Immigration throughout history has been an issue that has brought great optimism and great divisions. It has once again come to dominate the national attention in the UK, as well as across Europe and internationally. It is important to recognise that along with the economic transformations happening in the UK and globally which have led to the increase of migration to the UK there have been underlying social changes which have not been adequately addressed.
In the twenty years between 1991 and 2011 the share of the UK population born oversees nearly doubled from 7.3% to 13.4%. This meant that certain areas of the country experienced large flows of immigration in a short space of time without being equipped to accommodate the inevitable changes in public services and cultural life. It has also meant that some areas have seen more migration and have adapted to the changes and diversity better than other areas, which remain removed from meeting and interacting with migrants making it difficult to build personal connections and relationships.
Comprehensive National Migration Strategy
We propose the development of a Comprehensive National Migration Strategy which will aim to restore effectiveness, trust and fairness in the immigration system. This strategy combines two core policy areas:
- The Immigration policy proposals presented here include: the introduction of service-user experience in the development of immigration systems that will ensure the system is more responsive; a new visa system has been developed to respond to the need for a flexible, whole -economy approach for migrant workers; the establishment of a Responsible Employer scheme to guarantee local and migrant workers are not put in unfair competition; sharing the administrative responsibility among different government departments and measures related to the rule of law and enforcement.
- A well-resourced and forward-looking Integration policy along the lines proposed by Consonant’s Migrants Perspectives on Integration Taking into account migrants views and perspectives and serving the core purpose of making immigration work for everyone.