Irregular migration (also described as illegal, undocumented or unauthorised migration) is a complex and controversial issue that is a source of considerable debate in the media and among the general public. From controversies surrounding the immigration status of Big Brother 6 contestant Makosi to the tragic deaths of 58 Chinese migrants being smuggled into the UK, irregular migration is never far from the public eye.
Public concern about immigration in general is at unprecedented levels, with a significant proportion of people polled recently feeling that the Government does not have immigration under control.
In 2005, the UK Government attempted to estimate the numbers of irregular migrants and published the UK's first official estimate of irregular migration. While this estimate has been a useful contribution to the evidence base on irregular migration in the UK, it is equally important to go beyond estimating numbers and deal with some of the broader policy issues that irregular migration raises. This FactFile seeks to address some of these issues.
View other ippr factfiles and books on migration and integration here.
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