History of International Migration - Case Study Example

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The case study "History of International Migration" states that After the Second World War, in 1945, Britain was a country in need of reconstruction, experiencing an acute shortage of labor. As a response to this critical situation, the government decided to look for immigrants. …
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Download file to see previous pages The great number of people coming from the Caribbean, the West Indies, Pakistan and India not only affected the demographics of the country and the level of employment, but it also raised a series of important racial issues that influenced the British policies in a serious manner. Therefore, this paper will analyze how Britain became a multiethnic country and will interpret different immigration acts that were passed by the government in order to better coordinate and control the racial relations within the British society over a period starting with the year 1945 up to present times.

The Labour government conducted, in January 1946, a postwar economic survey that estimated a labor deficiency of 600.000 up to 1.3 million (Paul, 1997, p.4). Acknowledging the postwar labor crisis, the British Government first turned to Europe for help, attracting a large number of Poles (130 000) and Italians by using guest-worker schemes. Even constrained by a critical economic situation, Britain preferred white race immigrants, which demonstrates that British policies were dictated by a fine distinction among races and the tendency to keep the society predominantly white. Soon enough though, the Iron Curtain put an end to these efforts and France, Switzerland and Germany became more attractive destinations for migrants coming from southern Europe. However, even if Britain had an unstable economy, it also had an advantage of 600 million people that inhabited its colonies (Hansen, 2003) and this is when the British government recognized the opportunity of putting all the skilled workers in these regions at use. “Whatever racist ideas they held were secondary to their need for workers to fill gaps in the labor market by doing the worst jobs” (Brown, 1995).

In 1948, the British Nationality Act gave people that lived within the boundaries of the Commonwealth a special status, as CUKCS, which is short for “Citizens of the United Kingdom and colonies”. Due to this special legal status, “persons born in colonial or Commonwealth countries enjoyed a formal right of unrestricted entry to the United Kingdom.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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