Migrants and Citizens

American Journeys

Since March, I’ve been working on a new, in-depth project — the culmination of a cross-country US road trip, and a personal attempt to understand America’s immigration story.  There’s much more to come — including a podcast and… Read More


Analysis: the Green Card lottery

The Hallowe’en terrorist attack that left 8 dead in New York is believed to have been carried out by Sayfullo Saipov, a Uzbekistan national. President Trump lost no time in linking terrorism and immigration: “The terrorist came into our… Read More

Theresa May visits Al Madina Mosque

A citizen’s lament

From 5,000 miles away, I no longer recognize my country.  At first glance I thought the newspaper headlines were a joke: promises of forcing firms to publish “Foreign Workers’ Lists” too obviously fascist to be anything more than… Read More

benefit tourists1800-600

Do we need to worry about Benefit Tourists?

In a week when The Guardian attracted global attention for reporting that ‘thousand of Britons on benefits across EU’, and Philip Hammond, the UK’s Foreign Secretary, made headlines for claiming that Britain is ‘wide open’ to EU freeloaders,  immigration and welfare are… Read More


Immigration and Inequality: The Courage of Convictions

  This first appeared at Open Democracy In May 2014, the victory of UKIP (the UK Independence Party) in topping European Election polls was marred only by its evident failure to make inroads in London: its candidates there secured… Read More

numbers immigration border

Migration by numbers

Today is International Migrants’ Day.  To mark it, I could easily write you a thousand words on the injustices suffered by refugees and asylum-seekers; on the fears that have seen anti-immigration parties rise across Europe; on the everyday… Read More

low skilled california migration

Why “low skilled” migrants can be “good” migrants too

Pantomime season began early this week, set to the beat of a calypso drum. And part of the soap-opera drama of UK immigration politics – all dodgy peerages and unpaid bills this week – surely stems from the… Read More

From Far Away

One of the reasons why I’ve struggled to write in the past few months is that this has been a year of transitions. A transatlantic, transcontinental move form London to San Francisco, and a career shift from full-time… Read More

On Elections

 From 5000 miles away, the EU elections being held today seem unreal. Much like the antics of the Tea Party observed from Britain, the surge of support for UKIP and Nigel Farage plays out like a pantomime farce:… Read More

immigration, visa, detention, mistake, America

Adventures in America. No. 1: in which I am not deported

Long before I saw America, I recognised America. America’s skylines, suburbs and cities were known quantities, reflected in a thousand Hollywood movies and syndicated sitcoms. This familiarity is disconcerting: it encourages a false sense of security. Arriving in… Read More

An Apology

 Saying sorry when you’re English is habitual.  But in the last year, I’ve found myself saying sorry more often than I used to. Saying sorry to my long-time Bulgarian friend (she with the M.Phil from Cambridge).  Saying sorry… Read More

New Ideas, Old Politics and Real Progress

It wasn’t déjà vu when I turned on the radio on Sunday morning to hear Ed Miliband presenting Labour’s “new” immigration policies: more the discomfort of hearing discordant, distorted versions of new ideas sold short. Over the past… Read More