Dear Economist,

Dear Economist,
I have been a reader and subscriber to this magazine for more than twenty years, appreciating both the thorough, fact based analysis of many of the subjects presented and the high quality of the prose.

That is why I am particularly dismayed by your reporting in general concerning the issue of immigration into Europe where you constantly promote the idea that apparently any form of immigration is good for the host countries.

As a well integrated immigrant myself (Ireland to France when I was 18), it’s an idea that I was not intrinsically hostile to but my experience in recent years in France, Belgium the Netherlands and Germany now has me worried that by promoting this idea, you are actively promoting the destruction of most of what is presently good about Europe.

Based on this I suggest that rather than continuing promoting the idea that the sort of immigration we are presently experiencing in Europe is good, without providing any fact based analysis to support it, you do one of your generally excellent in-depth studies on the subject.

Leaving aside the humanitarian dimension of the issue, here is a, non-exhaustive, list of the questions I suggest this study should address:
1.Average socio-economic profiles of the immigrants who are presently pouring into Europe (Age, gender, education…) bearing in mind that most come from countries where mean number of years of education vary between 4 and 6 compared to 12 – 13 for European kids? See http://hdr.undp.org/en/composite/HDI

2. Employment rates for such immigrants after 2 years, 5 years , 10 years etc.. and the nature of the employment ie. earning enough to pay taxes or still taking more out of the system than they are putting in?

3. Same questions for 2nd generation immigrants by ethnic origin?

4. Why we even need such immigration when we already have huge levels of unemployment, especially youth unemployment, in most European countries?

5. Average “integration costs” for such immigrants (free housing, language courses, professional training, health care, living expenses….) ?

6. Average numbers of family members brought in later under family reunification rules?

7. Impact on public finances (and deficits) of this immigration?

8. Ability of our existing welfare states to cope ( financial and human resources) with the ever increasing demands that are being placed on them?

9. Potential impact of creeping islamisation on generally secular, tolerant and open societies?

10. Percentage of crimes (both violent and non-violent) committed by 1st and 2nd generated immigrants?

11. Security costs of keeping immigrant communities under surveillance due to high risk of Islamic terrorism, crime etc..?

When I see clear and positive answers to these questions which, BTW our politicians should also be asking, I will be far more receptive towards the arguments for allowing mass immigration to continue. For now, unfortunately, I see it mostly as an unmitigated disaster which is going to get far worse before it gets better leading to a continuing increase in extremism on all sides.

So, when do we get a properly researched in-depth article on the subject?

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