No Easy Options: Irregular immigration in the UK
This report aims to tackle head-on one of the most difficult public policy issues in the UK: how to reduce irregular immigration. Given that the best recent estimate put the number of irregular immigrants in the UK at well over half a million, the scale of the phenomenon is one obvious reason why it demands attention.
However, it is not scale alone, but rather scale allied to the harm it does which provides the compelling imperative to take action on irregular migration.
The report sets out four key priorities for action - reducing real harm, containing irregularity, increasing public confidence and reducing irregularity - and policy recommendations to work both upstream (pre-arrival) and downstream, including:
- initiatives in origin countries
- cooperation with transit countries
- border security
- targeting the irregular immigration industry
- a risk-management approach to enforcement and return, and
- increasing returns.