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MIGRANT CAPITAL

A PERSPECTIVE ON CONTEMPORARY MIGRATION IN LONDON

AUTHOR: Juan Camilo Cock, MRN JUNE 2010 AcKNOWLEDGEmENTS: This report was produced as part of a project funded by City Parochial Foundation.

THE MIGRANTS RIGHTS NETWORK (MRN) is working for a rights-based approach to migration, with migrants as full partners in developing the policies and procedures which affect life in the UK. MRN aims to aims to strengthen the voice of migrants in discussion and debates, both civil society and with regional and national authorities. Bearing this in mind, MRN conducts research and projects to enable migrant community organisations to engage with key legislative and policy issues.

Migrants Rights Network Royal London House 22-25 Finsbury Square London EC2A 1DX www.migrantsrights.org.uk

Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

Contents
Foreword Executive summary 1. Introduction: migration, mobility and a changing London 2. Londons migrants today 3. Policy issues arising from immigration in a global city 4. Migration and governance 5. Migrants in London and civil society organisations 6. Migrants and public opinion in London 7. Putting ideas into action making changes for London 02 03 04 10 21 30 34 38 43

Bibliography 46

02 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

Foreword from the MRN director


The role that migration has played in changing many aspects of life in Britain has been discussed in a more open fashion in recent years. The question why are the countries of Europe undergoing a new phase of large-scale migration? is being asked by just about everyone, from top politicians and policy makers, through to concerned and interested citizens. This report is a big part of the answer to that question. Immigration is re-emerging as a mass phenomenon because the prosperity of countries with open, liberal capitalist economies have built the movement of goods, services, capital and people into the very fabric of its system. Over the past 30 years Britain has emerged as the exemplar of this type of country. Its capital city, London, reigns at the royal court of those civic entities, alongside New York, Hong Kong, Paris, Singapore, Tokyo, Sydney, Milan, Shanghai, Beijing and a growing list of others, whose role and function is to bring the global economy down from the heights of abstraction and into the real lives of millions of ordinary women and men. On the streets, in the factories and offices, the public services and even in our homes and family lives, immigration has been implicated into the largest and the smallest aspects of prosperity, welfare, our culture and the conviviality of existences as friends, neighbours, citizens and even as strangers. This report provides a detailed and accurate description of what this looks like in London. Public discussion about migration is often polarising. People concerned about the pace and the extent of change want to know why no one asked them when it came to decisions which concerned the arrival of foreigners as migrants. The answer is that these decisions themselves came at the end of a long-chain of adjustments to the terms of world trade, adaptations to the competitiveness of international businesses, cost pressures affecting the way public and welfare services are organised, as well as the exercise of individual liberties concerning our own desires to move and who we choose as our partners in life. This report points to the unmistakable conclusion that migration is a phenomenon which cannot now be reversed without placing immense strains on the welfare and well-being of our society. But it is far from being complacent about the character of the policy agenda which emerges from the business of living in an immigration society. Challenges exist at every level if the collective live of citizens and migrants is to produce anything resembling a good society. The report surveys the state of the social fabric of London and argues that a mutual acknowledgement of interests and rights, of both citizens and migrants, will be needed if we are to make progress. This focus on London is not intended to displace the importance of migration in other parts of the UK, where its recent impact has often been greater in short time than it has been in the capital city. But its does suggest that the richness of the experience of migration in this global city has generated ideas and resources that will make it possible to tackle the issue of living together much better in towns and communities which appear to be very different. The report is also one of the first pieces of work to emerge from MRNs Strengthening Migrants Rights project. We hope it will provide impetus to other contributions and perspectives from all the people who have a stake in this great public conversation. Don Flynn, MRN Director June 2010

03 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

Executive summary
London has a long history of receiving migrants from around the world. In the past few decades the fortunes of the city have been transformed by this movement of people. Immigration has been an essential part of the tremendous economic and demographic transformation of London. The citys post war reconstruction and, more recently, its postindustrial resurgence have relied heavily on migrant labour. In recent years immigration has made the city more competitive by providing a pool of talented labour from which to recruit for top positions and a flexible workforce willing to take up low paid jobs. Thanks to migration London has also become one of the most cosmopolitan and diverse cities in the world. However, immigration legislation has increasingly differentiated between migrants, opening up possibilities to some while restricting rights and entitlements to others. Today, a third of Londons residents were born abroad and over 40 percent of the UKs migrants live there. The areas of the city where migrants concentrate and the countries of origin of migrants have greatly diversified. Migrants in London live throughout the city, come from a multiplicity of countries, have varying immigration statuses and are distributed in all sectors of the economy. However, some sectors of Londons economy, especially low paid jobs, have become almost completely dependent on foreign-born labour. Even though overall migrants are estimated to make higher proportional fiscal contributions than non-migrants, there is still wide concern about service provision and other policy implications of immigration. In general the impact of immigration on services is mixed with clear future implications in areas such as housing, health and labour market. However, due to problems with population estimates which are used for allocating local funding, London local authorities are not being properly funded to respond to the challenges. Official responses to immigration and migrants in terms of strategic planning, coordination of services and enforcement have increasingly become regionalised. In the capital, the London Strategic Migration Partnership has assumed these responsibilities. On the other hand, civil society organisations such as trade unions, charities, migrant community organisations and broad based alliances have undertaken service delivery, support and advocacy activities on issues that affect migrants. London is a city where public opinion expresses its appreciation and pride of diversity. Even though there clearly is division on the amount of concern about the recent levels of immigration, there is less support in London for restrictive policies than in the rest of the UK. In this context there is an opportunity for migrants and those working on migrants issues in London to play an increased role in the decisions that affect their lives. Through networking and effective communication migrant community organisations and support groups have the possibility to engage on strategic and coordination issues through the regional structures being set up at the London level in order to achieve more progressive approaches towards migrants and immigration.

04 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

1. Introduction: migration, mobility and a changing London


Key points: yy Global migration patterns are shaped largely by economic and political processes. yy In the past few decades industrial production has declined in developed countries while global finance has expanded, especially in key cities. In London it has been replaced by a rapidly expanding financial services sector. yy Partly for this reason London has received a larger proportion of migrants than the UK as a whole. yy Londons economic success and global role is inextricably linked to immigration.

05 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

London has a very long history of migration, having throughout the centuries received inflows of invaders, refugees, businessmen, students, artists and labourers. In the period from the 1950s onward immigration has been an essential component of the citys development, first in slowing down and eventually reversing the population decline of the city and, second, to rebuild its infrastructure and economy following the destruction brought about by the Second World War. More recently, having been transformed into a global city at the heart of major transformations in the world economy, London has become a magnet for a variety of mobile populations including students, businesspeople and workers, and has continued to be a refuge for persecuted people. Recent years have also seen, however, growing unease in the UK at contemporary levels of immigration. Since the 1960s successive legislation has been introduced and measures have been taken to restrict, control and manage the number and the characteristics of those entering the country. Despite these efforts, migration has continued to grow, shifting its contours but, if anything, increasing in size and diversity. The result in London is a city whose present composition is the outcome of previous migrations and that continues to be transformed, a city where today one out of three residents was born abroad. Recently, the government has found itself trapped between conflicting interests in the immigration debate: on the one hand there is an acknowledgement that immigration can bring, and has brought, considerable economic benefits to the British economy. Similarly, the UK has to uphold its commitment to a common labour market in the European Union and to the protection of persecuted people. On the other hand, sectors of the media and public opinion have become sceptical about the benefits of immigration, expressing a wish for the inflows and net immigration figures to be significantly curbed. The government has responded to these conflicting trends by introducing successive legislation aimed at increasing control over the numbers and

characteristics of migrants in order to allow entry only to those individuals that will most benefit the economy. At the same time it introduced new measures to keep out migrants who do not comply with the desired qualities. These efforts to manage who enters the UK have left a legacy of individuals with multiple legal statuses and varying rights and entitlements. Furthermore, restrictions have not stemmed the flow of people but have led to a significant number of persons living in the UK without a legal status or in breach of their visa conditions. The picture is therefore one of continuing high levels of immigration but also an increasing fragmentation of migrants according to the conditions on which they enter and stay in the country. The types of status that migrants hold vary significantly, including earlier waves of migrants and their family members who are now (or always were) British citizens, European passport holders exercising freedom of movement and work within the EU, students with limited rights to work, people with work visas (high skilled and for specific sectors), asylum seekers with restricted rights and irregular migrants. The economic base of the whole of the UK, including London, has been transformed since the 1970s through the decline of manufacturing, but London has been especially successful in reinventing itself as a centre of finance, business, tourism, the arts and other advanced services. There is evidence that immigration has made Londons economy more competitive at the top and bottom ends of the labour market: at the top end by recruiting a talented workforce and bringing in workers with skills for which there is a shortage; at the bottom end of the labour market by providing a flexible labour supply that keeps wages low for employers. There is no escaping the fact that Londons economy relies on migrants as part of its workforce more than other UK regions. Immigration has also brought benefits beyond the economic impact. A lot of people appreciate the diversity and cosmopolitanism that comes as a result of people

06 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

from many backgrounds living in the same city and London actively prides itself of being a city where the whole world is represented. The major concern with immigration seems to originate in the perceived effects it has had on the livelihoods of settled Londoners. These include the effect of immigration on labour markets, housing markets and pressures on service provision. Immigration is often used as an easy explanation for some of the problems affecting the capital. The evidence of the impact of immigration on some of these areas, however, seems to be mixed. When looked at more closely, there are a number of factors affecting labour and housing markets and service provision, and immigration is often not the main influencing factor. The negative effects of immigration policies aimed at controlling and managing immigration are also most acutely felt in London. In a city full of contradictions it is perhaps not surprising that London seems to get some of the largest benefits from immigration, but at the same time has a disproportionate share of the problems arising from policies aimed at controlling it.

growing areas, and, on the other hand, to political turmoil and conflict, with large population movements taking place as a consequence of war and persecution. As economies have become progressively integrated and deregulated and capital has become increasingly mobile, inequality has also increased both between and within countries. Individuals challenge this trend towards inequality by moving to work in areas with better wages and stronger labour demand. At the same time, economically developed countries have tried to defend the interests of their own populations and their redistributive policies by closing down their borders and having a strict control over who comes in and who does not. The stark reality of global economic inequality and the demand for cheap labour in advanced economies means that individuals continue to migrate for work despite restrictions. As a consequence of these contradictions migration has become polarised. It is facilitated for highly qualified workers and those with specific skills and at the same time restricted for low-skilled workers and people seeking asylum. As a consequence of this, the effectiveness of immigration controls and breaches of the rules have become major contemporary issues for states, migrants and public opinion in developed countries. Put simply, more mobility plus more restrictions equals more breaches of migration law.2 London lies at heart of these contradictions. It is a city with a long history of migration, a global financial centre offering services to clients across the world and a leading developer of many of the instruments that have helped bring down barriers and integrate the worlds economies. London is by far the main recipient of migrants in the UK, including highly paid skilled workers and unskilled labour. But it is also the area that concentrates the largest number of those who have fallen foul of immigration legislation.

