There have been a quite a few reports, briefings and pieces of research on immigration released in the past week — too many to cover in the weekly newsletter, as I had intended. It is very much back-to-work reading rather than anything for the beach, but may be of interest. Here’s a quick summary.
The Migration Observatory at Oxford University published a new briefing on Low-Skilled Work Migration After Brexit. The well-respected think tank points out that there will be very few routes into the UK for those hoping to work in low-wage jobs once free movement from the EU comes to an end. Assuming the government wants to allow at least some foreign workers in to do unpopular jobs such as agricultural labour, the report says there are two main options: a work permit scheme allowing workers to be sponsored by businesses in particular sectors, and/or a youth mobility scheme allowing general but temporary access to the UK labour market by young people. Both have pros and cons, the report points out, with work permits exacerbating the risk of worker exploitation.
The House of Commons Library, the research service for MPs, has two new briefings related to immigration. One is Immigration detention in the UK: an overview, including NGOs’ criticism of the system, the Shaw Review and statistics on the use of detention. The other is on Right to Rent: private landlords’ duty to carry out immigration status checks. There is also a recent debate pack onTOIEC visa cancellations.
Migration Watch, which unlike the Observatory and Library is not an impartial research organisation, has a paper on How to deliver a significant reduction in non-EU net migration. It was covered in the Sun and is likely to have some political resonance. The briefing complains of a rise in net migration from outside the EU and urges the Secretary of State to “take matters in hand and press ahead with the necessary measures”. Those are said to include interviews for all student visa applicants, more detention centres and hikes to the Immigration Skills Charge, English language requirements, Tier 2 salary thresholds and spouse visa minimum income requirements.
The Chief Inspector of Prisons has published two reports into Tinsley House Immigration Removal Centre at Gatwick Airport. Overall the facilities were “commended by inspectors” but there were concerns about the detention of families with children in particular, as most are not ultimately removed following arrest. “In the 11 months that it had been opened”, Peter Clarke writes, “19 families had been detained in the pre-departure accommodation and only four of them were eventually removed. This was troubling given the harmful effect that arrest and detention inevitably has on children who witness their parents becoming very distressed; during the inspection, children saw their parents being physically restrained”.