Blog

Don Flynn Jul 29, 2015
The UK government has given all the indications of being badly wrong-footed by the latest developments in the refugee crisis at the French Channel port of Calais. Higher fences and brawnier policemen are not the answer. A renewal of our commitment to humanitarian solutions is.
Three thousand migrants have congregated in the area known as the ‘Jungle’ in the past few weeks with many hoping that they will an opportunity to make a clandestine crossing of the Channel to find a safe haven in the UK.
Awale Olad Jul 27, 2015 Comments: 2
Jeremy Corbyn attacked the Government’s family migration rules during a debate in the House of Commons earlier this year. Tim Farron could be the most pro-immigration leader out of the main political parties. Theresa May says she will hit the net migration target this time.
Labour's leadership contenders have form on immigration issues The candidates in the battle to succeed Ed Miliband as the leader of the Labour party has allowed an opportunity for the party to debate immigration policy more openly and without the constraints of a set and rigid policy agenda. Jeremy Corbyn, who during the selection period just about scraped enough nominations to get on to the ballot, has found himself leading the race with a tsunami of support from constituency Labour branches across the country. Corbyn is also, along with Liz Kendall, a candidate who is on the ‘pro’ side of the immigration debate.
Don Flynn Jul 20, 2015
According to the Home Office, too many skilled migrants are coming to the UK to support the efforts of British companies to grow the size of the manufacturing sector. But is it really in anyone’s interest to see the sectors which will be providing good quality jobs cut back in order to meet a spurious immigration target?
The news that the government has directed the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to come up with proposals to restrict skilled migration to the UK reveal the lines of tension that run between major planks of its own policy. On the one hand there is the Chancellor George Osborne’s drive to get more balance into the UK economy and his ‘march of the makers’ finally under way; and on the other, Home Secretary Theresa May’s determination to achieve the long-postponed goal of pushing net migration below the hundred thousand mark.
Don Flynn Jul 13, 2015
Three years since the rules on family migration were changed campaigners are being proven correct in their predictions on the perverse outcomes the measures have led to. Here are some ideas on what needs to be done to continue pressure for change.
The events organised last week to mark the third anniversary of family migration rules which hugely increased the income level required from people sponsoring the admission of family members was rewarding for all involved in the sense of solidarity and mutual aid which passed between participants. 
Anna De Mutiis Jul 6, 2015 Comments: 2
UKREN’s project worker, Anna De Mutiis, reflects on the ways in which Europe continues to reduce others to the status of de-humanised stereotypes and in doing so produce the tragedies which are now manifest on the Mediterranean and in Calais
The ongoing crisis on the Mediterranean has shed light on an old unsolved - and clearly so often poorly addressed problem at the heart of Europe: namely its relation with its Other.
Don Flynn Jun 23, 2015
A recent book "Rethinking Border Control for a Globalizing World" argues for a ‘preferred future’ in which border crossings are frequent and normal, and wonder why there is so little interest in these approaches on the part of the political classes.
The substantial convergence of views on immigration policy within different fractions of the political establishment presents a dispiriting picture to anyone looking for a discussion about alternatives. Is it really the case that the only things on offer is how best to enforce ‘tough’ border controls?
Chai Patel Jun 22, 2015 Comments: 2
Email your MP today to take action on Family Migration.
9th July will be the third anniversary of the new income threshold for family migration. It marks the end of the third year in which thousands of British citizens have been separated from their partners. The third year in which 42% of British workers are deemed too poor to be trusted to build a family life in the UK with whomever they please. A third year in which thousands of British children grow up knowing their mothers or fathers only as figures trapped in something called Skype. 
Jan Brulc Jun 15, 2015 Comments: 3
The UK launch of the new Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX) served as a stark reminder of just how much things have changed for the worse over the last 5 years when it comes to integration. Overall the UK dropped by 6 places and is now firmly in the middle measured against 37 other countries, but stands last on family migration.
Given the last 5 years of immigration policy changes, it was hardly surprising to see that the UK has slipped out of the top 10 in the latest edition of the MIPEX report, launched at an event organised in Parliament last week. The Migrant Integration Policy Index aims to provide a comparative evaluation framework for integration policies across 38 countries. UK now ranks 15th thanks to the more restrictive policies on citizenship, anti-discrimination, family reunion, migrant workers’ rights and the education of immigrant children introduced by the last coalition Government. Most changes were motivated by the government's pledge to cap migration at the tens of thousands, coupled with the pursuit of austerity and localism.