Mobility in the contemporary world: freedom for capital, restrictions for workers
Since 1960 the number of migrants worldwide has increased by more than one and half times from an estimated 75 million persons to 214 million persons in 2009. This figure, however, still means that only around 3 per cent of the worlds population live in countries different to the one they were born in. However, international migration is not evenly spread throughout the world. Sixty percent of migrants are estimated to live in more developed regions where migrants also constitute a much larger proportion of the total population.1 Furthermore, within reception countries migrants tend to be more concentrated in some areas than others. Global flows of migrants tend to be linked, on one hand, to economic processes, moving from poor areas of the world to rich or economically

1 United Nations Department


of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, 2009, International Migration.

2 Jordan, Bill and Franck


Duvell, 2002, Irregular Migration: The dilemmas of transnational mobility, Cheltenmham: Edward Elgar.

07 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

From imperial capital to global city and centre of finance


London has for a long time been an important centre of reception of immigrants, ranging from groups of Eastern European Jewish refugees and Irish labourers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century to the large scale post-war migration of workers from the Caribbean islands, South Asia and Cyprus. The fact that London has tended to receive more migrants than other areas of the UK can be partly explained in that it is the largest city in the country with a long imperial legacy. However, the concentration in London of international migrants and ethnic minority populations descending from migrants increased significantly in the last two decades of the twentieth and into the twenty-first century largely as a consequence of the transformation in the British and global economies. The large-scale migration of people from the Commonwealth countries between the 1950s and early 1970s occurred in a period when many of the traditional British industrial centres still demanded labour for manufacturing. The demand for labour for the post-war reconstruction effort and to staff an expanding national public sector also drove these migrations. Even though London received a larger share of migrants than other areas of the UK, postwar migrants also settled in large numbers in many of the industrial centres of the Midlands and the North of England.
3 Hamnett, Chris, 2003,
Unequal City: London in the Global Arena, London: Routledge.

tariffs and regulations and an increase in world trade arising from lower costs in communication and transport. Production plants in the developed economies have shut down as corporations, in their search for increased profitability, relocated or outsourced their production to areas of the world that offered lower costs. The traditional industrial centres of Europe thus entered a period of economic decline. At the same time, the dispersal of operations across multiple locations and the increased importance of finance in the world economy meant that a handful of cities emerged as command and control centres for global production, specialising in the production of innovations and services to support and coordinate the global operations of corporations. London has established itself as one of the most important of these global cities that are key nodes in the globalised economy.4 The deregulation of finance and the scaling back of state welfare also increased the national demand for financial services as individuals were required to take greater responsibility for their own housing, pensions, health care and education.5 Thus, while the manufacturing base of most British cities was declining, Londons financial and services sectors, often linked to global production and finance, expanded to become an essential part of the economy of the city. The changes have been dramatic. Until the 1960s about one third of Londons workforce was employed in manufacturing and one in ten worked in finance and business services. Between 1961 and 1981 the number of manufacturing jobs in London fell by over 50 percent and by a further 50 per cent in the next decade. On the other hand, financial and business services jobs grew by almost 30 per cent in the 1980s. By 1999 finance and business services accounted for one in three jobs while manufacturing accounted for less than one in ten.6 In 2009 less than four percent of jobs in London are in manufacturing while the proportion of employees working in financial and insurance activities is more than

4 Sassen, Saskia, 2001, The


Global City: New York, London, Tokyo, Princeton: Princeton University Press. 5 Massey, Doreen, 2007, World City, Cambridge: Polity Press, 41. 6 Hamnett, Chris, 2003, Unequal City: London in the Global Arena, London: Routledge.

However, since the 1980s many of these industrial centres have been in decline and the demand for labour in manufacturing dwindled. The decline of the economic base of some of the northern manufacturing cities was mirrored by a shrinking of the manufacturing sector in London. However, at the same time the financial and specialised services sectors in London grew significantly, giving a new dynamism to its economy.3 From the 1980s onward there has been a global transition towards deregulation and globalisation through the partial dismantling of trade barriers,

08 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

twice as large as that of the rest of the country. The proportion of the workforce employed in professional, technical, information and communication activities is also larger in London than in other areas.7 The transformation in Londons economy has therefore been accompanied by a concurrent shift in its occupational structure, which has been marked by a decline of manual labour and a growth in professional, managerial and technical occupations. In general there has been a trend in London for a larger proportion of people to be employed in well-paid jobs. At the same time wages have increased much faster amongst top earners than in low paid occupations, increasing the levels of inequality in the city.8 While some studies have argued that the trend has been for the proportion of workers in low-paid jobs to remain stable, recent research indicates that alongside a growth in the proportion of workers in top paying jobs there has been an important increase in the proportion of workers in the lowest paid jobs in London.9 This growth in jobs at both the top and lower end of the pay scale has come at the expense of tens of thousands of moderately well paid jobs that were lost in the manufacturing industries.

Today, London has a preeminent role in the British economy. In the ten years leading up to 2007 London had the largest regional economic growth in the UK and its average yearly economic performance increased by a fifth more than the national rate. In 2007 London accounted for 21 per cent of the countrys economic output.10 While the convenience of this degree of centralisation is debatable, there is no doubt that London concentrates a disproportionate share of the UKs economy. The turnaround in Londons economic fortunes has been facilitated by the inward movement of people from abroad and this dynamism has in turn attracted further movement of people into London. Until the late 1980s Londons population was declining as people left to live in other areas of the UK. From a peak of 8.6 million residents in 1939, Londons population fell to 6.73 million in 1988.11 Since then significant numbers of people have continued to relocate to other regions or abroad, but international migration and an increasing birth rate have reversed this trend.12

7 LSE, 2009, Londons Place in the UK Economy, 2009-10, London: LSE. 8 Hamnett, 2003, Unequal City: London in the Global Arena, London. 9 May, Jon, Jane Wills, Kavita Datta, Yara Evans, Joanna Herbert and Cathy McIlwaine, 2007, Keeping London working: global cities, the British state and Londons new migrant division of labour, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 32: 151-167.

FIG. 1. NuMbER Of PEOPlE EMPlOYED IN MANufACTuRING AND buSINESS SERVICES IN LONDON 1971-2007

1200000

Business services

900000

10 Calculated in terms of Gross Value Added (GVA). Londons annual average GVA increase 1997-2007 was 6.3 per cent compared with the national average of 5.3 percent. 11 Piggott, Gareth (ed.) Focus
300000 Manufacturing 600000

1973

1977

1981

1985

1989

1993

1997

2001

on London 2009, London: GLA. 12 LSE, 2009, Londons Place in the UK Economy, 2009-10, London: LSE.

Source: GLA and Experian Business Strategies data

2005

09 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

The main feature of Londons changing population, however, is its turnover. As well as large numbers moving into London, many people move out. Between 2001 and 2007 London had net international immigration rates of between 50,000 and 94,000 persons per year. However, since 2001, except for one year, the net movement of people out of London to other areas of the UK has been larger than the net numbers of people moving in from abroad. London therefore loses more people to other areas of the UK than it gains from international migration.13 In the inter-census period of 1991-2001, the number and proportion of immigrants in London grew faster than in other areas of the country. London accounted for nearly half of the total UK increase of 1.1 million foreign born people during that period.14 Since 2001, the concentration of recent arrivals in London has decreased due to two factors. The first was that the 1999 Immigration and Asylum Act limited the choice of where to live for asylum seekers that received public support, dispersing them to specific locations across the UK. The second factor was that a significant proportion of Eastern European migrants coming into the UK following the accession of the A815 countries to the EU filled in gaps in labour in the service and agricultural sector throughout the country. In the case of these, it has been estimated that London received 15 per cent of A8 workers since 2004, which is still the highest proportion for any region but much lower than the historic concentration of migrants in London.16 Despite this, London continues to receive a disproportionate amount of migrants. Furthermore, since the onset of the credit crunch figures suggest that the importance of London as a destination for A8 workers has increased significantly.

Historically, London has had a larger share of migrants than the rest of the UK not only due to its condition as the largest city, its cosmopolitanism or because it had previous settlement of many communities. These have surely been important factors, but since the 1970s the global economic restructuring has played an important role in Londons and the UKs migrant flows. On one hand, the traditional manufacturing centres that had received a lot of the migrant workforce declined. On the other hand, London emerged as a key player in the UKs and the worlds financial system. Therefore, up to a point, Londons fate diverged from that of other areas and became much more tied to an international network of financial and corporate centres. The labour market that characterises global cities subsequently allowed the city to receive, and in some sectors become dependent, on large numbers of migrants.

13 Ibid. 14 Kyambi, Sarah, 2005, Beyond Black and White: Mapping new immigrant communities, London: IPPR. 15 A8 is used to refer to the group of eight countries that joined the EU in 2004 and for which most countries in the EU adopted movement restrictions for a transitional period: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia. The UK allowed the movement of migrant workers from these countries under condition that they signed up to a Worker Registration Scheme. 16 Wilson, Alan and Mike Phillips, 2009, Regional Economic Performance: A migration perspective, Economics Paper 4, London: Communities and Local Government.

