Suketu Mehta

Suketu Mehta

A Manifesto for Immigrants

FoI at Waterstones/
Fri 08 November 2019

Suketu Mehta

A Manifesto for Immigrants

Suketu Mehta
Fri 08 November 2019,

Today, more people are on the move than ever before. This global movement corresponds with a sharp rise in populism and a worldwide anti-immigrant backlash. Suketu Mehta – author of This Land Is Our Land: An Immigrant’s Manifesto, an impassioned defence of global immigration – argues that misinformation and scapegoating of migrants causes far more damage that immigration itself. But the positives, Mehta asserts, hugely outweigh the negatives.

Exploring the history of visas, the economics of migration, shrinking western populations and fluid workforces, Mehta shifts the narrative from then to now. The past has dictated the present, but the present is also now dictating the future – civil strife and climate change are reshaping large parts of the planet.

He tells the stories of many immigrants, those who, for myriad reasons, have left everything they know, often journeying thousands of miles to make their homes and raise their families, in unfamiliar sometimes unfriendly, places. When today’s immigrants are asked, ‘Why are you here?’,  they can justly respond, ‘We are here because you were there.’ And now that they are here, as Mehta demonstrates, they bring great benefits, enabling countries and communities to flourish.

Mehta has written a compassionate and powerful plea on behalf of migrants that also reveals the deep forces that propel them on their journeys. He exposes the demeaning ways that migrants are treated around the world, and the very human aspirations that may lead them to accept this dehumanization. In so doing, he gives us a searing indictment of those, like Donald Trump, who do so much to make their plight even worse.

Joseph Stiglitz

In conversation with Nikesh Shukla.

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