UK asylum and immigration policy in focus: improved security or increased insecurity?

Dr Karen Latricia Hough, CENTRIC, Sheffield Hallam University, UK.

Dr Kahina Le Louvier, University of Northumbria, UK.

From the 2002 ‘Secure Borders, Safe Haven’ white paper to the 2022 ‘Nationality and Borders’ bill, UK immigration and asylum policies have increasingly combined a security framework with a humanitarian narrative. Border controls and strict immigration regulations have been implemented in the name of the protection of human rights, and more particularly to protect people wanting to immigrate to the UK irregularly from dangerous crossings and human smugglers. At the same time, these policies have been highly criticised by civil society organisations and human rights lawyers for criminalising migration and breaching basic human rights. This policy brief questions the possibility for strict border, immigration and asylum policies to effectively improve security. Using insights from interviews with migrants, practitioners and law enforcement agencies, it shows how policies implemented over the past years have increased insecurities for both migrants and for society at large. Based on these findings, we draw recommendations for asylum and immigration policies that take a humanitarian approach on security.


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