10 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

2. Londons migrants today


Key points: yy The countries of origin of migrants to London have diversified in the past two decades, but Europe and Commonwealth countries continue to be the most important sources. yy Migrants in the UK are concentrated in London. One third of Londons population was born abroad and 40 percent of the UKs migrants live in London. yy There is great diversity between and within Londons migrant groups. yy An estimated 43 percent of migrants in London have British citizenship and therefore have no restrictions on movement, rights and entitlements. yy The proportion of Londoners who are not British or EU nationals is 13 percent. yy Migrants are unevenly distributed in London, with some areas of inner London having high proportions and some areas, especially in outer London, with very low proportions. yy London has become a very diverse city but there is little evidence of ethnic ghettos. yy Migrants are an important part of Londons workforce in all sectors but recently arrived migrants have become essential in Londons low paid jobs such as cleaning, care work and hospitality.

11 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

Who are Londons migrants?


As a result of the processes described in the previous section, London has ended up harbouring a disproportionate number of migrants within the UK, with levels of migration similar to those of other immigrant cities such as New York. An estimated two and a half million migrants lived in London in 2008. While London accounts for 12 per cent of the total British population, it is home to 38 per cent of all foreign born residents in the UK.17 That means that four out of every ten migrants in the UK live in London. Similarly London is the area of the country

The presence in London of large numbers of migrants from specific countries can be attributed to a number of factors. These include historical factors, economic disparities, cultural and linguistic affinity, the existence of social networks and border controls. None of these on their own explain the general patterns of migration but they all play an important role. The historical links of the UK with its former imperial territories, for example, has been a major factor in shaping the places of origin of migrants, especially in the post-war years. Thus, New and Old

TAblE 1. POPulATION bY COuNTRY Of bIRTh


ThOuSANDS PERCENTAGES

UNITED KINGDOM United Kingdom Non-United Kingdom Republic of Ireland EU 13 EU A8 EU 26 Rest of the World
Source: Focus on London 2009

LONDON 2004 200708

UNITED KINGDOM 2004 200708

LONDON 2004 200708

2004 200708

53,807 53,869 5,147 5,040 91.1 89.3 70.4 67.0 5,233 452 768 167 1,492 3,741 6,486 416 842 650 2,052 4,434 2,168 124 254 85 516 1,652 2,487 111 281 73 640 1,848 8.9 0.8 1.3 0.3 2.5 6.3 10.7 0.7 1.4 1.1 3.4 7.3 29.6 1.7 3.5 1.2 7.1 22.6 33.0 1.5 3.7 2.3 8.5 24.3

17 Piggott, Garreth (ed.), 2009, Focus on London 2009, London: GLA, p30. 18 Ibid. 19 Spence, Lorna, 2003, Third country nationals living in London 2000/01: A profile of Londoners who have non-EU nationality based on analysis of Labour Force Survey data, DMAG briefing 2003/06, London: GLA.

with the highest proportion of migrants. Thus, while in the UK as a whole migrants make up 11 per cent of the population, 33 out of every 100 Londoners are migrants.18 In London, therefore, migrants have a much more significant presence than in the rest of the country. Non-EU migrants are even more concentrated in the capital, with over half of them living in London, and migrants from certain nationalities are even more concentrated.19

Commonwealth countries have been the major sources of migrants to the UK. Even as immigration reform has attempted to restrict the movement of people from the former imperial territories to the UK, the existence of settled communities from those countries and affinities in the education system have continued to attract migrants from those areas. Therefore, with the exception of Poland, in 2006 the top ten largest migrant groups in London were from either Commonwealth countries or Ireland.

12 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

Another major source of migrants is the EU countries, where freedom of movement between member states has facilitated the crossing of borders. France, Italy, and Germany are all amongst the top twenty countries of origin of migrants in London. The Irish, who occupy a special position because their right to live and work in the UK had been secured by the provisions of the Special Travel Area agreement prior to Irelands accession into the EU, remain the largest group of European migrants in London. Similarly, since the enlargement of the EU in 2004, and the subsequent freedom of movement and work for citizens of eight new countries, Poland has been the largest source of migrants to London. In 2005/2006 around 16 per cent of all national insurance number registrations of foreign born people in London came from Polish migrants, doubling the number of registrations from the second largest country of origin, India.20 Therefore, Commonwealth and European countries continue to have the largest migrant populations in London. However, in the past couple of decades migration flows have diversified considerably. Significant numbers of migrants have arrived from other areas of the Global South attracted by the wage differentials between Europe and their countries of origin, expelled by conflicts and political upheaval or, often, by a combination of these factors. This diversification is evident in the decline of the relative weight of the main countries of origin since the 1980s. In the mid 1980s over half of Londons foreign born population came from just six countries. By 2006 the weight of these countries had decreased and fifteen countries of origin were needed to account for half of the migrant population. The share of migrants from former colonies also decreased from 76 to 59 per cent.21 The fact that in 2001 there were 42 countries which had migrant communities of over ten thousand living in London attests to the great diversity of places of origin of migrants.22 In terms of regions, Europe is the area with the largest number of migrants with 30 per cent, followed by Africa (23 per cent), the Indian subcontinent (17 per cent) and the Americas and

Caribbean. However, even though London receives people from across the globe, coming from rich and poor countries, more people come from developing countries than from high income countries (70 and 30 per cent respectively at the time of the 2001 census).23 These changes point to the globalisation and diversification of immigration, with newcomers arriving from across the globe. The migrant population of London is therefore very diverse with lots of variations between and within groups. For example, even though overall the gender balance

TAblE 2. LONDONS lARGEST MIGRANT GROuPS AND ThEIR POPulATIONS


COUNTRY OF ORIGIN India Bangladesh Ireland Jamaica Nigeria Poland Kenya Sri Lanka South Africa Ghana Somalia USA Pakistan France Australia Turkey Germany Italy 2006 2001 204000 172661 133000 84565 122000 157285 87000 80319 82000 68907 76000 22224 68000 66311 67000 49932 66000 45603 62000 46513 59000 33831 51000 44622 49000 66658 49000 38206 47000 41488 45000 39128 43000 39818 41000 38694 45888 27494

20 Piggott, Garreth, 2006, National Insurance Number Registrations of Overseas Nationals in London, DMAG Briefing 2006/24, London: GLA. 21 LSE, 2007, The Impact of Recent Immigration on the London Economy, London: City of London. 22 Mackintosh, Marian, 2005, London the world in a city, DMAG Briefing 2005/6, London: GLA. 23 Spence, Lorna, 2005, Country of Birth and Labour Market Outcomes in London: An analysis of Labour Force Survey and Census Data, DMAG Briefing 2005/1, London: GLA.

Cyprus No data New Zealand No data

Sources: For 2006, Spence, 2008, based on Annual Population Survey estimates; for 2001, Spence, 2005, based on census

13 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

TAblE 3. MAIN SOuRCES Of MIGRANTS IN 1986 AND 2006


1986 Foreign born population Proportion of total Share coming from former British territories 1.17 mil 2006 2.23 mil

17.6% 30.5% 76% 59%

Dominant origins: number of countries accounting 6 countries: Ireland, India, Kenya, 15 countries: previous six and for half of migration population Jamaica, Cyprus and Bangladesh Nigeria, Poland, Sri Lanka, USA Ghana, Pakistan, Somalia, Turkey and South Africa
Source: LSE 2007

of the migrant population is similar to that of London as a whole (with 52 per cent of migrants being women compared to 50 per cent for London as a whole ), there are some nationalities that have a strong gender imbalance. The proportion of women ranges from a low of 29 per cent for Algerians to a high of 80 per cent from Slovakia.24 This profile partly depends on the patterns of migration and employment that different groups have followed. Similarly, there are great disparities between groups in terms of levels of employment and unemployment and in the sectors of the economy that they work in. The migrant population of London does, however, tend to be much more skewed towards working age than the overall population. Londons migrants can also be grouped according to their citizenship and immigration status, a factor that influences their rights and entitlements. From the one third of Londoners who were born abroad, a substantial proportion have acquired (or arrived with) British citizenship and thus, in terms of status, are not migrants any longer. According to 2006 figures, 43 per cent of migrants in London are UK nationals.25 In terms of nationality, therefore the proportion of non-British people living in London in 2007 was estimated to be 20 per cent, which is a third lower than the proportion of those born abroad. Similarly, migrants who have acquired permanent residency will be entitled to much the same rights and access to services and support that citizens have.26

People from the EU also have most of the same rights and entitlements as British citizens. In the case of persons from the eight countries that joined the EU in 2004, there are some requirements to register to work and to be employed for a period of time, but after that they too have access to welfare and most rights. People with EU nationality make up more than a third of non-British London residents. That means that the proportion of people living in London who are neither British nor European, and therefore are more likely to be subject to immigration controls and/or have restrictions on rights and entitlements is estimated to be about 13 per cent. Amongst those migrants who are neither British or European nationals, nor permanent residents, there are also a variety of immigration categories with varying conditions attached to them. There are people who are on work visas which may have restrictions attached to them, especially on the type of employment they can carry out. There are also people on student visas, which is a temporary status and who can work a limited amount of hours and have restrictions on access to welfare. There are people who have applied for asylum and whose cases have not been resolved or are in the process of appealing. The rights of asylum seekers have been progressively eroded in an attempt to reduce the number of applications which peaked in 2002. One of these restrictions, introduced by

24 Ibid., Spence, Lorna, 2008, A Profile of Londoners by Country of Birth: Estimates from the 2006 Annual Population Survey, DMAG Briefing 2008-05, London: DMAG. 25 Ibid. 26 However, this will probably change with legislation that is currently going through parliament which will limit most welfare and benefit rights to British citizens.

