The idea that these are inconvenient truths is conveniently not based on evidence, which is why academics who specialise in migration are not known to support the generalisations and assertions of this article. Many of the places in advanced economies with the highest share of migrants are not only the most dynamic but also the least protectionist. The overwhelming majority of Londoners, where over 30% of the citizens are migrant, did not vote for Brexit, and the dynamic cities in the US with high migrant populations were less likely to vote for Trump. It is also the case that many of the cities voted as the best places to live in polls have a high shares of migrants - Toronto has been voted the best place to live in successive Economist polls and migrants are over 50% of its population. Controls over immigration are necessary, but there are no simple thresholds and the tiniest shares - well under 1% of migrants - can be associated with zenophobia, while in others with over 90%, as is the case in Dubai, this is not evident. And this can change over time. What is required are clear fact-based arguments which give informed citizens the right to choose their preferences. The fact that places in the UK with very small shares of migrants (like Wales and Cornwall) voted for Brexit while those with higher shares voted for Remain is indicative of the need for arguments around immigrants to be informed by more light and less heat.
Ian Goldin is Professor of Globalization and Development at the University of Oxford and the co-author (with Robert Muggah) of Terra Incognita: 100 Maps to Survive the Next 100 Years.