Them and Us: how immigrants and locals can thrive together

Hosted by the European Institute

Online public event


Philippe Legrain

Philippe Legrain

Heather Grabbe

Heather Grabbe


Professor Nicholas Barr

Professor Nicholas Barr

Immigration is one of the most controversial issues these days. Keeping them out. Taking back control. Building that wall. Whether the debate centres on economics or identity, it is often framed as ‘Them' (bad immigrants) against ‘Us' (good locals). But immigrants aren't a burden or a threat - and if we make the right choices we all can thrive together.

Drawing on first-hand reporting, compelling stories and the latest research and evidence from around the world, Philippe Legrain explains how immigration benefits us all in many ways. Immigrants start new businesses, bring different skills and help spark valuable new ideas. They help save lives - including Boris Johnson's. As key workers, they keep coronavirus-stricken societies going, while young newcomers care - and help pay - for our ageing population.

The book also addresses tricky issues such as ‘illegal' immigration, what immigration entails for national identity, what newcomers need to do to fit in, and how societies ought to adapt. And it suggests new ideas for how to persuade moderate sceptics about the merits of immigration.

If patriotism means wanting the best for your country, we should be welcoming immigrants with open arms. It is time to close the gap between myth and reality - and, in the process, close the gap between ‘Them' and ‘Us'.

Philippe Legrain (@plegrain) is Visiting Senior Fellow at LSE European Institute and a former economic adviser to the President of the European Commission.

Heather Grabbe (@HeatherGrabbe) is Director of Open Society European Policy Institute.

Nicholas Barr is Professor of Public Economics at LSE European Institute.

The LSE European Institute (@LSEEI) is a centre for research and graduate teaching on the processes of integration and fragmentation within Europe. In the most recent national Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) the Institute was ranked first for research in its sector.

Twitter hashtag for this event: #LSEMigration

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