14 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

the 1999 Act, was designed with the specific aim of reducing the concentration of asylum seekers in London. This policy meant that for asylum seekers to receive public funded housing they would be dispersed to areas outside of London. The numbers of asylum seeker in London were significantly reduced, but those who stayed in London had to find their own accommodation. However, there is some evidence of a proportion of dispersed asylum seekers moving to London after their cases have been resolved. Absolute numbers of asylum seekers have declined from a peak of over 100 thousand in 2002 to just over 31 thousand in 2008 (including dependants). Before dispersal policies were introduced, London housed the majority of asylum seekers in the UK. One estimate in the mid 1990s reported that 85% of asylum seekers and refugees lived in London.27 The

support nationally. That means that 15 per cent of asylum seekers in receipt of public support live in London.28 It is not clear, however, what proportion of individuals move into London once their cases have been decided favourably or refused. Finally, there is an indeterminate number of people who do not have a valid immigration status to reside and work in the UK or who are in breach of their conditions of stay. A recent report estimates the number of irregular migrants in the UK to be between 417 thousand and 863 thousand, with a central estimate of 618 thousand. It estimates that 72 per cent of these are in London, which would have between 281 thousand and 630 thousand irregular migrants, with a central estimate of 442 thousand. If the central estimate is correct, that would mean that around 44 percent of the non-EU migrant population of London could be made up of irregular migrants.29 Furthermore, this study undercounts the irregular population as it includes all those who do not have permission to be in the UK but excludes those who do have a visa but are in breach of their visa conditions. Therefore, even if the policy of dispersal has reduced the concentration of asylum seekers in London, it is suggested that the bulk of irregular migrants live in the capital. Migration in London has therefore increased significantly in the past decades, concentrating a disproportionate number of the UKs migrant population. It has also grown increasingly diverse, not just in terms of the origins of migrants, but in terms of their immigration status and, therefore, their rights and entitlements.

TAblE 4. NATIONAlITY Of LONDON RESIDENTS, 2007


NATIONALITY
27 Carey-Wood, Jenny, Karen Duke, Valerie Kam and Tony Marshal. 1995, The Settlement of Refugees in Britain, Home Office Research Study 141, London: HMSO. 28 Home Office, 2009, Control of Immigrations: Statistics United Kingdom 2008, Home Office 2009. 29 Gordon, Ian, Kathleen Scanlon, Tony Travers and Christine Whitehead, 2009, Economic impact on the London and UK economy of an earned regularisation of irregular migrants to the UK, London: GLA.

PERCENTAGE

British 79.2 Non- British 20.8 EU 14 5.1 EU A8 2.3 EU 26 7.9 Rest of the World 12.9
Source: Focus on London 2009

proportion of these in London has also decreased significantly since the introduction of dispersal in 2001. Furthermore, most asylum seekers in London are in receipt of subsistence only support. At the end of 2008 there were a reported 4,138 asylum seekers in receipt of subsistence support only and a further 805 in receipt of housing and subsistence support in London out of a total of 32,580 people in

Where do migrants live?


Different areas of the city have had very different experiences of immigration. Some areas have had few migrants until recently while others have had large numbers of migrants for many years. Similarly, some migrant communities have become especially visible in particular areas, either because

15 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

of residential concentration in the area or because they have set up a large number of commercial, religious and social facilities in close proximity. While in some areas one migrant community has some prevalence over others, in other areas of the city there is extreme diversity with many different groups living together without the clear dominance of any one group. Overall, and despite the concerns in some sectors of society, there is little evidence of ghettoisation of migrants in London if a ghetto is understood as an area in which the inhabitants are overwhelmingly from the same group and where the majority of the people of that origin have settled in that specific area. In general, migrants are much more concentrated in Inner London than in the Outer London boroughs. In 2001 census, the proportion of migrants in a number of Outer London boroughs was less than 15 per cent of their inhabitants. These include the boroughs of Bromley, Bexley, Barking and Dagenham, Sutton and Havering. On the other hand, in some of the Inner London boroughs, more than a third of the population was foreign born. This included affluent boroughs such as Westminster (46 per cent) and Kensington and Chelsea (44 per cent) but also less affluent boroughs such as Tower Hamlets (35 per cent), Newham (38 per cent), and Haringey (37 per cent).30 Specific areas of London have a long history of receiving immigrants. The port areas of the East of London have housed communities of foreign seamen for hundreds of years. The area around Spitalfields and Whitechapel has received different waves of migrants including Huguenot refugees who in the eighteenth century settled in the vicinity and set up weaving workshops. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century the area received thousands of Jews fleeing pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe. With economic success they moved out to other areas of the city and in the 1970s the area started receiving large numbers of Bengali migrants who have been joined more recently by Somali and other groups. Some areas of London have therefore played an important role

in receiving new migrants for many decades and centuries. Since the 1950s, some parts of London have housed large numbers of migrants from a similar origin and their descendants. These areas have developed ethnic economies and have had social and religious facilities built making them important centres for certain communities. It has not always been an easy process and in some cases it has been accompanied by racial tensions and unrest, leading to fights and rioting, as in the battle of Cable Street in 1936, the Notting Hill riots of 1958 and 1976, and the Brixton riots of 1981. Thus, Southall has been an important place for Sikh migrants from East Africa and the Indian subcontinent, Brick Lane for Bangladeshi migrants in the East End, the Green Lanes area of Haringey for Turkish, Cypriot and Kurdish migrants, and Brixton for Jamaicans. The influence of many of Londons migrant communities can be mapped onto certain areas of the city where they have left an important imprint.31 This emergence of ethnic economies and areas has added to the diversity of London. However, even those areas where migrants and ethnic minority groups cluster are generally, on closer inspection, mixed areas. This is the case as well for most British cities. Where London does seem to make a difference is in the exposure of white British people to ethnic minorities and migrants. In a study on residential segregation in 18 cities based on the 2001 census, London and Slough were the only cities where less than 70 per cent of white people lived in areas where white people formed at least 80 per cent of the population.32 That means that white people in London are much more likely to live alongside people from other ethnic backgrounds than white people in other British cities. As a result of the intensity of migration over the past seventy years London now has some of the most ethnically diverse areas of the UK. At the time of the 2001 census 59 per cent of Londoners were identified as White British while 41 per cent belonged to an ethnic minority or mixed group

30 Finella, Giorgio, 2006, London borough residents by country of birth: An analysis of 2001 Census data, DMAG briefing 2006/4, London: DMAG.

31 See for example, the Guardians special report, London: The World in a City, 2005 31 See for example, the Guardians special report, London: The World in a City, 2005. 32 Johnston, Ron, James Forrest and Michael Poulsen, 2002, Are there Ethnic Enclaves/Ghettos in English Cities? Urban Studies 39(4):
591-618.

16 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

TAblE 5. NON-UK BORN RESIDENTS bY LONDON BOROuGh, 2001

LONDON BOROUGH

% FOREIGN BORN

LONDON BOROUGH

% FOREIGN BORN

Brent 47.1 Kensington and Chelsea 45.1 Westminster 44.8 Newham 38.3 Ealing 37.9 Haringey 37.8 Camden 37.5 Tower Hamlets 35.2 Hackney 34.9 Hammersmith and Fulham 34.4 Harrow 33.5 Lambeth 31.9 Barnet 31.0 Southwark 30.9 Islington 30.6 Hounslow 30.2 City of London 28.5 Wandsworth 27.7 Merton 26.8
Source: Finella 2006

Waltham Forest 25.6 Enfield 25.4 Redbridge 24.6 Lewisham 24.4 Croydon 22.1 Richmond upon Thames 20.3 Kingston upon Thames 20.2 Greenwich 18.5 Hillingdon 18.4 Sutton 12.3 Barking and Dagenham 11.7 Bromley 10.4 Bexley 8.4 Havering 5.9 Inner London 34.3 Outer London 23.4 London 27.6

and nine London boroughs had a minority ethnic population of more than 50 per cent. Some areas of London have large proportions of a couple of ethnic groups but others have become very diverse. The borough of Newham, especially, has some of the highest diversity indices in England. In 2001, nine of the fifteen most ethnically diverse wards in England and Wales were located in Newham.33 The clustering of migrants from certain countries and their descendents has therefore created areas of London with a wide offer of ethnic restaurants, shops and religious facilities, adding to the diversity of the city, but in these areas Londons neighbourhoods are diverse with little evidence of ghettos.
33 Piggott, Gareth, 2006, Simpsons diversity indices by ward 1991 and 2001, DMAG Briefing 2006/2, London: GLA.

Immigration and Londons Labour market


Londons economy relies heavily on international migrants at all levels. Within the citys economy, however, migrants appear to play an especially important role at the top and bottom ends of the labour market. On one hand, companies benefit from widening the pool from which they can recruit top performers and people with particular skills that are in short supply in the UK. On the other end of the spectrum, the corporate and service economy benefits from a large supply of labour doing lowskilled jobs for low wages. These include personal services for the growing professional classes and

17 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

a host of jobs that keep the citys infrastructure growing and working on a day to day basis, such as construction workers, cleaners, and catering staff. At the top end of the labour market large companies transfer and head-hunt people from other locations to London and actively recruit overseas. They aim to enlarge the available pool of talent from which they can recruit to the whole world, attracting the best workers to the UK. They can also enlarge the supply of individuals with specific skills that are in short numbers locally. The effect of this is that only 25 percent of graduate workers in London were born there, with 45 percent coming from other areas of the UK and almost a third (30 percent) born overseas.34 The financial and banking sector in London actively and increasingly recruits workers amongst overseas students studying in the UK and in foreign universities, who are perceived to have attributes that UK graduates lack. A recent study amongst City companies found that as many as 22 per cent of graduate recruits into the financial and related business services sectors came from abroad and in some organisations it was up to half.35 Business leaders have been successful in lobbying for the possibility for top workers to be able to work in London and immigration policy is designed taking into account these needs. Thus, managed migration and the points based system aim at facilitating the continued recruitment of workers at this level while restricting recruitment for lower-skilled jobs unless there is a proved shortage of labour. At the other end of the labour market, that of lowpaid unskilled jobs, the driving factor with regards to migration is the demand for labour willing to take on jobs at a low wage that are generally not coveted by local people because of their nature, low pay, unsociable working hours, or the lack of opportunities to progress. Until the 1970s, there was active recruitment overseas for these jobs, but the sectors for which it is possible to do so have been progressively reduced.

