Immigration and the integration of the foreign born

Recent research by Luthra, Platt and co-authors draws attention to diversity among immigrant groups commonly treated as homogeneous by policy makers and academics. Drawing from an original dataset on new Polish and Pakistani immigrants in London collected in 2011/2012, the researchers have generated a new migrant typology linked to the migration motivations of free movement Polish migrants during recession (2016), showing that the typical male-dominated circular migration streams have been supplanted by a more feminized and experiential orientated immigrant.

Focusing on Pakistanis, Luthra and Platt (2016) demonstrated heterogeneity in the characteristics and early labour market and sociocultural outcomes of student migrants, a group considered as uniformly high-skilled and positively selected. They identify both elite and two ‘middling’ types – middle class and network-driven. They then ask whether these types experience early socio-cultural and structural integration differently and find differences in structural, but less in socio-cultural outcomes. They conclude that to understand the implications of expanding third country student migration across the European Union, it is important to recognise both the distinctiveness of this flow and its heterogeneity. Drawing from a range of historical and contemporary data sources in a separate paper (2017), Luthra and Platt probed further into the underlying heterogeneity among those with Pakistani ethnicity in the UK, challenging the “groupness” of this group by gathering evidence of internal differences across time of arrival.