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Immigration, particularly asylum, has become a major political issue in Britain and Europe and its impact on welfare, employment and ‘social cohesion’ highly contested. While asylum policy has become more punitive, dependence on immigrant labour has been increasingly acknowledged by governments which attempt to ‘manage’ migration to secure the benefits without the presumed costs. The book provides an essential background to understanding these debates.
Based on documentary sources and primary research, it focuses mainly on Britain within an international and European context. The first part examines different theoretical approaches to understanding migratory flows and strategies. It explores forced and voluntary migration, the gender dimension in migration decisions and transnational links maintained by migrants. Part two focuses on continuities and change in migration policy and how boundaries have shifted to exclude and include different groups. It explores links between immigration policy, welfare and social exclusion, and migrants’ experiences in negotiating and challenging these policies. The book concludes by questioning whether immigration controls can be justified on either ethical or practical grounds.
The book will be a key text for students and researchers of migration and ethnicity, and of social policy and welfare. It will be of interest to professionals working with migrants and refugees and to all those concerned with migrant rights.