In recent years, large numbers of migrants from the Eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004 have provided a labour supply for this sector of the economy. As a consequence, overseas recruitment of non-EU labour for low skilled jobs has been severely limited. However, migrant workers continue to make up a very significant proportion of the workforce in these sectors, with large numbers of them coming from beyond the EU. Most non-EU migrants are therefore recruited in-country and will include people with diverse immigration statuses and trajectories. This labour market therefore means that there are big differences between migrant groups in terms of their employment rates and the type of work that they do. The evidence thus shows, as would be expected, that larger proportions of migrants from high-income countries of origin work in highly skilled and well paid jobs, while migrants from lowincome countries tend to be more concentrated in low-skilled low-paid jobs. Whereas 60 percent of migrants from high-income countries work in professional and managerial occupations, the rate for migrants from poor countries is 39 percent.36 Migrants from high-income countries also tend to have higher employment rates than those from low income countries. However, amongst the latter it is countries of origin with a high proportion of asylum seekers and refugees, such as Somalia, Congo, Rwanda, Afghanistan and Serbia and Montenegro, which have the lowest employment rates, pointing to significant issues in terms of access to employment for asylum seekers and refugees.37 The general trend is therefore for migrants to be represented in all sectors of Londons economy and in both high and low income jobs, but with large differences in outcomes between migrants from different countries of origin. Those from high income countries tend to be represented in high and low paid jobs from the start and many from poor non-asylum countries over represented in low paid work in the first years after migration and slowly moving out into better paid jobs. Employed migrants from asylum origin countries also tend

34 LSE, 2009, Londons Place in the UK Economy, 2009-10, London: LSE, p33. 35 Dawson, Ian, Andy Jackson and Matt Rhodes, 2006, Graduate Skills and Recruitment in the City, London: City of London. 36 Spence, Lorna, 2005, Country of Birth and Labour Market Outcomes in London: An analysis of Labour Force Survey and Census Data, DMAG Briefing 2005/1, London: GLA, 3; more recent work shows similar findings, see LSE, 2007, The Impact of Recent Immigration on the London Economy, London: City of London. 37 Ibid.

18 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

to be spread in terms of income but in their case there are large proportions of migrants outside employment. Furthermore, if migrants are an important element in all sectors of the economy, they have become essential for some specific sectors which virtually depend on a migrant origin labour force. A 2006 report found that employers feel that migrant workers are less crucial in high skilled sectors than in low skilled sectors. In low skilled sectors the problems are related to a shortage of domestic labour while in the high skilled sectors it is related to skill gaps. Employers mostly did not seek out to employ migrant workers specifically but for certain types of jobs, especially low skilled jobs, the response to the job advertisements came mostly from migrants.38 Therefore, even though the proportion of foreign born employees has grown as a whole, the sectors that have become much more dependent on migrant workers tend to be those that offer low paid jobs. One analysis of Labour Force Survey data shows that in the ten years from 1994-2004 the proportion of foreign born labour in London increased from 25 to 34 percent. Yet amongst chefs and cooks it increased from 51 to 76 percent, amongst catering assistants from 42 to 62 percent and amongst cleaners from 41 to 69 per cent.39
38 Dench, Sally, Jennifer Hursfield, Darcy Hill, Karen Akroyd, 2006, Employers use of migrant labour, Home Office Online Report 04/06, London: Home Office. 39 Wills, Jane, Kavita Datta, Yara Evans, Joanna Herbert, Hon May and Cathy McIlwaine, 2010, Global Cities at Work: New migrant divisions of labour London: Pluto Press. 40 Ibid. 41 MacInnes, Tom and Peter Kenway, 2009, Londons Poverty Profile, London: New Policy Institute.

compete in the market by pushing down wages and working conditions to the minimum legal standards. Wages in many of Londons low-paid jobs have therefore been driven down by this competition to levels that often make them unattractive to British and settled workers. Most of these jobs are therefore now carried out by recent migrants who do not have access to welfare benefits.40 The problem of low-paid work in London is compounded by exceptionally high housing and transport costs. Housing, for example, is an important key factor affecting poverty in the capital. If housing costs are not taken into account, the rate of low income households in inner London (20 percent) is similar to that of England as a whole and that of outer London (16 percent) is lower. However, once housing costs are included, both inner and outer London have much higher rates of low income (31 and 25 percent) than the rest of England. Due to this, housing benefit makes up a larger proportion of household income in London than in other areas.41 Once housing and transport costs are taken into account, this means that households whose income comes from low-paid work find it more difficult to cover their living costs and have any disposable income. For some authors, these costs put local people off from relatively and very low-paid jobs and make employment in these jobs attractive only to the foreign born population that does not have access to social housing and other benefits. There are other reasons why migrant workers take jobs that the settled population does not. Migrants are often young and single and more willing to tolerate poor housing conditions. For many migrants living in London is not a permanent move but a temporary life phase where they are gaining in other ways from their life in the capital, such as in education, or in the experience of living in a world city. Many migrants are also willing to put on long hours of work and multiple jobs in order to save money as part of a transnational strategy, either sending money to family members in their countries of origin or saving for them to return with.

London has a much higher dependency on migrant labour for low and medium paid essential jobs than other areas of the UK, despite London also having a higher unemployment rate. The high unemployment and out of work rates in London are the result of low wages and poor working conditions coupled with the high costs of living in the capital. Efficiency drives in the public and private sector as well as the preference for a flexible workforce have led many organisations to outsource essential services and to use agency staff. The subcontracting of services has led to strong competition between companies and agencies offering services such as cleaning, temporary staff and care workers. These companies can only

19 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

TAblE 6. MIGRANTS ORIGINS AND LAbOuR MARkET OuTCOMES


YEARS IN THE UK BOTTOM QUINTILE (<9.0 p.h.) 2nd QUINTILE (9.0-11.5) 3rd QUINTILE (11.5-15.8) 4th QUINTILE (15.8-20.8) TOP QUINTILE (>20.8p.h)

Non-migrant High wage countries Asylum countries

21% 20% 21% 19% 20% 0-3 18% 14% 12% 21% 35% >3 19% 15% 16% 22% 28% 0-3 31% 24% 14% 13% 18% >3 23% 20% 14% 21% 22%

Other low wage countries


Source: LSE 2007

0-3 46% 20% 10% 14% 11% >3 25% 19% 16% 17% 22%

42 May, Jon, et al., 2007, Keeping London Working: Global Cities, the British State and Londons New Migrant Division of Labour, p151-167. 43 IPPR, 2005, Migration and Health in the UK: an IPPR Fact File, London: IPPR. 44 Glover, Stephen, Ceri Gott, Anais Lizillon, Jonathan Portes, Richard Price, Sarah Spencer, Vasanthi Srinivasan and Carole Willis, 2001, Migration: an economic and social analysis, RDS Occasional Paper 67, London: Home Office, p38. 45 Cangiano, Alessio, Isabel Shutes, Sarah Spencer and George Leeson, 2009, Migrant Care Workers: Research Findings in the UK, Oxford: COMPAS, p70-73. 46 Ibid. p64. 47 Wills, Jane, et al., 2010, Global Cities at Work: New migrant divisions of labour London: Pluto Press.

Two sectors of Londons economy that generally rely heavily on a migrant workforce are contract cleaning and hospitality and catering. A recent report on low paid work found amongst the companies that were surveyed that the proportion of foreign born workers was 95 per cent in Underground cleaning staff, 93 per cent in hospitality, 89 per cent in office cleaning and 56 per cent in the care sector. Half of these migrant workers had arrived in the UK in the past five years.42 Health is another sector which has for some time has relied heavily on migrants to fill labour shortages. Between 1992 and 2002 more than half of new registered doctors and almost 40 percent of nurses in the UK came from abroad.43 A 2001 report stated that while London is less dependent on foreign doctors than the rest of the UK, the proportion of nurses is four times as high with almost half coming from abroad. In London 23 percent of doctors and 47 per cent of nurses are foreign born.44 This dependency on the work of migrants in health related jobs is not restricted to the NHS. The proportion of foreign-born care workers and nurses is over 60 per cent in London, more than twice that of the next highest region and more than four times as high than in other regions.45

There are some similarities between these sectors of employment that have a very high proportion of migrants as part of their workforce. They provide services either to individuals (catering, care workers, nurses) or for the smooth operation of business and infrastructure (contract cleaning). They often have working hours outside the normal working day and require working shifts. Crucially, they are jobs that have increasingly been subject to subcontracting and agency work and therefore subject to market competition that pushes wages down. These jobs are disproportionately carried out by recently arrived migrants from poorer countries. In some cases, certain jobs rely heavily on a workforce recruited from people coming from specific countries: people from India and the Philippines account for over half of migrant nurses who have arrived in the past 10 years46 and Black Africans, especially from Ghana and Nigeria make up the majority of the workforce cleaning the underground.47 Other sectors have workforces coming from a diversity of countries of origin, such as office cleaning, catering and social work. Nevertheless, for certain nationalities there are employment niches in which they concentrate.

20 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

Some authors have suggested that low wages and poor working conditions have created in London a migrant division of labour, with foreign born workers overwhelmingly performing most of the low-paid work of several sectors of the economy. Furthermore, there is evidence that the proportion of people employed in the lowest paid jobs has grown in the past few years. This is a significant shift in the trend over the past couple of decades in which the proportion of people employed in highly paid jobs had been increasing while the proportion of those in low paid jobs had stayed constant. This recent growth in low-paid employment has relied on the supply of migrant labour.48

48 The long term trend suggested that changes in Londons labour market were characterised by a process of professionalization (Hammnet 2003), but the new data suggests that there is a process of polarisation happening along the lines of that described by Sassens Global City hypothesis.

