Blog

Don Flynn Sep 21, 2014 Comments: 1
MRN will be out and about at the fringes of the party conferences again this autumn, sniffing out clues as to the way they will be squaring up to immigration in the General Election due in May next year. Here's out take on the options for the Labour Party.
The annual round of party conferences is underway once again, with Labour being camped out in Manchester for the next few days. Conference delegates are meeting with the rare assurance that, not only is the last chance to discuss policy issues before a general election takes place, but, quite uniquely, they even know the precise date of the poll – 7th May. With opinion polls still showing that the subject of immigration still elicits very strong anti- responses, with anything up to 70% of people saying they want to see incoming numbers reduced, it ought to be a no-brainer that these moods will be picked up by the parties and given due prominence during the election campaign.
Ruth Grove-White Sep 12, 2014 Comments: 3
A week before Scotland goes to the polls, the outcome of the independence referendum seems too close to call. But what could be its implications for immigration policy?
Next Thursday's independence referendum has galvanised the population of Scotland, leading to hot debate over the issues likely to shape the future of the British Isles. Migrant and BME groups in Scotland, too, have been actively debating the implications of independence in recent weeks. Some international migrants living in Scotland will be eligible to cast their votes in the referendum, including those who have naturalised as British citizens and qualifying Commonwealth citizens resident in Scotland.
Awale Olad Sep 8, 2014 Comments: 5
Migrants Rights Network is the secretariat to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration (APPG on Migration), which supports cross-party parliamentarians with their work in both the House of Commons and House of Lords. Previously the APPG launched an inquiry into the impact of the closure of the family migration route and is now looking into the closure of the post-study work route (PSWR).
The APPG has been running an inquiry looking into the closure of the post-study work route, the visa route that used to allow international students to work for up to two years after their studies, which the Coalition Government closed in 2012. Conservative Home Secretary Theresa May at the time said the route was being abused by “foreign graduates staying on in the UK to work in unskilled jobs”.  May also added that at a time of high unemployed rates amongst domestic students, allowing non-EEA students open access to the UK’s labour market would be inappropriate.
Don Flynn Sep 8, 2014 Comments: 10
At the end of August The Guardian asked about acceptable alternatives to the term 'illegal migrant' for the use of which they were heavily criticised by a number of groups, including MRN. In a letter to the editor sent last week, we set out reasons why they should drop the term.
Last month the readers' editor of the Guardian Chris Elliot published a response  in which he conceded many of the points made in the complaint sent by a number of groups, but suggested that alternatives to the term would possibly be perceived as being clumsy and inelegant. He invited readers to assist with their suggestions on the best form of language. Artwork: Faviana Rodriguez
Don Flynn Sep 1, 2014 Comments: 40
The by-election in the Essex seaside town might set the tone for campaigning on the issue of immigration during the 2015 General Election. Some basic facts here to begin the discussion as to why a town with few immigrants should be so concerned about immigration....
The looming by-election at Clacton-on-Sea is likely to prove memorable for a number of reasons. The first is that it is overwhelmingly likely to provide us with the first UKIP candidate elected as a Member of Parliament. 
Awale Olad Sep 1, 2014
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration will be holding fringe meetings at the party conferences this year with some high profile speakers including Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper MP.
The APPG on Migration has teamed up with the Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr) at the Labour Party Conference with Yvette Cooper MP, the Shadow Home Secretary, as a keynote speaker at a fringe meeting discussing how Labour can deliver progressive immigration policy fit for modern Britain. With MRN’s Don Flynn, the APPG on Migration’s Paul Blomfield, ippr’s Tim Finch, and Ernst & Young’s Margaret Burton, this meeting will certainly be a fiery encounter between the UK’s leading voices on immigration, social, and business policy.
Ruth Grove-White Aug 28, 2014 Comments: 1
Today has brought bad news for the government’s net migration target, but the increase in immigration levels in the year to March 2014 is far from cause for despair.