Don Flynn Jun 15, 2015 Comments: 2
The trend requiring public officials to concern themselves with the immigration status of service-users is growing across Europe. PICUM is calling for a ‘firewall’ to ensure that rights to health and welfare services are not compromised by this practice.
The opportunity to attend the annual workshop and general assembly of PICUM (the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants) at the end of last week in Brussels was particularly welcome given the commitment of the Conservative government to push ahead with measures to further criminalise the position of people without regular leave to live and work in the UK.
Don Flynn Jun 8, 2015 Comments: 1
There are ever more images of border misery in media news reports and the situation will get worse before it gets better. But the route to progress will require the empowerment of people on the move, rather than their punishment as criminals.
It is a great paradox of our time that the more the world becomes globalised in terms of the interconnectedness of economies and societies the worse we seem to be getting in terms of managing the movement of people across borders and frontiers.
Bella Kosmala Jun 2, 2015 Comments: 1
May 8th - the election results have just been announced and I walk into the office, wearing all black. Colleagues sit silently by their desks squinting at their screens (or perhaps just catching up on sleep after a long night). The first policy the new Government announces shortly after is on immigration. The message is clear - we have five tough years ahead of us.
In the run up to the election we ran a campaign called Our Vote 2015. It highlighted six issues any future Government needs to address. These issues were supported and echoed in all corners of the country and formed the basis of our Migrant Manifesto. As part of the campaign we asked you to write to your Parliamentary candidates telling them these were the issues you wanted them to raise, and 3,500 letters were sent to over 1,500 parliamentary candidates up and down the country!
Awale Olad Jun 1, 2015
The last Immigration Bill took longer than anticipated when spanners were constantly thrown into the works by Conservative backbenchers, particularly with a strong focus on new European Union countries entering the labour markets and the human rights of foreign criminals. This time there's no 'invasion' threat from Romanians and Bulgarians and the Conservatives have a working majority.
Nigel Mills, Conservative MP for Amber Valley, dramatically slowed down the previous Coalition Government's flagship Immigration Bill by tabling an amendment that unlawfully attempted to halt the lifting of transitional restrictions on Bulgarians and Romanians who wanted to work in the UK. In the process, around 80 Conservative MPs were ready to back him, which led to the Home Secretary having to 'talk out' various amendments to her own Bill.
Don Flynn May 26, 2015
There’s a new type of criminal out and about in Britain today, and Mr Cameron gave us fair warning that his government is out to scotch their nefarious activities in his speech on immigration.
These are people who are typically found entering office building late at night when no one is around, emptying waste bins, vacuum-cleaning floors, cleaning toilets and generally putting things in order.  Other times they’ll be found in residential care homes around the country, changing sheets and bed pans, helping old people through an exercise routine and encouraging them to eat their meals.
Chai Patel May 18, 2015 Comments: 2
Local authorities must not use cuts as an excuse to abdicate their duties toward children who may be in need of assistance and shouldn't use immigration status checks as a gatekeeping measure.
In a recent article over at Public Finance Neil Merrick casts a sympathetic eye over the plight of local authorities who are being expected to pick up more and more of the mess caused by central government cuts even though their own budgets are stretched thin. Many migrants with the legal right to live and work in the UK have a no recourse to public funds (NRPF) condition imposed on them by central government. This means that if they become unemployed, or are in serious need because the income they receive is too low, or the cost of their housing increases, they have no access to any benefits.
Don Flynn May 11, 2015 Comments: 1
The way the election turned out has been a big surprise to just about everyone. But it would be a mistake to explain it in terms of a xenophobic anti-immigrant backlash. The years ahead will see many contradictory currents churning up policy in this area, and it still makes sense to campaign hard for a progressive approach to migration and the rights of migrants.
The GE2015 dust is settling and it is clear that the ‘mainstream’ party with the most restrictive manifesto pledges on immigration has come out on top. Re-reading the Tory manifesto We provided a ‘no comment’ summary of what the Conservative was advocating in its election manifesto back in the middle of April and from this point on we have to regard it as the blueprint for policies that aim to push back against the numbers of migrants coming to the UK each year.