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Government's approach to immigration sparking anger and fear in local communities

Dr Hannah Jones, from the University of Warwick, has reacted to the latest net migration figures out today. She is leading a team of researchers from seven universities looking at the wider effects of Home Office immigration campaigns, including measure such as the ‘Go Home van’ and high-profile immigration enforcement raids.

She said: “Our research shows that the policy advisers in Westminster are advising governments they must look ‘tough’ on immigration in order to reassure the public that immigration and multiculturalism are good for the country. However, our research in England, Scotland and Wales shows that the measures that have been taken to do this – such as advertising encouraging ‘illegal’ immigrants to leave the UK; more visible immigration enforcement raids; and advertising advising that some migrants do not have access to public services like the NHS – are actually increasing fear about immigration.

"It seems that the more the government tries to demonstrate that it is ‘tough’ on immigration, including with promises such as the ‘immigration cap’, the more the public takes this as an indication that immigration itself must be out of control and a threat in the first place. We have found evidence that such ‘tough measures’ increase fear and anxiety not just among those who are subject to immigration enforcement measures, but also among some ethnic minority British citizens who feel under threat from increased suspicion, while people who are already worried about immigration are not reassured by the government’s claims to be ‘tough’.”

Note to Editors:

To find out more about the Mapping Immigration Controversy research project, visit

Issued by Lee Page, Communications Manager, Press and Policy Office, The University of Warwick. Tel: +44 (0)2476 574 255, Mob: +44 (0)7920 531 221. Email:


Lee Page, Communications Manager

+44 (0)2476 574 255

+44 (0)7920 531 221