Academic Research finds that immigration insecurity and enforcement negatively impacts the whole family

A research project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and led by Dr Melanie Griffiths from University of Bristol looked on how precarious immigration status impacts on family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Thirty families consisting of foreign national men who were at risk of deportation and their British/European partners and children who were exempt from UK immigration controls, were studied.

It was found that financial and emotional damage was caused to all family members when they were separated from their father/partner. Children are at risk of developing mental health illnesses including depression and anxiety.

Dr Melanie Griffiths states: “Immigration enforcement not only harms non-citizens but it indirectly affects the hundreds of thousands of Brits who are connected to ‘detainable’ people by friendship, love or blood.”

Due to her findings Dr Griffiths recommends that the Government reverses the changes made to the immigration rules in 2012 which reduced the scope for foreign nationals to prevent their removal on the basis that it would be breach Article 8. The current approach is causing damage to families and children which include British citizens. The Home Office need to recognise the importance of fathers irrespective of their immigration status.

The Policy Brief also raises concerns over the availability of legal advice and it states: “Legal advice and representation (of good quality) are increasingly essential for navigating the immigration system but increasingly unobtainable.”

If you or your friends or relatives require legal advice on family immigration, Human Rights, or indeed any issues involving UK immigration and nationality, please contact our specialist lawyers on 020 3503 0880 or email:

Article posted by Suzanne Abdulhadi

Suzanne Abdulhadi
Suzanne AbdulhadiParalegal
Suzanne joined Lupins in September 2016 as a Paralegal.
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