Refugees, Migrants, Foreigners, and More

A brief history of immigration from the European perspective, and its lessons for others.

Information brochures shelf in a shelter for refugee women in Germany. Monika Skolimowska/picture alliance via Getty Images.

Information brochures shelf in a shelter for refugee women in Germany. Monika Skolimowska/picture alliance via Getty Images.

Response
March 25 2019
About the author

Daniel Johnson, the founding editor (2008-2018) of the British magazine Standpoint, is now the founding editor of TheArticle and a regular contributor to cultural and political publications in the UK and the U.S.


From a European and particularly from a British perspective, Nicholas Gallagher’s essay on immigration in Mosaic strikes a chord. I agree with his critique of the refugee/migrant dichotomy as it has come to be applied to the present migration debate on both sides of the Atlantic. Each term has its uses, but “refugee” in particular carries so much historical baggage that it is almost bound to engender not only terminological inexactitude but political conflict.

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More about: Immigration, Politics & Current Affairs