A decrease in the number of reproductive age may decrease birth rate in source countries.
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Economic consequences

Many migrant workers send money back to families in their country of origin. This money can form a large part of the national income in poorer source countries. Destination countries lose out because the migrant workers earn the moeny in that country, but it still gets spent in another country.

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Social consequences

Illegal immigrants don't have access to legal employment, healthcare or benefits. They live in the destination country illegally, so if they try to access these things they risk being deported. They may carry out dangerous work for little pay.

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Cultural consequences

Migrants bring their oen culture to the countries they move to. This has caused problems of racial tension in some countries.

Where immigrant groups fom several countries have settled, you get a mixture of different cultures. This leads to new hybrid cultures of music, fashion and food.

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Political consequences

Large numbers of immigrants can lead to changes in government policies, e.g. the UK government changing the UK policy on immigration to a points-based system. 

Racial tensions have led to some nationalist political parties becoming more popular. They've become more popular - in the 2006 local elections they more than doubled the number of political seats they held.

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Environmental consequences

Travel by planes and ships causes pollution and migration means a lot of people travel long distances. This leads to increased CO2 emissions, which inreases global warming.

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