Speaking up for immigration

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This past weekend was marked not just by the Lib Dem conference but also by two outstanding events that showed Sheffield at its international best.

The first was the wonderful season of films about immigration, screened at the Showroom over the last two weeks, demonstrating the enormous benefits migrant workers and refugees bring and the barriers they face.

The range of films showed both the contribution to local communities where they settle, bringing in their own community spirit which can add to what is already there, and their work, which can boost economies and enable the provision of essential services, through jobs in health, care and education.

The films presented no easy answers to issues raised by migration, but they reminded us we were talking about people, not statistics.

The other significant event was the first Sheffield University International Languages Festival. Over two days, 300 workshops introduced people to the full range of richness of languages from across the globe, many of which are spoken in Sheffield.

The commitment shown by students from across the world must be congratulated, though I wonder how many of them would be excluded from universities by the Government’s ill-thought-through proposed cap on migrants.

Jim Steinke