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By Philippe Legrain 1 COMMENT

I am currently in Melbourne, attending and speaking at the 12th international Metropolis conference on migration. Yesterday I spoke about migration and the global economy, and tomorrow I’ll be speaking on the benefits of diversity.

Melbourne’s leading newspaper, The Age, published a leader yesterday praising my contribution:

Immigration is not as simple as its critics make out: the these-foreigners-who-come-in-and-take-our-jobs argument has long
been discredited in favour of a more optimistic reality. Another
delegate, Philippe Legrain, visiting fellow at the London School of
Economics European Institute, says that foreigners create jobs,
too, as well as creating future generations of talent just as
deserving of opportunity and success as other Australian children.
Mr Legrain makes a valuable contribution in criticising Australia’s
much-copied points system for vetting immigrants as "wrong-headed
… government officials picking winners", and too narrow to
embrace diversity or changes to the nature of immigration. The
phrase "international mobility" — whereby people, encouraged
by economic opportunities and less strict entry requirements, can
move freely between various countries — is indicative of a new
progressiveness rather than permanency. Sadly, it seems that it
will be a while before Australia adopts such a progressive
attitude. Eleven-and-a-half years of conservative government have
tightened, not loosened, the wire on the fence, and the
small-minded and prejudicial parts of society continue to act

Posted 09 Oct 2007 in Blog
  1. Farisya Shukor says:

    Hi Phillipe ,
    How are you?My name is Farisya Shukor.Im originally from Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia.I’ve just graduated with a Bachelors Degree (BA) in Public Relations and Marketing from Deakin University,Melbourne Australia.I’ve read your book ” IMMIGRANTS YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS THEM”.I personally have to say that i agree with every content of the book.I’ve purchased the book last December,if i knew that your in Melbourne in October,i really want to meet you in person.Every detail and information in your book is well researched.You also mentioned about Malaysia and the immigration system in Australia. When i read your book,i have to say that when im reading it,it felt like your writing a story about me.I’ve been in Australia for almost 3 years now.I am a scholarship recipient of Deakin University International Student Scholarship Programme.I still remember the first time i came to Australia,i bring a calculator with me to the supermarket (don’t laugh).The Australian Dollar is much higher compared to my currency which is the “Malaysian Ringgit” (RM).I struggle to make ends meet when i was in Uni,doing two-three part-time/casual jobs (cleaning,waitress and nannying).People don’t know how hard it is,especially for international student to survive and support themselves in a foreign country.It is very hard when you are far away from home and your all alone in a foreign country.I miss my family and friends back home.I call Australia my second home away from home.Im just like everybody else,i have goals and dreams.I want to achieve the “Australian Dream”.I want to be successful and i want to achieve my dreams here in this country” .Is that wrong? Why does the Australian Government treat migrant like a second class citizen?Why is it so hard for international students like me to get a “JOB” here in this country?What about skilled and qualified migrants like me?Whats wrong with having an ethnic name? I just want a fair share in this country.Why can’t employers focused on people’s skills and qualifications instead of judging them (candidates/applicants) by their names ,ethnicity,background/religion/nationality/etc etc. I am sorry for saying this,but im only saying what i feel and from what i;’ve experienced.
    “Give people a chance”.Stop the hating and racism.Stop the prejudice!
    Farisya Shukor
    Kudos to you.Your book is a “masterpiece”.You are a brilliant author.

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