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ARU research informs Lords report on family migration

Published: 6 March 2023 at 15:30

Arrival zone at a UK airport

Academics have examined how Government policies affect individuals and society

Research carried out by Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) into how existing UK Government policies affect migrant families and wider society has been referenced in a House of Lords report published this week.

Work by several academics from the Faculty of Business and Law and the Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care formed ARU’s submission to the report All families matter: An inquiry into family migration, much of which was carried out into migrant communities across the region, including Cambridgeshire and Essex.

ARU’s submission focused on several issues, including the design of migration law and how it affects families from different migrant groups, including European Roma communities, Non-UK Armed Forces veterans and undocumented migrants; how family migration policies impact on society; and how policies impact families.

Individual research projects that were referenced within ARU’s submission included a study into the impact of migration in the Fenland area, an examination of the benefits of employment support for military spouses, and migration research into ethnically and culturally diverse groups in Essex.

The report was published by the House of Lords Justice and Home Affairs Committee, and found that existing family migration policies are excessively complicated, do not take the best interests of children into account, and have a tendency to separate families – affecting health and wellbeing and forcing some individuals into destitution.

The report recommends that policies are revisited so that they protect family life, and that the Home Office should provide safe and legal routes for family reunion. It states that “British citizens, permanent residents, and refugees should not normally have to choose between home, safety, and family”.

The Government will respond to the report, before a debate takes place in Parliament.

Margaret Greenfields, lead author of ARU’s submission and Professor of Social Policy at ARU, said:

“This submission consisted of the work of several of ARU’s academics working in a variety of fields, who are linked to our Migration Network. 

“We are delighted that ARU research has informed this influential report, which we anticipate will inform Government policy-making and ultimately make a tangible difference to migrant and transnational families’ lives.”

Dr Eglė Dagilytė, Associate Professor in European Law and Society at ARU, said:

“It is great that collaborative efforts by ARU scholars are informing policy and law-making in this sensitive area. We look forward to seeing the Government’s response to the report and will be following its future developments.”