Professor Alexander Betts was interviewed on CNN’s Amanpour on Friday about the continued political turmoil around migration into Europe, despite reduced numbers of asylum seekers and migrants coming to Europe since the peak in 2015.
The reason for this, he argued, was that migration has become a scapegoat for a lot of underlying trends and is used opportunistically by politicians: “the disappearance of low-skilled manufacturing jobs, structural trends where people feel disenfranchised, austerity programs, all affecting people’s lives,…the easy option is to say ‘this is because of immigration’, when it’s deeper trends that are going on. Liberal politicians are failing to come up with narratives on this, whereas the far right, the populists, are saying that migrants are responsible, and that’s why the issue is rising in political salience even as the numbers are coming down.”
The interview goes on to touch on a number of issues such as the challenges of distinguishing between refugees and other migrants, and deciding on an equitable distribution of refugees.
Watch the full interview on “Fear versus reality when it comes to migration” here >>