How would Britain cope with a huge influx of war-torn refugees? This is the question politicians have been asking in recent weeks - or, rather, the qu...
With the devastating images of Aylan Kurdi making the front pages of the national newspapers this morning, there is a definite sense of change when it comes to the nations understanding and compassion surrounding the dire refugee situation.
Pictures of people we label 'migrants' are, of course, just pictures of people. Many of them have difficult lives that are not only made up of snapshots of fear and uncertainty, but all those moments in between.
Millions are on the move. War is not the only contributing factor - climate change is tightening its grip on the planet, and the industrialised west continues to burn fossil fuels while poorer countries pay the price. The UK has to play a significant part in alleviating the suffering.
Right now, it's about a dead child. One of many. And whether we as a country actually take one look at this and keep on scrolling. Or not. What will it be, UK?
In many reports you could be forgiven for forgetting many of these migrants are fellow human beings who have risked their lives to escape Syria, Iraq, Eritrea or Sudan and make their way to Europe to seek sanctuary.
The immigration minister's criticisms make zero economic sense. Education, particularly higher education, is one of this country's great success stories. Every year thousands of students come here to learn and along the way they become lifelong friends of Britain. Nonsensically, the government now seem intent on making this whole process harder.
From the safety of suburban England, one can easily make a choice to avoid imagining what an immigrant story really is. Instead, the 'I' word becomes one that is feared, the 'I' word steals jobs and welfare benefits that are destined for British citizens, and the 'I' word can categorically never be one of 'us'.
I've spent 35 years slowly absorbing cultural ticks and unspoken rules in England. I thought I knew the main differences that would arise. I knew that Dutch people were more direct and that no one besides Brits start almost every sentence with "Sorry" but it's so much deeper than that.
Today's ONS immigration figures stating net migration into the UK of 330,000 is astounding. This is the combined populations of York and Oxford. Add the estimated 1million illegal and undocumented migrants and, what is now clear, is that we have Borderless Britain.
Despite popular misconceptions, concerns about the impact of immigration on jobs and wages are not borne out by the evidence. Numerous academic studies have found essentially no association between immigration and employment rates or wage depreciation for native born workers. Migrant workers are also proportionately more entrepreneurial than native born people.
It is right that the government has prioritised immigration in this parliament, given the high levels of public concern. But there are other, more nuanced options for dealing with these concerns.
Give Europol and Frontex the power to take this action, and our response can for the first time be pre-emptive, and not reactive. That is the challenge we now give to the EU. If we fail to learn from the summer of chaos then we will wander into a truly disastrous winter, as we find Fortress Europe crumbling around us.
The rhetoric that people are fleeing war torn countries, where their governments want them dead and their life has no value, for reasons as trivial as a better job shows really just how sheltered we are.
It should not be a matter coping. We should welcome these people because they will thrive in Britain and Britain will thrive because of them. Imagine a 20th century Britain without the influence of Jewish refugees; it would have grown up a poorer place.
Research I conducted with colleagues for the Mapping Immigration Controversy research project demonstrates that this ever-increasing "toughness" on migration increases fear and anxiety. This is true for people who think migration is too high; for people who are concerned about the well-being of migrants; and for people who are migrants themselves...