Topic: Asylum Seekers in England Wales

Topic: Asylum Seekers in England Wales. Area of focus, historical overview of cultural attitudes and the development of legislative framework

-Include an historical overview of cultural attitudes and the development of legislative framework.

-Include a review of current and contemporary issues that have an impact on effective social work practice. For instance, what has happened recently to impact on asylum seekers legislation or have the legislation been always the same.

-What has the legislation or codes required of social workers and how far has this met the issue. For instance, how has any of these issues Brexit, poverty, climate change, our politics have impacted the polices in relation to Asylum seekers in England and Wales and what have social workers done to challenge these issues like climate change as a cause of people seeking asylum to another country.

-How might the lack of regulation or moral obligation to tackling poverty or climate change especially in less development countries have contributed to displacement of people, and what does social work profession say about this? You can do this by describing the key laws, regulations or policies which have been passed over time in relation to asylum seekers and include the current bill that is sending asylum seekers to Rwanda.

-make sure you look at how the current legislative or policy/ guidance framework has developed over time and what has driven these changes. For example, has the law changed in relation to crisis such as war or a pandemic or the campaigning work of particular organisations, or been driven by particular cases how the law has attempted to address the issue you are interested in, e.g., which ethical position might be behind a law or changes to policy and guidance or what were the common issues the laws were meant to address? Does the BASW code have anything specifically to say about the issue or what has the profession said about the issue?

Resources to draw on:

  • Brotherton, G (2016) How migration and radicalisation are making British social work global
  • Cohen, S, 2002, In and Against the state of Immigration controls: Strategies for Resistance: in S. Cohen, B Humphries and Mynott E, (eds) From Immigration Controls to Welfare Controls, London, Routledge
  • Evans, T and Keating, F (2016) Policy and Social Work Practice, Sage Publications, London.
  • Harvey, C, (2000), Seeking Asylum in the UK, Problems and Prospects. Butterworth, London, Edinburgh and Dublin.
  • Hayes D and Humphries, D(eds) (2004) Immigration Control and social work, London, Jessica Kingsley
  • Hayes, D and Humphries B, (2006), Social Work, Immigration and Asylum, Debates, Dilemmas and Ethical issues for Social Work and social care practice
  • Sales R, (2007), Understanding Immigration and Refugee Policy.
  • Schuster, L and Solomos, J. (1999) The Politics of Refugee and Asylum Policies in Britain: Historical Patterns and Contemporary Realities 51-75 in A. Block and C. Levy(eds) Refugees, Citizenship and Social Policy in Europe. Basingstoke: MacMillan.

-Wroe, Lauren., Larkin, Rachel, and Maglajlic, R. A. 2019 Social Work with Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Migrant

History- migration legislation 1

  • Aliens Act 1905 This targeted “undesirable aliens” – such as paupers, lunatics, vagrants, and prostitutes – who could be refused entry. It also targeted Jews who were running away from persecution in Germany and Russia and Eastern Europe (Cohen 2002).
  • British Nationality and Status of Aliens Act 1914 This granted the common status of British subject upon those persons who had specified connections with the Crown’s dominions.
  • British Nationality Act 1948 The Empire’s dominions each adopted their separate citizenships but retained the common status of British subject.
  • 1971 Immigration Act established fact based appeal, an adjudicator and a right of appeal to the Immigration Appeal Tribunal ( IAT).
  • Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1968 This required certain potential migrants to supply proof that either they, their parents or grandparents had been born in Britain.
  • Immigration Act 1971 Commonwealth citizens lost their automatic right to remain in the UK, meaning they faced the same restrictions as those from elsewhere. They would in future only be allowed to remain in UK after they had lived and worked here for five years. A partial “right of abode” was introduced, lifting all restrictions on immigrants with a direct personal or ancestral connection with Britain.
  • Immigration Act 1988 This act ensured that only one wife or widow of a polygamous marriage had a right to enter the country. It also ensured people with freedom of movement in the European Community did not need leave to enter or remain in the UK. History- migration legislation 2
  • Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 It became a criminal offence to employ anyone unless they had permission to live and work in the UK.
  • In 1990s move to an asylum based system
  • 1999 Immigration and Asylum Act- National Asylum Support Service (NASS)
  • 2000s increasing number of migrants from European union (less from the commonwealth countries, and increasingly difficult for them to migrate)
  • 2004 single tier Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT) was introduced.
  • Delays, backlogs, judicial resources being stretched to the limit
  • Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 This created the first English test and citizenship exam for immigrants and introduced measures against bogus marriages.
  • Asylum and Immigration Act 2004 This act introduced a single form of appeal that remains to this day and made it a criminal offence to destroy travel documents. It limited access to support for those told to leave the UK.
  • Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 A five-tier points system for awarding entry visas was created. Those refused work or study visas had their rights of appeal limited. The act brought in on-the-spot fines of £2,000, payable by employers for each illegal employee, which could include parents taking on nannies without visas. History- migration legislation 3
  • UK Borders Act 2007 This provided the UK Border Agency with powers to tackle illegal working and automatically deport some foreign nationals imprisoned for specific offences, or for more than one year. It gave immigration officers police-like powers, such as increased detention and a search-and-entry role. The act brought in the power to create compulsory biometric cards for non-EU immigrants.
  • Borders, Citizenship, and Immigration Act 2009 This act amended the rules so people from outside the European Economic Area had to have residential status for eight years before being eligible for naturalisation. Those seeking naturalisation through wedlock had to be married for five years first.
  • The act also allowed immigration and customs officers to perform some of each other’s roles and imposed a duty on home secretaries to safeguard children.
  • The recent asylum policy has been designed to make it tough for asylum seekers to come to the UK or make the UK asylum system tougher with the hope that less and less asylum seekers could not be attracted to come to the UK.