Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Textbook on immigration and asylum law, Gina Clayton. Notes

1.2 History and sources of immigration law

  • "The introduction of biometric identity documents for foreign nationals in 2007 heralded the entrenchment of of immigration status into everyday life." (P12). 
  • "The [Asylum and Immigration Appeals] Act 1993 introduced... the concept of a claim 'without foundation'... [T]his is based on the idea of a potential entrant as dishonest." (P13)
  • Clayton sees (p16) 6 strands emerge in policy evidenced in the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, and the white paper which preceded it:
    1. development of highly regulated framework for control of asylum seekers;
    2. entry for work, where needed, in tightly controlled circumstances;
    3. institution of a sub-class of people devoid of rights;
    4. putting many immigration decisions outside the UK;
    5.  concerns over terrorism; 
    6. increase of central government power.
  • The legislation produced by the New Labour government (see, eg, pp19-20) appears to be both draconian and petty minded, not to say downright nasty. Taking children into care, forced labour/community work.  What was the discourse in government at the time? 
    • We want to be re-elected, and the electorate are stupid xenephobes, so we must bring forward legislation they will like; or, 
    • as above, substitute "Murdoch press & Daily Mail" for "electorate"; or, 
    • we (policy makers) are all stupid xenophobes, and we think that removing children from their parents and making people do forced work is appropriate in a society governed my the rule of law. 
  • Because politicians who are more-or-less honest, (that is, not downright criminals) can only have 2 motives for their actions as legislators: (a) they perceive it as giving them electoral advantage; or, (b) they really do believe it's the right and proper thing to do.
  • Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act 2004, described in House of Lords as "mean spirited and reactionary" (p21).
  • Language testing for spouses first proposed in 2006, (p22, unreferenced). 
  • Skeletal plans in the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 for "probationary citizenship" were dropped in 2010.


Clayton, G. (2014). Textbook on immigration and asylum law. Oxford university press.