Don Flynn Mar 1, 2015
The fact that the government failed to reach its target for reducing net migration is bad news for them, but rather good news when considered as an indication of an economy not still mired in deepest recession.
How does a government deal with bad news that isn’t really such bad news? That was the dilemma facing the spokespeople of the coalition parties last Thursday when they confronted the fact that the declared objective of driving net immigration down below the 100,000 a year mark had failed not just badly, but spectacularly badly. The ONS statistics revealed a headline figure showing that there were 298,000 more people in the UK in September 2014 that there had been 12 months previously.  There will be no more figures on this subject to argue over between polling day so the very firm conclusion is that prime minister David Cameron has failed to deliver on his famous ‘no ifs, no buts’ pledge.
Awale Olad Feb 24, 2015
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration has today published its findings into the impacts of closure of the Post Study Work route in 2012. The report Committee agreed that closure of the former Tier 1 post-study work route (PSW) has had a significant impact on UK universities, business, and local economies across the UK.
In summary, the key findings of the report were:
Ruth Grove-White Feb 23, 2015
We highlight five of the national immigration campaigns currently looking for your support in the run-up to 7th May 2015
With just over 70 days left until the general election, it's not just the political parties stepping up their campaigning. A number of national immigration and race equality campaigns are picking up momentum this week too. Here's some you can get behind over the coming weeks and months:
Ruth Grove-White Feb 16, 2015
Migrant rights campaigners can celebrate this week. It seems that ongoing lobbying has led the Department of Health to kick plans for new primary care charges for migrants into the long grass... Now we need to make sure they don't return in the autumn to haunt us.
The threat of a new, tougher system for regulating migrant access to healthcare has been looming for some time. Over the past two years heated talk from politicians has been supposed to warm us up to the prospect of tough new measures to tackle (the largely unevidenced existence of) 'health tourism' and to increase migrants' contributions towards the cost of their actual and/or potential use of NHS care here.  
Don Flynn Feb 16, 2015
‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses’ begins the great motto on the Statue of Liberty. Here’s a new book which sets out the ways in which these self-same people can become the champions of equality in the lands in which they settle.
One of the issues that advocates of the rights of migrants have to deal with in their discussions with people active in the mainstream of politics is the important question of migration and its impacts on equality. The accusation against migration is that it is one of the weapons that the political and economic elites have used to erode the welfare and security standards which citizens have gained for themselves over the course of generations of social advance.  This progress has been embodied in an implicit social contract which is rooted in the shared experiences of a community which is explicitly national in character.   
Don Flynn Feb 7, 2015
From the trivia of form filling to callous indifference to the plight of refugees, things are getting worse for newcomers in our country. Add to this the surveillance and monitoring of their personal affairs and we can see what the official ambition for a hostile environment all adds up to.
Sometimes it’s the simple things that let you know how deep is the ordure in which we all find ourselves. An example of this hit me late last week when I found myself looking on the internet for the Home Office form that has to be used by any EU national or member of their family who wants to apply for a permanent residence card certifying their right to remain in the UK for the indefinite future. The rules on who is entitled to be issued with one of these cards is very simple: basically you need to demonstrate that you have resided in the UK in accordance with something called the EEA Regulations.  In my days as a legal caseworker the procedure was so straightforward that you could do it without using an application form at all:  a simple letter to the Home Office setting out facts that showed you had complied with the law plus around three items of documentary evidence of one sort or another were sufficient to do the job.
Don Flynn Feb 2, 2015
The new European Migration Forum held its first meeting in Brussels at the end of January. Focusing on the issue of migrants and refugees crossing the Mediterranean the event revealed the tension between the views of civil society activists and those of EU officials. If the Forum is to prove a positive development it will have to show it can break this deadlock and provide for the safety of migrants crossing this sea route.
Europe’s efforts to address what is so often presented as an immigration crisis at its external borders continue to push and pull is various contrary directions.  At some points the European Union likes to emphasis its capacity to enforce the policing and management of movement across borders, but at others the maintenance of the continent’s reputation as a region of human rights.  It shouldn’t be doubted that it takes both of these roles seriously and continues to hold out the hope that, through dialogue and negotiation, a way will be found which allows border and immigration controls to be squared with fair treatment and a degree of justice for those who are seeking entry to the countries which are a part of the Union.
Ruth Grove-White Jan 30, 2015
This week, MRN and the University of Manchester Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity released a joint report on the potential impacts of migrant voters in the May 2015 general election. The report is today making waves across the media, and will no doubt make disconcerting reading for some politicians. But there is much here which should inspire many first generation migrants to feel that their voices – and votes - can matter in the coming election.
