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Does Immigration Enforcement Matter? Irregular Migration and Control Polices in the UK

27 October 2017

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Date: 27 October 2017, 9.30 - 17.00
Venue: Friends House, 173-177 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ

Attendance is by invitation only

About the conference

For the past four years, as part of Oxford University's Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), we have conducted an ESRC-funded project on irregular migration and immigration enforcement in the UK. Our study looks specifically at in-country immigration law enforcement and its effects, impacts and limits, an aspect that has so far received very little academic attention.

These have been times of significant economic, political and legal upheaval which have brought new drivers to bear on this issue. Austerity and Brexit and institutional reorganisation and the so-called ‘hostile environment approach’ have become signifiers of the new conditions.

At this conference, we will present and discuss the emerging findings of our research but also seek advice on further analysis and dissemination. We will:

  1. Look at the impact of increasingly tight legislation and robust enforcement measures on irregular migration and on irregular immigrants
  2. Investigate organisational structure, culture and practices of immigration law enforcement agencies
  3. Analyse the political, legal, practical and ethical limits of law enforcement
  4. Consider the interaction between irregular immigrants’ strategies, employer practices and enforcement measures
  5. Sketch how irregular migrants navigate and survive internal immigration controls
  6. Highlight the impact of enforcement on irregular migrants’ access to fundamental rights
  7. Show how all this is perceived and shapes policies

Finally, we will assess the British case in comparison to other European countries and with regards to the normative framework, critically explore some of the implications of the ‘hostile environment approach’ and discuss the meaning for the type of state that is emerging.

DIEM conference programme