Today’s quarterly immigration statistics would have been bad enough on their own. Rather than falling steadily towards the level of the tens of thousands promised by the government, the latest dispatch from the Office of National Statistics shows that net migration rose to 243,000 during the year to March 2014.This was a 39% increase from 175,000 in the previous 12 months and means that it now looks all but impossible for the government to meet its net migration target before the May 2015 general election.
Don Flynn Aug 20, 2014
We are living in a world that is evermore global in the way it lives its daily life. So why does public opinion seem to be becoming more nationalistic? Is the experience of migration a part of the reason? An interesting new book considers these questions.
Here is a dilemma well worth pondering on:  we live in societies which have been evolving in directions which are more global in terms of the economic and political principles which animate them, and yet our mental frameworks for understanding our identities and the conditions of our lives seem to be reverting to stridently nationalistic modes of thinking.
Jan Brulc Aug 15, 2014 Comments: 2
We are hosting a night of stand up comedy headlined by Stewart Lee, not just to cheer up the troops, but because there is much to be said for infusing comedy into the migration debate in an attempt to break the stalemate in winning over the general public.
At MRN we are always looking for opportunities to push the envelope. You will have seen our work around OpenGeneration, APPG on Migration, TEDxEastEnd and OurDay. Constantly innovating and doing it well has become a bit of a mantra around the MRN planning table.  
Awale Olad Aug 5, 2014 Comments: 3
In a modern community centre in London’s Manor House, the Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg delivered a speech that was meant to draw a clear dividing line between the Liberal Democrats and their Coalition Government partners, the Conservatives. Clegg failed to achieve his aim.
When journalists are keener to ask you about the central issues of the day (Clegg was pressed about Baroness Warsi’s resignation over Gaza and a Daily Mail campaign about parking fines) it shows a lack of interest from what we thought was going to be announced, namely a set of reforms to the immigration system that would stake out a strong progressive approach (full speech here)
Don Flynn Aug 3, 2014
A conference in Venice last week brought together scholars and activists with a keen interest in the principles of the UN Migrant Workers Convention. At a moment when migrants are losing rights in the UK, the discussion held at that event was a timely reminder that there is a better way.
A week scarcely goes by nowadays without more news about the government’s determination to crack down on the rights which migrants have managed to accrue over the years through the operation of international conventions and EU law and agitation by civil society groups for their better treatment.
Ruth Grove-White Jul 30, 2014 Comments: 91
Yesterday we heard that the prime minister is introducing a new 'immigration crackdown', in favour of a system that 'puts Britain first'. Forgive us for suggesting that we have heard all this before...
Yesterday morning David Cameron was featured in a front page exclusive within the Daily Telegraph, announcing the substance of his big new 'immigration crackdown'. This was a range of measures which would supposedly make life ever-more difficult for those attracted to the UK with the aim of 'abusing' the system and taking something for nothing from the British taxpayer. 
Don Flynn Jul 28, 2014
Migration of young people is seldom considered a matter requiring a distinct framework of protection, but an important new book calls for a radical re-think on how to secure the rights of child migrants.
We are used to thinking of migrants as people who have made the calculated decision that their lives would be better off if they lived somewhere else. As such it can only be the behaviour of fully developed adults exercising mature judgement based on an appraisal of facts to establish that place A will support a higher standard of life than place B.
Don Flynn Jul 21, 2014 Comments: 10
You wait for weeks for a programme that allows migrants to tell the stories of their lives, and then three come along at once.
The media critic Ben Bagdikian once complained that trying to be a first class reporter on the average American newspaper is like trying to play Bach’s ‘St Matthew’s Passion’ on a ukulele. He must have had in mind the conscientious hack who was attempting to do justice to the rich and varied story of migration when he came out with that line.
Ruth Grove-White Jul 11, 2014 Comments: 27
Families and campaigners fighting for fairer family migration rules have been on a roller coaster this week. We recap on the key developments for the campaign.
The path to fairer rules on family migration is not a smooth one... This week, the two year anniversary of the rules, saw dedicated campaigning action, new political commitments and a devastating legal judgement.