Increased legislation, decreased control: the paradox of immigration policy and legislation, 1996–2006.
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The thesis is primarily concerned with the practical formulation and implementation of immigration and asylum policies in the UK between 1996 and 2006. The focus is on these ten years because I contend that it is the legislation and the circumstances, rather than the specific party of government that has been responsible for perpetuating further legislation. This thesis argues that the development of immigration and asylum legislation has created an undeliverable framework for implementation. It examines the difficulties of the decision-making process using a bifurcate approach; there is a macro-view of immigration and asylum trends over the past century presented, focussing on increases in numbers of migrants during recent years. This overview is brought into sharp contrast through an empirical study of the communication of policy to Home Office staff, which provides the basis for micro analysis. This combination of evidence illustrates that the successful implementation of legislation and policy is wholly dependent upon the accurate communication to, and interpretation by, frontline staff. The paradox of this thesis’s title lies in the fact that it is the increase in the volume of legislation and policy, introduced and intended to prevent the use of discretion by caseworkers, that has directly contributed to difficulties in implementation and to the increased use of discretion by caseworkers. The thesis concludes that by seeking to control immigration purely through the enactment of new legislation, rather than enforcing or reviewing existing controls, the government has succeeded in undermining their own legislation. In addition, a lack of institutional memory has resulted in the duplication and unnecessary proliferation of legislation, which in turn has created information overload for implementers and the increased use of bureaucratic discretion. I contend that it is this confusion and the resulting effects of discretion that has lead to the introduction of further legislation.
AuthorsGardner, Catherine Patricia
- Theses