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.
"Understanding Immigration and Refugee Policy ... is a readable textbook on modern-day migration ... strong on current policy development, including the implications for the often overlooked theme of gender ... [the book is] particularly effective at tracing the recent debate on Britishness and citizenship." Bulletin, Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, Autumn 2007
"For an explanation of the history and the current position [on immigration and refugee policy], I must recommend Professor Rosemary Sales' book... In a six-month period, 1509 press articles were mainly characterised by an alarmism likely to spread fear and bigotry. Her book gives the facts." Bob Holman, The Herald, Society Section, 26/06/07
"This book provides an excellent addition to the literature and a much needed overview to the key concepts and issues in global migration and the development of immigration and asylum policy. It addresses crucial themes enabling the reader to understand not only the complexity of international migration in the 21st century but also the development of policy and its impact on the the lives of migrants. The book is thought provoking and deserves to be read widely." Alice Bloch, City University
Rosemary Sales is Professor of Social Policy at Middlesex University, specialising in refugee and migration studies. She has carried out extensive research on new migrations in both Britain and Europe.
Contents: Introduction; Part One: Understanding migration; Contemporary migration flows: continuities and new directions; Immigration to Britain; Explaining migration; Forced and voluntary migration; Researching migration; Part Two: Understanding immigration policy; The development of British immigration policy; The European dimension; The current legislative framework in Britain; Migrants and welfare providers; The contemporary policy debate on immigration and asylum; The future of immigration policy