Photo: ukhomeoffice / Flickr

Warwick researchers evaluate the ‘Go Home’ immigration campaign

A University of Warwick based research team is set to extensively research the impact of the Home Office ‘Go Home’ immigration campaign. 

The team, led by Warwick sociologist Dr Hannah Jones, has outlined their plans to go beyond the Home Office’s internal evaluation of the ‘Go Home’ campaign to uncover the comprehensive impacts of the policy on local migrant and non-migrant communities.

The ‘Go Home’ Campaign which has already come under sustained criticism, seeks to encourage illegal immigrants to return back to their country of origin voluntarily or face arrest.

The research team was awarded a grant by the Economic and Social Research Council for £200, 000 over an 18 month period, and the project will be carried out by universities across the UK.

Researchers will collaborate with community groups in the likes of Barking & Dagenham, Bradford, Birmingham and Cardiff.

Warwick professor Dr Hannah Jones said: “In July 2013, the UK Home Office launched a series of high-profile interventions which directed public attention to an increasing ‘hard line’ from the government on ‘illegal immigration.”

Dr Jones also commented on the aims of the project: “Using a combination of online, textual and visual analysis, large-scale surveys, interviews and participant observation, this project will study the operation, impacts and implications of these initiatives, and the responses to them.

“The project will engage directly with policy makers, local activists and public debates, including through a series of public events and online dissemination through social media and a project blog.”

Rita Chadha, Chief Exec of Refugee and Migrant Forum of East London said: “It is absolutely vital that we develop a strong and robust evidence base to capture and chronicle what local communities think about race and immigration today.

We need a way of understanding what the short and long term impact of the Government’s Go Home campaign was on communities, just in the same way as money was invested in understanding the impact of the riots.”

First- year Law student Noor Moshin said: “the whole concept of the ‘Go Home’ campaign is hard to justify, so hopefully this project can shed some light on whether the campaign has experienced much success.”

First- year Economics student Leo Jacobsen said: “I’m not sure how helpful this project will be considering that the ‘Go Home’ campaign has been fairly unsuccessful”.

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