Today's report, co-authored by MRN and the Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity at the University of Manchester, is the first attempt to map out the wide range of first generation migrants to the UK who will be able to cast a vote in the next election. It complements research by Operation Black Vote which has looked closely at potential impact of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) voters in May 2015, and extensive public opinion research on ethnic minority and migrant communities. 
Awale Olad Jan 26, 2015 Comments: 3
Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg enjoyed a short-term bounce in opinion polls after his initial performance at the 2010 leadership debates. "Cleggmania", a definition attributed to his jump in popularity, quickly fizzled out when he was found out to be a "progressive on immigration". The Green Party is now under the spotlight on their migration policy after enjoying a recent surge in support.
Green Party leader Natalie Bennett was pressed by Andrew Neil on BBC Sunday Politics about her party’s position to "open doors" migration policy. According to the Greens' website the main medium-term policy goal is to "progressively reduce UK immigration controls" and the need to pursue an agenda which will "achieve greater equity" between the UK and non-Western countries. Their manifesto is yet to be launched but judging by the nature of the attacks on Bennett and the Green Party, we’re in for a long-haul of rather simplistic scrutiny of their policy.
Jan Brulc Jan 19, 2015
TEDxEastEnd is all about building a community of like-minded people who believe that ideas can change the world. This year more than 450 participants will come to Oval Space in East London to hear 23 speakers talk about their vision for a global society.
MRN has been involved in organising TEDxEastEnd from the very beginning in 2010. We started with an idea that a progressive debate should look at all aspects of movement in the modern society. If people move, what else moves and what needs to be put in place to manage the frictions and nurture development?
Don Flynn Jan 12, 2015 Comments: 1
The record of both Labour and Coalition governments show that restrictive immigration policies don’t achieve the set objectives, though they do make life much harder for migrants. This blog looks at two recent papers, explaining why this happens, and setting out some ideas on what alternative policies might look like.
The public debate on immigration often resembles a fight between a couple of heavyweight sluggers well into the later rounds of their bout, battered and staggering around, but neither able to land the knockout blow on the other.
Awale Olad Jan 9, 2015 Comments: 1
Post-David Cameron leadership favourites George Osborne, current Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Home Secretary Theresa May, are at each-other’s throats over the future of student migration in the UK.
May wants to reduce the cohort of international students further by expelling foreign graduates from the UK on completion of their studies. Her announcement on 22 December was allowed to linger over the Christmas period and New Year without any interventions from top Tories in Government. The Liberal Democrats naturally objected to the proposals while the Labour Party offered a carefully worded response that could be interpreted as ‘sitting on the fence’.
Don Flynn Jan 5, 2015 Comments: 2
When someone gets around to writing the history of the UK immigration debate, there is a good chance that they will come to see 2014 as the year when things began to turn around and, eventually, tack off in a progressive direction.
Okay, against this sunny optimism are opinion polls which continue to show a large majority in favour of reducing migration levels. A major objection to receiving newcomers – that we are a small island with a finite amount of space – seems still to be firmly in place as a reason why so many people want to see less movement across borders.  But other anti-immigrant arguments have fallen by the wayside during the past year.  Politicians who want to argue that immigration is responsible for the British unemployment levels have been set back by the fact that the total volume of people in work over the past year has increased whilst net inward migration here continued to be strongly positive. 
Maryam Pasha Dec 22, 2014
As a presenting partner, it gives us great pleasure to announce TEDxEastEnd 2015 - an annual event exploring the relationship between economy, culture, technology, society and borders.
One of my favorite things to do over the holidays is to catch-up on all the TED Talks that I’ve wanted to watch over the year, but just couldn’t find the time for. Back in 2011 when Jan and I were discussing a theme for the first TEDxEastEnd we had no idea how much interest there would be - both from speakers and participants - in the idea of “society beyond borders”. Four years later we are about to hold our 4th sold-out event on 24 January 2015 with over 20 speakers and performers all exploring the idea of ‘society beyond borders’ from all different angles - including: economics, mathematics, satellite technology, gender, health, migration, coding, etc. There are still a few tickets let for TEDxEastEnd 2015, you can get them online here:
Awale Olad Dec 22, 2014 Comments: 1
It seems that 2014 will end with yet more news on immigration. This time it involves the Home Secretary, Theresa May, and her push to change the immigration rules in order to require that all international students graduating at UK universities leave the country on completion of their course.
MRN closed the year a full 12 months ago with an account of a ‘rag, tag and bobtail’ Parliamentary debate on immigration which took place in Westminster Hall.