Our Ideas Updates

Updated Apr 2014

Immigration

Immigration brings many benefits – economic, social and cultural – but also creates pressures in some communities.

We propose

a fair deal on migration, to ensure the benefits of migration are more widely and fairly shared and that no one is left at a disadvantage by the impacts of migration

READ MORE: A fair deal on migration for the UK

We believe that if the fair deal on migration was implemented, including requirements on migrants to work hard, pay into the system and uphold British values, public consent for a more sustainable approach to migration could be achieved.

A fair deal on migration: work hard, pay into the system and uphold British values

64% of people surveyed by IPPR agreed that if migrants work hard, pay into the system and uphold British values then we should welcome them to the UK.

Migration policy needs to command public consent, to be based on firm evidence but also to be grounded in a framework of principles.

READ MORE: Fair and democratic migration policy: A principled framework for the UK

We support freedom of movement in Europe.

READ MORE: Europe, free movement and the UK: Charting a new course

However, there is scope for reform, particularly around the impacts on local public services.

To help manage the impacts of EU migration in local areas, we propose that

the Migrant Impacts Fund should be re-established

Half of a £200 public service levy on visa applications should be allocated to pay for this fund.

READ MORE: In transition: Romanian and Bulgarian migration to the UK

We propose that different categories of migrant inflow should be managed differently, depending on how beneficial they are to the UK. This approach should replace the government's crude net migration target which bears down on all migration flows.

Endorsed by business secretary Vince Cable, Jan 2014

In particular, immigration in the form of international fee-paying students attending British universities is a vital source of export income and we should be seeking to maximise numbers.

Endorsed by Labour, Dec 2013

READ MORE: Britain wants you! Why the UK should commit to increasing international student numbers

Migration policy does not end at the border. Effective integration policy is about helping migrants and established citizens to adapt to the changes in their communities.

We believe in the idea of

everyday integration, where people from right across the community have the time and space to meet and interact within the flow of everyday life

We call for

a national strategy for integration policy, supported by local delivery plans firmly rooted in communities and neighbourhoods

READ MORE: Rethinking integration

One aspect of immigration which undermines the integrity of our system is irregular migration.

We believe

a blanket amnesty on irregular migration is not an appropriate response, as it sends the wrong message

Irregularity should be resolved on a case-by-case basis, sometimes by allowing people to stay in the UK but in other cases by making more use of return.

It is vital that government and civil society groups foster cooperation around regularisation and return, so that cases of irregular migration can be dealt with fairly and promptly.

READ MORE: No Easy Options: Irregular immigration in the UK

To prevent irregular migration in the first place, we support the continuation of effective border controls.

We also propose

investment should be made to support economic development and improve governance in countries where irregular migration originates

READ MORE: Beyond borders: Human trafficking from Nigeria to the UK

It is also important to work with transit countries – countries which would-be irregular migrants pass through on their way to Europe and the UK – to improve their own systems of integration, education and return.

Adopted by Moroccan government, Sep 2013

READ MORE: The myth of transit: Sub-Saharan migration in Morocco

We believe

Britain should expand its current commitment to the UNHCR's refugee resettlement programme

This means accepting more refugees, who can spend years living in camps, and improving the speed and flexibility of Britain's response to major emergencies, such as the Syrian crisis.

READ MORE: Britain should take our share of Syrian refugees

Human trafficking is a real and significant problem in the UK. By definition, most victims are in very vulnerable circumstances and so can find it very difficult to come forward.

Tough ongoing investigation and prosecution of perpetrators of trafficking is vital.

We also propose that

additional support should be provided for the victims of human trafficking and illegal employment or imprisonment

READ MORE: The UK's response to human trafficking: Fit for purpose?

An often overlooked aspect of migration is emigration – people leaving the UK. Millions of Brits live abroad and they represent a huge potential asset.

We believe

the UK government should be do more to engage with the British diaspora

READ MORE: Global Brit: Making the most of the British diaspora

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