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What's wrong with immigration?

Leonardo Rocha | 09:38 UK time, Tuesday, 6 November 2007

There must be something wrong... Look at what's happening in Italy.

The former communist mayor of Rome, Walter Veltroni, is behind legislation that's allowing the government to expel Romanian immigrants.

Here in the UK, a similar debate is going on.

So what do you think? What's wrong with immigration? Is there a way of controlling immigration in a globalised world? Who would gain and lose? Send us your comments, join the conversation.

So far in Italy, 38 Romanian immigrants have been kicked out. Most of them are Roma gypsies.

The new legislation says even EU citizens will be expelled If they pose a threat to the community.

It's all coming from a left-wing government. The right, Berlusconi included, wants the legislation to be toughened.


A Conservative Member of Parliament, Nigel Hastilow, is a recent casualty of the debate.

Too many foreigners, immigration out of control, "rivers of blood" will follow.

He was forced to resign on Sunday, saying that the notorious right-wing politician Enoch Powell was right on immigration.

Powel himself was sacked from the shadow cabinet in 1968 after saying in a speech that Britain was "mad, literally mad" to allow large-scale immigration.


Is that something of a taboo, something we just cannot talk about?

Do politicians say one thing in public and legislate differently?

You just need to ask businessmen, hotel managers, restaurant owners, hospital directors and patients they will tell you: if immigrants left, this country would collapse.

Is that the case? Can the developed world, with an ageing population, live without fresh immigrant blood?

There was a lot more tension when I arrived in London in 94. The economy was then recovering from a painful recession, unemployment was a talking point.

But since then, the economy hasn't stopped growing and even the huge flow of Central and Eastern European immigrants has brought unemployment back. Will it happen? Let's talk about it.


For those who don't know, Anu Anand has left the programme. She's on her way to India, but first enjoying some time off in London.

Photos of a very relaxed Anu came to our email inbox this week. But she hasn't stopped.

She sent us the contact for a Pakistani-Canadian political cartoonist who was banned from boarding an Air Canada plane on May 28th.

Shahid Mahmood is willing to come on air any day this week and explain his case. He's in a legal dispute with the airline.

Canada is seen as the true "melting pot", where immigrants and minorities rights are respected.

Shahid, speaking to Priya last night, said things are not that straight forward.

Do you want to hear from Shahid and Air Canada? How unsettled is the Canadian melting pot?


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