The politics of immigration and public health

Hampshire, James (2005) The politics of immigration and public health. Political Quarterly, 76 (2). pp. 190-198. ISSN 0032-3179

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The Conservative party's recent proposal to introduce compulsory medical examinations for immigrants should it win the upcoming election marks a departure in the politics of immigration and public health. For many years, the public health impact of immigration was kept out of party competition and successive governments pursued a voluntaristic approach to health checks. In this article, I outline the political history of immigration and public health, and consider the implications of attempts to raise the subject onto the public agenda. I argue that recent developments militate against a calm and balanced approach to the genuine public health concerns associated with immigration, which threatens not only to stigmatise immigrants and stoke anti-immigrant popular opinion, but also prevent the development of effective policies. In particular, the introduction of compulsory examinations may create perverse incentives for migrants to circumvent legal channels and thereby actually increase public health risks.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Conservatives;immigration;Labour;medical examinations;public health
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Politics
Depositing User: James Hampshire
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 21:22
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2012 15:10
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