Managing migration, or, perhaps more accurately, managing perceptions of migration, is not easy for this government. Each scaremongering headline about asylum-seekers, each press release from MigrationWatch, each exposé in the Sunday Times, further undermines already shaky public confidence in the government’s ability to manage the migration system. This hostile political environment has made otherwise sound policies hard to sell or, as in the case of the promise to halve the number of asylum applications, led to bad policy. Worst of all, public fears have played into the hands of racist groups.
What can be done to make the politics of…
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