21 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

3. Policy issues arising from immigration in a global city


Key points: yy Migrants are estimated to make higher relative fiscal contributions than nonmigrants. yy Londons local authorities are getting a raw deal from migration because of problems with the population estimates on which their budgets are allocated. yy There are some direct public sector costs associated with immigration related to integration and administrative costs. yy Recent migrants tend to be housed in the private rented sector which has been able to accommodate the recent influx but as they settle, migrants tend to have similar housing needs to those of long term residents. yy Homelessness amongst migrants with no entitlement to housing support is an emerging issue of concern in London. yy Migrants are relatively healthy and a key source of labour for the NHS, but a number of them find it difficult to access health services. yy Migration has not had a significant effect on employment and unemployment rates in London but has had an effect in depressing wages in low paid jobs.

22 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

49 Travers, Tony, Rebecca Tunstall and Christing Whitehead, 2007, Population Mobility and Service Provision: A report for London Councils, London: LSE, p17. 50 Sriskandarajah, Dhananjayan, Laurence Cooley and Howard Reed, 2005, Paying their way: the fiscal contribution of immigrants in the UK, London: IPPR. 51 House of Commons Treasury Committee, 2008, Counting the Population, Eleventh Report of Session 2007-08, London: House of Commons; Audit Commission, 2007, Crossing borders: Responding to the local challenges of migrant workers, Public Services National report, London: Audit Commission; iCoCo, 2007, Estimating the scale and impacts of migration at the local level, London: LGA. 52 London Councils, 2010, Counting the cost: improving the accuracy of population figures; London Councils, 2007, Population Measures and Grant Distribution. 53 House of Commons London Regional Committee, 2010, Londons population and the 2011 Census: First report of session 2009-10, London: House of Commons. 54 iCoCo, 2007, Estimating the scale and impacts of migration at the local level, London: LGA.

As well as benefits, immigration brings about a series of challenges to which policy makers have responded to in a variety of ways. One of the big issues raised by the large numbers of new arrivals in the past decade has been the ways in which the increase in population can put pressure on services and on the strategies of authorities at different levels. Another area of concern is the way in which migrant workers affect the labour market, with debates on whether migrants depress wages and whether they contribute to unemployment amongst native born workers and other long-term residents. The rapid turnover in population evidently has implications and costs for policies and service provision at the local level. While some of the actions taken by local authorities and other public bodies to adapt to these changes have been documented, there is, however, little available evidence of the real scale and costs of these changes.49 Some immigrant groups contribute more in revenue than other groups, but work by the Institute of Public Policy Research has estimated that overall the relative net fiscal contribution of migrants is higher than that of the UK born population. The annual net contribution of the migrant and UK born populations alike is positive or negative depending on whether there is a deficit or not in the annual budget, but the net contribution of migrants is higher than that of the British born population in any case.50 However, because budget allocation for local areas is partly based on population estimates which have been shown to be inaccurate, the fiscal contribution of migrants is often not adequately reflected in the budgets of local authorities. A lot of the negative coverage on migration in the popular press has focused on access to public services such as housing and health, with stories of abuse of the system, allegations that migrants have been given priority over the settled population and that services are being over stretched. These stories, focused as they are on extreme cases, often give the erroneous impression that migrants put more demands on services than settled residents.

However, the largest problem local authorities claim to be facing in terms of funding is not that migrants are more demanding on services than the settled population, but with the problematic population estimates on the basis of which public funds are allocated.51 Population estimates and projections for local areas play a key role in the way that the government calculates the grants that fund the work of local authorities. Their funding is allocated according to the estimated and projected population of the area and this population is calculated using figures from the last census in 2001 updated with changes due to births and deaths, internal migration and international migration. The International Passenger Survey, which is used to estimate international migration, has been especially singled out as not fit for purpose in producing these estimates. The association of London councils has expressed its dissatisfaction with the accuracy of population estimates for London boroughs, stating that these underestimate the real numbers of residents.52 A recent report from the House of Commons Treasury Committee suggested that the Statistics Authority should as a priority develop better local population estimates and the London Regional Committee of the House of Commons has stated its preoccupation that the 2011 census may undercount Londons population.53 Despite changes in the way population numbers are estimated, London boroughs continue to feel there are problems and have warned about possible undercounts in the forthcoming census. Research with local authorities has singled out that poor population estimates mean that they are being under resourced as the figures used to allocate their budgets are not accurate.54 Furthermore, short term and irregular migrants are generally not included in these estimates but local authorities still have to provide them with some services.

23 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

Two important elements to highlight here are that, first, international migration is only one element amongst others in terms of population change and the way it is estimated. Internal migration also plays an important part. The second is that there is no implication that migrants place higher demands on services than non-migrants, but that migrants are being undercounted due to problems in population estimates. A further cost for local authorities arising from immigration is the administrative costs incurred in processing the new population in terms of updating records and services. This, however, is a common feature for all types of mobility, not only international, and thus the scale of the problem goes well beyond the impact of international migrants, including the movement of people within the UK and within London. These costs are thus associated with mobility generally, and not just with international migrants.55

movement within the EU, family reunion, asylum and migration for work and study. People from most of the EU countries are not subject to immigration control, although for a transition period those from the A8 countries are required to register under the Worker Registration Scheme and have limited access to public funds until settled. People from Bulgaria and Romania, also need to apply for permission to work in the UK. For non-EU nationals wishing to move to the UK on a long term basis there are three main routes of entry: as workers through the points based system and work permits; through family reunion or through applying for asylum. There are also temporary entry permissions for students and visitors. Policy around asylum seekers and refugees has been at the heart of changes to the immigration system. The changes were introduced as a reaction to the large increase in asylum applications in the late 1990s and early 2000s and the concurrent public fear that the asylum system was being abused. The restrictions, however, covered all asylum seekers who were going through a decision and appeals system that often took several years to produce a final decision. As a result of these changes, a special public support service was set up to provide housing and subsistence support to asylum seekers. Housing support was conditional on applicants moving to allocated areas of the country. Similarly, asylum seekers can only enter employment with Home Office authorisation if their cases have taken more than a year to be resolved. The limited access to welfare and housing entitlements and, in some cases, restrictions on working, means that asylum seekers can be especially vulnerable to destitution, homelessness and health problems. Similarly, A8 migrants who lose their jobs before having worked continuously for 12 months in the UK can also become destitute. Even though there is not much data available, it has been suggested that the cost for London boroughs of supporting people from abroad with no recourse

Immigration policy and its implications


Immigration policy and the different rights and entitlements assigned to the different categories of immigration status frame much of the subsequent impact that migrants have on local areas and policies. Immigration status puts conditions on migrants rights to enter the country, their authorised length of stay, activities they can undertake and access to public funds. Access to some public services is limited for migrants depending on immigration status. Thus, welfare support, social housing and free secondary health provision are restricted for those who are not settled. Other services are universal, for example emergency and primary health care and childrens education. This means that there are often significant differences between settled and recent migrants in terms of access and use of public services. There are several immigration pathways into the UK which can be grouped under the broad headings of freedom of

55 Travers, Tony, Rebecca Tunstall and Christing Whitehead, 2007, Population Mobility and Service Provision: A report for London Councils, London: LSE.

24 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

to public funds who have fallen into destitution could range from 10 million to 20 million. The task of responding to these issues often falls upon the voluntary sector.56 Labour migration from outside the EU is now managed through a Points Based System that is divided into tiers. Tier 1 applies to highly skilled individuals who, if they fulfil the designed criteria, are granted unrestricted access to the labour market. Tier 2 is for skilled workers in sectors of the economy for which there are gaps in the UK labour market. Employers have to advertise the job in the UK for a period before they can recruit overseas. Tier 3 applies to low skilled workers and is at present closed. Tier 4 applies to students who are given permission to work 10 hours a week. Tier 5 applies to those coming to the UK for either specific youth programmes or for short-term work in the UK. Finally, the London School of Economics has estimated that there could be 442.000 migrants in London who are non-compliant with immigration rules. An effect of the combination of global mobility, labour demand in large western cities and increased restrictions for low skilled labour migration has been the growth in the numbers of irregular migrants. As possibilities for authorised migration are progressively restricted for a wider number of people, the motivations and characteristics of irregular migrants have become increasingly varied. The undocumented population in the UK is largely a result of the backlog of asylum cases that accumulated when the asylum system could not cope with the numbers of applications in the late 1990s. The refusal rate of asylum applications between 2000 and 2008 ranged between 63 and 88 per cent. Even though an estimated 70% of refused asylum seekers appealed the decision, the success rate of appeals was also low, between 17 and 23 per cent in the years 2000 to 2008.57 The result is that only an estimated 28 to 30 per cent of asylum applications are given some form of status.58 There is not much reliable information on the proportion of refused asylum seekers who proceed to leave the

UK. Those not recognised by the government as unable to return home become irregular migrants and often end up destitute.59 The irregular population, however, also includes overstayers, people who remain in the country once their temporary visas expire, and illegal entrants, those who either evade entry control or enter on false documents. A further group of irregular migrants is that of those who have authorisation to be in the country but are in breach of their visa conditions. A common case is that of students who are in employment more than the authorised number of hours and/or who do not attend their courses. Irregular migrants are a diverse population but the bulk of the estimated irregular population is made up of failed asylum seekers. Contrary to press coverage focusing on irregular migrants entering the UK hidden in lorries, the vast majority of irregular migrants have entered the country legally. Furthermore, the trajectory of many of these individuals often involves changing status, moving between regularity and irregularity. Some of these issues are more prominent in London than in other areas due to the particular characteristics of the capital.

