Deportability and UK Families:

New research led by Birmingham Fellow Dr Melanie Griffiths being launched on 8th June explores the impact of the UK’s immigration system on mixed-nationality families. Researchers followed 30 couples and families to examine the ways in which their lives were affected by one member’s insecure immigration status and the threat of separation through immigration detention, removal or deportation.

In-depth interviews with these couples were combined with interviews with practitioners from legal, private, state and civil society sectors, observation of deportation appeals and analysis of changing policies around immigration and Article 8 (the right to respect for one’s private and family lives). The research shows how precarious immigration status of one family member has significant and wide-ranging impact on the whole family, including British citizens and children. As a result of a parent or partner’s immigration status, British citizens find themselves also living under chronic insecurity, with the ongoing threat of either being separated or forced to leave the UK. The whole family find themselves harmed; often in extreme ways and across all aspects of their lives. People are made sicker, poorer, unhappier and disenfranchised from their citizenship. Children’s behaviour, mental health, education, financial security and feelings of Britishness and belonging are significantly affected.

The report from this project is being launched at an online webinar at 4pm on 8th June 2021, in collaboration with the NGO Bail for Immigration Detainees and Chaired by Baroness Shami Chakrabati CBE. All are welcome at this event and for discussion with speakers including Sonali Naik QC and a parent directly affected by these issues. Please register on the event page.  For more information about the project and its outputs (including blog posts, journal articles and policy briefings), please visit the project webpage.