The Windrush Scandal and the individualisation of postcolonial immigration control in Britain

Slaven, Michael (2021) The Windrush Scandal and the individualisation of postcolonial immigration control in Britain. Ethnic and Racial Studies . ISSN 0141-9870

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2021.2001555

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The Windrush Scandal and the individualisation of postcolonial immigration control in Britain
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The Windrush Scandal and the individualisation of postcolonial immigration control in Britain
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Item Type:Article
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Abstract

This article argues a previously little-discussed policy shift, the individualisation of UK immigration control, is key to understanding the Windrush Scandal and the wider governance of racialised immigrants in Britain. Drawing on official records from 1963-1973, this article identifies how the UK shifted from an initial aggregate model of governing postcolonial immigrants, deemphasising individual policing, to a model centred on scrutinising individual immigrant compliance. Through interviews with 1980s-2010s UK policy actors, it identifies three policy legacies of this shift. First, it naturalised increasing individual scrutiny as the mechanism for reducing immigration volumes, making immanent the “hostile environment” logic. Second, it gradually increased expectations of individual immigrant documentation, after many Windrush victims arrived under document-light control systems. Third, centring immigrants’ individuality accorded with declining policy deliberation about immigration control’s potential impacts on already-settled minorities. Even absent formal changes to their status, this shift eroded the rights of long-settled immigrants in Britain.

Keywords:Windrush, hostile environment, illegalization, undocumented, Immigration Act 1971, Immigration Act 2014
Subjects:L Social studies > L230 UK Government/Parliamentary Studies
L Social studies > L200 Politics
L Social studies > L242 Commonwealth Politics
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V390 History by Topic not elsewhere classified
L Social studies > L231 Public Administration
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:47138
Deposited On:22 Nov 2021 10:54

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