Can the Government Manage Migration? A Study of UK Legislation and Policy From 1996-2006 Cathy Gardner



The purpose of this paper is to examine the methods employed by the state to manage the asylum process, which in recent years has been commonly perceived as an unrestricted migration channel to the UK . In particular, the paper will look at repeated attempts to control asylum seekers’ ability to support themselves through restrictions on access to state benefits and their ability to work legally. This paper highlights the limitations of the methods used by the state to control migration, which in recent years have depended heavily on the introduction of new UK immigration and asylum legislation. I conclude that powers exercised should be dependent upon existing measures, where possible, rather than the introduction of new legislation, as the introduction of one or two pieces of primary legislation can create all sorts of problems with existing legislation and generate huge amounts of further legislation – thus adding to the problems of interpretation and implementation (and the problems of the asylum seekers / refugees at the end of the process). I also suggest that any new legislation should have a level of flexibility to allow for exceptional circumstances, rather than trying to legislate for the minutiae of the decision-making process.


Download WP-2006-034-Gardner_UK_Migration_Legislation_1996-2006 (PDF)

If you do not have Adobe® Acrobat® Reader, which is required to read this document, you can download it free from the Adobe Website.


Asylum and RefugeesPolicies