BCU logoAt 8pm tonight Radio 4 will broadcast a debate on issue of immigration with residents of Birmingham. It was hosted by Birmingham City University and chaired by Ritula Shah.

Prof Paul Collier, a development economist from Oxford University, and David Goodhart, director of the think tank Demos, will both argue that if mass immigration is not properly controlled it has the potential to undermine trust and a sense of mutual obligation. Nazek Ramadan of Migrant Voice and Susie Symes, Chair of the Museum of Immigration and Diversity will oppose their arguments.

In the past, a Solihull doctor born in Bengal, and a Birmingham psychiatrist born in Gujarat have cited, with great concern, the large numbers of mentally ill Asian and African immigrants in the care of the NHS. This combined with personal experience, leads the writer to believe that only the most emotionally stable people can successfully adapt to the change of language and culture on another continent – and, in many cases, the loss of the extended family.

gro harlem brundtlandDr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, Special Envoy with the United Nations, writing on the WHO website, says that more than 50% of refugees present mental health problems: “It is established that an average of more than 50% of refugees present mental health problems ranging from chronic mental disorders to trauma, distress and great deal of suffering”. She reports findings that ‘disruption of community and social support networks leads to psychosocial dysfunctioning’.

prof james nazrooProfessor James Nazroo, when reading sociology at University College London, was commissioned by the Department of Health to produce a survey. Though it was not named in the source – a BBC reportsimilar work may be found online. Findings were that immigrant populations in the UK are at higher risk from mental and physical illness. Problems with access to facilities, an inability to speak the language, and racism within the adopted country all contribute to the relatively poor health of minority groups, researchers say.

Iman Safi recommends addressing the reasons that create refugees and adopting a global approach to solving the problem

global research logoIn Global Research he highlights the ‘neo-colonialist contribution’ of the rich world (aka the “Free World”), which – as it continues to “exploit poorer nations, to ravage their homelands with needless wars, exploit their resources, pollute their land and water, build factories that are best described as slave labour camps”  – is, in fact, “the main cause, instigator and major contributor to the problem”.

If this changed, he continues, “the world can then turn to face dealing with “real refugees”, environmental refugees, drought, earthquake and other natural disasters refugees. Aid organizations can then be better able to focus on nation-building programs rather than refugee-camp building programs. Thus, the intake of refugee migrants can then be dealt with realistically and effectively”.

Andrew Bridgen MPAndrew Bridgen, Conservative MP for North West Leicestershire – who has consistently advocated rational policies throughout the Syrian conflict – told The World this Weekend:

“These are Syrian people who want to live in Syria. The solution is not taking a few hundred people to make us feel happier. What we need is a politically-negotiated solution to this problem.”

A DWP employee adds: “Favouring a small group to ease the conscience of the complacent is not a charitable act, is certainly not in the interest of the displaced community and must be resisted at all costs”.

A Birmingham/Solihull humanitarian aid worker, with ten years experience in the most troubled countries, points out:

“Also with numbers of affected people involved, this is not a viable option for the vast majority of affected people (putting aside the mental health issues) … £100 will go much further supporting people where they are/resolving conflict rather than the ‘high PR level’ gesture of inviting a few over.