56 Travers, Tony, Rebecca Tunstall and Christing Whitehead, 2007, Population Mobility and Service Provision: A report for London Councils, London: LSE, p32. 57 Home Office, 2009, Control of Immigrations: Statistics United Kingdom 2008, Home Office 2009; ICAR, 2007, Asylum Appeals Process, Thematic Briefing, London: ICAR. 58 ICAR, 2009, Key Statistics about asylum seeker application in the UK, ICAR Statistics Paper 1, London : ICAR. 59 Amnesty International, 2006, Down and Out in London: The road to destitution for rejected asylum seekers, London: Amnesty International. 60 Audit Commission, 2007, Crossing borders: Responding to the local challenges of migrant workers, Public Services National report, London: Audit Commission; iCoCo, 2007, Estimating the scale and impacts of migration at the local level, London: LGA.

Language and information provision


The main responses that local authorities have had to undertake in respect of international migrants relate to aiding the settlement of migrants, a large part of which involves provision of information and language issues. Many local authorities have had to provide information services, publications and advice to newcomers, as well as training staff on diversity and creating new posts in order to improve communications with new communities. Equally, there has been an increase in the need to provide translation and interpretation services. Finally, there is an increased demand on courses of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) which are seen as a priority for effective integration.60 In

25 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

education provision the main issues have been student turnover at schools, the language needs of new students and children beginning classes in the middle of the school year. Another area in which some local authorities have had to invest extra resources is in minimising local tensions by dispelling myths and targeted interventions to resolve particular issues. Spending on ESOL doubled between 1999 and 2004, with the Learning and Skills Council spending 279 million in that period.61 The numbers of people taking ESOL provision grew from 111,000 in 2004/05 to 127,500 in 2005/06, but have fallen since as a consequence of changes introduced in 2006.62 Even though there has been a growing interest in encouraging and requiring migrants to learn English (it is required to gain citizenship, for example), the accessibility of ESOL courses has in fact been restricted for non-settled migrants. A series of changes introduced in 2006 was aimed at prioritising ESOL for settled migrants and the course emphasis has shifted from basic skills towards more advanced levels. Free universal access to ESOL was abolished and restricted to British residents who are unemployed or in receipt of income based benefits. EU workers cannot receive free lessons during their first year in the UK. Free provision for asylum seekers was stopped, and subsequently reinstated for asylum seekers who had not received a decision six months after the initial application. As a result, ESOL providers report a decrease in enrolments and a continuing over-demand for entry level courses as the emphasis has shifted to higher level courses. They also report that those most affected by the changes have been asylum seekers, women on low incomes and migrant workers.63 Research by the BBC estimated the cost of translation and interpreting in 2006 at 100 million, of which local councils spent 25m, the police 21m, the courts system 10m and the NHS 55m.64 An LSE report suggests that, given the concentration of migrants in the capital, up to 50 million of this money is spent on translation and interpreting by public services in London.65

Housing
The impact of recent migrants demands on services has been limited due to the profile and entitlements of recent migrants. Migrant workers have limited entitlement to public funds, and therefore limited access to housing and other welfare benefits, until they acquire residency status. However, especially in the case of recent Eastern European migrant workers, the pattern of settlement is not yet clear in order to assess the future impact of migrants on these entitlements. In the housing market recent migrants have tended to concentrate in the private rented sector. This has increased pressure on this sector and has had implications on multiple occupancy and relations with neighbours but has not produced major implications for the social rented sector. The effects on the social rented sector will depend on their rates of settlement. London has some of the highest housing costs anywhere in the planet. At the same time the social housing sector has shrunk considerably over the years. The capital has a need for extra housing supply arising partly from net migration but also partly from natural growth and a decrease in average household size. However, controversies about migration and housing have tended to focus on the allocation of social housing to migrants. In this sector the demand for housing is substantial. However, the roots of the problem stem from housing policy changes such as the numbers of council properties built and right to buy measures. Chris Hamnett has studied in detail the major transformations of the London housing market in the second half of the 20th century. Between 1961 and 1981 there was a boom in the development of new council housing. In this period the proportion of households in private renting fell from 64 percent to 32 percent, while the council rented sector became the largest form of tenure growing from 19 to 42 per cent and home ownership grew more slowly from 17 to 27 per cent. In boroughs such as Hackney, Islington, Tower Hamlets and Southwark, council renting accounted for more than half of households.

61 Audit Commission, 2007, Crossing borders: Responding to the local challenges of migrant workers, Public Services National report, London: Audit Commission, p29. 62 JH Consulting, 2008, English Language and Employability in London, London Skills and Employment Board. 63 UCU, 2007, Increasing exclusion, raising barriers: the real costs of charging for ESOL, UCU campaigns department briefing, London: UCU. 64 Easton Mark, 2006, Cost in translation, BBC website. 65 Travers Tony, Rebecca Tunstall and Christing Whitehead, 2007, Population Mobility and Service Provision: A report for London Councils, London: LSE.

26 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

The introduction of right to buy policies and the slowdown in the development of new council properties transformed the housing market. By 2001 council housing accounted for only 25 percent of all households in Inner London and home ownership had grown to 40 percent.66 The right to buy was exercised more readily by tenants in the better quality housing stock and in more desirable areas. The effect of these policies has been that supply of social housing stock has been far outstripped by demand and the available remaining stock is often of lower quality and now concentrates more excluded sections of the population. In 2008, about one fifth of all new housing developed was social housing.67 However, this is still much lower than the estimated needs for this type of housing. Until 2005 the number of local authority properties being sold through right to buy was higher than the number of new affordable housing entering the market.68 A 2004 GLA report estimated that London had a requirement for 353,500 additional dwellings over the next ten years. In terms of affordability almost 60% of that requirement would be for social housing.69 As Londons population has continued to grow and household composition changed, supply in the private sector has not kept up with demand either. This has put pressure on property prices. Furthermore, Londons property market is international with a significant number of wealthy buyers from other countries who are not resident in London. The ensuing high prices of properties put it further out of reach for people in low wages. As a result of these dynamics, the demand for social housing far outstrips supply and London councils have long waiting lists for social housing. In this context, the allocation of social housing to migrants has become a matter of public concern. In many areas there are reports of local populations assuming that migrants are given priority in social housing allocation. The press has run sensationalist news stories of refugees living in expensive properties at local authorities expense70 and government ministers have made public statements

saying that British families should be given priority for housing over migrants.71 However, a recent report commissioned by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission found no evidence of unfair allocation of housing to migrants. Nationally, 17 percent of UK born residents live in social housing while the figure for those born abroad is 18 percent. Ninety percent of people in social housing are UK-born while recent migrants account for a mere two percent of those in social housing, In London, however, the proportion of migrants in social housing is much higher, with 39 percent housed in this sector.72 Due to the high concentration in London of migrant workers in low paid jobs, the concentration of refugee populations and the poor outcomes of some of the settled migrant groups, it is not surprising that in London migrants are more concentrated in the social housing sector than in the rest of the UK. However, within the foreign born population in London there are wide differences in type of tenure. For recent migrants, for example, the proportion living in social housing is lower than that of the UK-born population. Similarly, migrants from certain countries of origin have much higher rates of social housing occupancy. This is especially the case for migrants from countries with large proportions of refugees, but also for some countries with a long history of migration and of exclusion in the UK, such as Bangladesh and Jamaica. Thus the data shows that a majority of recent migrants are housed in the private rental market but that this changes over time. In the short term, recent migrants will be overwhelmingly housed in the private rented sector which has managed to house this population up to the present. In the long term, it is clear that migrants with poor labour market outcomes who settle in the UK will increasingly be located in the social housing sector. However, this sector is not growing fast enough to accommodate future demand on this basis. If local residents are given housing priority on the basis of need, the allocation of social housing

66 Hamnett, Chris, Unequal City: London in the Global Arena, London: Routledge. 67 Piggott, Garreth (ed.), 2009, Focus on London 2009, London: GLA, p156. 68 GLA, 2008, Housing in London: The evidence base for the London Housing Strategy, London: GLA. 69 Lee, Jonathan, 2004, GLA Housing Requirements Study, London: GLA. 70 Daily Mail, November 2009, Taxpayers pay 1,600 for family of ex-asylum seekers to live in luxury five-storey home. 71 BBC, May 2007, Call for migrant housing rethink. 72 Rutter, Jill and Maria Latorre, 2009, Social housing allocation and immigrant communities, London: EHRC.

27 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

will continue to be a source of community tensions as UK born residents may feel that migrants are being favoured. Some local authorities are changing their allocation systems to give more weight to length of residence with the aim of responding to this concern. However, excluding migrants from social housing and housing support also has adverse consequences for local authorities.

Health
The policy implications of migration on health provision in London arise both for the supply and demand side of provision. As discussed in the section on the labour market, the NHS and care work rely heavily on migrant workers, especially in London. In this sense, migration has been key

TAblE 7. ORIGINS Of MIGRANTS AND HOuSING SECTORS


RICh COuNTRIES

ASYluM COuNTRIES <3 years >3 years

OThER POOR COuNTRIES <3 years

UK BORN

<3 years

>3 years

>3 years

TOTAl POPulATION

Owner

14% 56% 8% 29% 14% 48% 64% 57%

Social rented 6% 21% 35% 46% 21% 37% 26% 27% Private rented 80% 23% 56% 24% 65% 13% 11% 14%
Taken from LSE 2007

73 Audit Commission, 2007, Crossing borders: Responding to the local challenges of migrant workers, Public Services National report, London, p24. 74 Ibid. 75 Travers, Tony, Rebecca Tunstall and Christing Whitehead, 2007, Population Mobility and Service Provision: A report for London Councils, London: LSE, p28. 76 Homeless Link, 2006, A8 nationals in London homelessness services, London: Homeless Link. 77 Audit Commission, 2007, Crossing Borders: Responding to the local challenges of migrant workers, Public Services National report, London.

