Despite its title, the UK government's new plan neither offers a holistic view on immigration nor provides a strategy to harness the benefit of immigration for the country. From page 1 Priti Patel's plan is framed as a crusade against 'illegal immigration', everything that follows in terms of (often vague) proposals stems from this entry point. While not surprising rhetorically coming from a right wing nationalist government, it is nonetheless noticeable that in proposing a new approach to immigration, the government choses to focus on what most scholars would characterise as numerically a small part of the phenomenon.
A number of proposals had been leaked to the press earlier this year, in particular concerning draconian changes to the asylum system, these put together pose a significant threat to the right to international protection for refugees and to principles enshrined in the 1951 Geneva Convention and international law. To discuss the New Plan for Immigration, in this episode of Conversations with Iris released to mark the 2021 Refugee Week, IRiS director Professor Nando Sigona is joined by Zoe Gardner, policy advisor with the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI).