Immigration controls are often presented by government as a means of ensuring ‘British jobs for British workers’ and protecting migrants from exploitation. However, in practice they can undermine labour protections. As well as a tap regulating the flow of labour, immigration controls function as a mould, helping to form types of labour with particular relations to employers and the labour market. In particular, the construction of institutionalised uncertainty, together with less formalised migratory processes, help produce ‘precarious workers’ over whom employers and labour users have particular mechanisms of control.
Anderson, B. (2010) ‘Migration, Immigration Controls and the Fashioning of Precarious Workers’, Work, Employment and Society, 24(2): 300-317