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Why ethnic minorities see immigration differently


“The idea of being bothered about immigration made me laugh! I’m from Birmingham. It’s never been a concern of mine. I can’t imagine caring about someone else being born in a difference place to me. (Black British born female participant).”
The Runnymede Trust has launched a new report about British ethnic minorities’ views on immigration and Europe. The publication entitled ‘This is Still About Us – Why Ethnic Minorities See Immigration Differently’ used high-sample surveys and focus groups across several different areas of the country to gauge opinion.


Produced by the UK’s leading independent thinktank on race equality and race relations, its findings show:



  • Immigration is seen more positively by BME groups, because they focus on the economic and cultural contributions an immigrant can make to British life.
  • BME people are more likely to feel that the public debate around immigration negatively impacts on them personally, even if they or their parents were born in Britain;
  • They feel sometimes they need to ‘prove’ they are British;
  • Most broadly share concerns of the wider population around the pace of immigration, but they are more worried about the pressure on services than on cultural impact;
  • Participants were more ambivalent about Europe and are less likely to take advantage of free movement within EU borders;
  • People were more concerned about Britain being a ‘hostile environment’ for immigrants;
  • BME people are more likely to be concerned about the impact of benefit cuts on immigrant families;
  • On citizenship and the immigration system, BME groups are more likely to be concerned about the cost of the citizenship process, family visa policies and Home Office responses to immigration queries;
  • There were variations between different BME groups: Long-settled communities were more likely to believe newer migrants had easier experiences;
  • BME people are more likely to view Europe in explicitly ethnic or racial terms.


You can read the full report here.