The exclusion of sectors of the migrant population from social housing and from housing benefit to help pay for rents has led to destitution and homelessness amongst some migrants in London. The tab from dealing with the destitute and homeless often has to be picked up by local authorities and by the voluntary sector. It has been reported that in the winter of 2005/06 half of the beds offered in night shelters run by churches in central London were taken up by A8 nationals.73 London boroughs, and especially Westminster, have been given additional homelessness grants to deal with these issues.74 It has also been reported that 20 percent of hostel dwellers come from abroad, and that half of these have been asylum seekers.75 A 2006 study on homelessness amongst A8 migrants found that in 43 homeless agencies that were surveyed in London, 15 percent of service users were A8 nationals. In some agencies they were a small minority but in others, A8 nationals accounted for up to half of all users.76

to keep the NHS working and providing services. There have also been concerns that increased levels of immigration will increase demand on the NHS and put pressure on the provision of services. However, different reports have noted that recent migrant workers tend to be young and healthy and therefore do not have great needs in terms of health provision. The recent influx of A8 migrant workers has tended to be composed of single young individuals with good health. They therefore do not put as much pressure on the health and education systems as more settled migrant populations.77 A significant issue arising on the use of health services by migrants is the confusion over entitlement to healthcare which has ended up excluding significant numbers of migrants in London from accessing health provision. In many cases this arises from fears and lack of knowledge on the part of irregular migrants. In other cases, confusion on rights to healthcare on the part of GP practices has created obstacles to access for some migrants who are not irregular.

28 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

Due to the difficulties for some population groups in accessing healthcare in London, the NGO Doctors of the World set up Project London in 1998. Their aim is to improve access to healthcare for vulnerable populations and they assist mostly, though not exclusively, migrants. Even though free primary care and A&E is universal in the UK, since 2004 certain categories of migrants have been barred from accessing free secondary care. At the same time a government consultation was launched into restricting free access to primary care to some groups of migrants. Even though this was not implemented, confusion ensued and there have been cases of GP surgeries not registering patients due to their immigration status. As a consequence of confusion in the registration of patients, lack of knowledge about entitlements and fears, there are migrants who continue to face obstacles in accessing primary health care.

report cites the Cleaning and Support Services Association as stating that 70 percent of cleaners are paid between the minimum wage and 6.50 per hour, and that a wage ceiling of 6.50 had been created for supervisory staff.79 Similarly, 10 percent of agency workers, many of whom are migrants, are paid the minimum wage. Overall, for the UK, the Low Pay Commission estimates that 8.8 percent of the foreign born population work for the minimum wage compared to 5.6 percent of the UK born population. Other risk factors for worker vulnerability are also higher amongst migrants. In areas of the UK, union membership amongst recent migrants can be less than half of that of the general population and a much higher proportion of migrants have pay conditions that are not affected by agreements between trade unions and employers.80 The commission on vulnerable employment reports that in some areas of the UK between 19.5 and 37 percent of migrant workers may be paid less than the minimum wage.81 Other abuses reported are excessive deductions to pay for transport and accommodation, summary dismissals, failure to provide written contracts and pay slips, denial of statutory sick-pay, maternity leave and paid holiday.82 There has been some debate on the effect that immigration has had on wages and unemployment. A study by the London School of Economics concluded that up until 2005 immigration had not had a major effect on either employment or unemployment rates in London. That means that the labour supply added by migrants was accommodated by an expanding economy. The study concluded, however, that the large numbers of migrants working in low skilled jobs has had a negative effect on wages in the bottom end of the labour market. They connect the two processes, arguing that lower wages generated more jobs which absorbed the growing labour supply.83

The labour market


As we have seen, a large proportion of migrants, especially those who are recently arrived and from less developed countries, work in low-paid occupations. Amongst this group of migrant workers low pay is often compounded by work uncertainty arising from temporary work, parttime jobs, lack of knowledge of rights, low levels of unionisation, and restricted rights due to immigration/residency status. Thus, some groups of migrants are particularly at risk and over represented amongst vulnerable workers.78 Some of the sectors of the economy in which migrants are concentrated, for example, have very high proportions of jobs where only the minimum wage is paid. The hospitality and retail sectors account for 44 percent of all minimum wage jobs, and cleaning and social care account for a further six percent each. Cleaning, hospitality and hairdressing are the industries with the highest proportions of minimum wage jobs, all of them over 20 percent. In terms of occupations, the proportions can be much higher. Thus the 2009 Low Pay Commission

78 Commission on Vulnerable Employment, 2008, Hard Work, Hidden Lives, The Full Report of the Commission on Vulnerable Employment, London: TUC. 79 National Minimum Wage, Low Pay Commission Report 2009, p78. 80 Commission on Vulnerable Employment, 2008, Hard Work, Hidden Lives, The Full Report of the Commission on Vulnerable Employment, London: TUC. 81 Ibid. 82 Ibid. 83 LSE, 2007, The Impact of Recent Immigration on the London Economy, London: City of London.

29 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

Research done at Queen Mary University of London has also found that wages have gone down in many of Londons low paid jobs in the past few years. However they connect lowering wages to a combination of subcontracting and privatisation together with the immigration regime. They argue that it is competition between companies offering outsourced services that has pushed wages down, but that large numbers of migrants, many of whom have restrictions on access to benefits or obligations to family abroad and are therefore forced to work, have filled those jobs at the lower wages. Furthermore, that study found that many of the migrants working in these jobs are not in the UK with work visas but with a variety of other immigration statuses and therefore the supply of this workforce cannot be effectively managed through the points based system.84 While it has stopped wages falling further, the national minimum wage still hardly provides enough to cover the high costs of living in London. Therefore, there is evidence that immigration has pushed wages down at the bottom end of the labour market.

84 Wills, Jane, Kavita Datta, Yara Evans, Joanna Herbert, Hon May and Cathy McIlwaine, 2010, Global Cities at Work: New migrant divisions of labour, London: Pluto Press.

30 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

4. Migration and governance


Key points: yy Policies and interventions relating to migration are carried out at different levels: national, regional and local. yy Immigration policy is decided at national level but enforcement is coordinated at regional and local level with collaboration expected from local bodies. yy Local authorities have to respond to service demands and other issues generated locally by immigration. yy Regional migration partnerships have been formed to design strategies and plans for integration and to coordinate service provision for migrants. yy The London Strategic Migration Partnership (LSMP) has published a refugee integration strategy and is working on a further strategy for migrants. yy At the regional and local level there are opportunities for migrant communities and organisations to influence policies and actions that affect them.

31 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

The way in which issues arising from immigration are dealt with by public authorities has shifted in the past few years. Policies that relate to migrants are designed and implemented at different levels of government. Immigration policies, for example, are set at a national level and their enforcement is the task of a national agency, the UK Borders Agency (UKBA), but the enforcement work of UKBA has been localised with the creation of Local Immigration Teams. In recent years a number of enforcement, service delivery and impact management issues have been dealt with at the regional and local level. For example, services and welfare provision for asylum seekers and refugees have been commissioned to voluntary and private organisations who deliver them on a regional basis. Similarly, local authorities and local service providers have to adapt their services and plans to take into account changes in the size and characteristics of their population. Different local authorities have found different ways to engage with the migrant populations present in their area in order to be more effective in providing services and responding to their needs. These approaches include contracting out services to migrant support organisations and holding migrant and refugee forums to interact with migrant community groups. In order to assist local authorities and service providers, in 2009 the government launched a three year Migration Impact Fund which provides financial support to local projects aimed at managing pressures on services caused by immigration. London as a region was allocated 5.6 million in the first year out of a national budget of 35 million, with a similar amount expected for the second year of the programme. Where there is a risk that human rights may be breached, local authorities also have a duty to provide some level of support, including accommodation, to migrants who have no recourse to public funds and therefore cannot access welfare or social housing. Local authorities and service providers therefore play a key role in providing services to settled, recent and irregular migrants.

Beyond the local level, a key development in the approach to respond to challenges posed by immigration has been the creation of regional bodies which coordinate responses in three aspects: the delivery of services and projects; strategic planning to respond to long term changes; and control and enforcement of immigration rules. These bodies have emerged from similar ones that were previously established to coordinate work with refugees and asylum seekers. A regional approach to asylum seeker and refugee support was established in the first half of the 2000s. Refugee Integration and Employment Services contracts were awarded at a regional level, and the National Asylum Support Service (NASS) was also reorganised to deliver the majority of its services through regional offices. At the same time, starting in 2001, the Home Office funded the formation of Regional Consortia for Asylum Seeker and Refugee Support. The consortia were regional multi-agency networks made up of local authorities, government offices, the police, health bodies, voluntary organisations and the private sector, and were responsible for co-ordinating the provision of services to NASS-supported asylum seekers as well as designing refugee integration strategies. In the capital, the London Asylum Seeker Consortium has since 2000 helped coordinate the work of the different London boroughs in supporting asylum seekers. However, in 2006 the mayor for Greater London formally assumed responsibility for strategic planning of refugee integration in the capital as a whole, supported by a newly formed body, the Board for Refugee Integration in London (BRIL) which was funded with the help of the UKBA. From 2007 onwards the Home Office has moved to shift the remit of the regional partnerships as a response to the large scale immigration of A8 nationals after 2004, many of whom settled outside London. The partnerships are now responsible for coordinating the response to the impacts of migration generally, rather than that of asylum seekers and refugees specifically. The UKBA

32 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

therefore funds Regional Migration Partnerships which bring together UKBA personnel, regional authorities and service providers to design and implement strategies aimed at managing the impact of migration. In the case of London, the BRIL was transformed into the London Strategic Migration Partnership (LSMP). Building on the work of the BRIL, the LSMP has produced London Enriched, the mayors strategy for the integration of refugees and asylum seekers which was launched in December 2009 and was based on a wide consultation process in 2007. The aims of the LSMP include: developing and maintaining a strategic overview of key issues for the integration of migrants in London; coordinating work across sectors to promote the integration of migrants; developing a strategy for the integration of migrants with specific goals and actions; making sure this strategy influences other strategies designed by the mayor; gathering and publishing information on migrants in order to inform service provision; considering the needs and experience of asylum seekers and designing actions that facilitate their integration from this phase onwards; taking into account the needs and experience of Londons businesses in relation to immigration; considering national proposals and influencing legislation and policy to promote the success of integration in London.85

The LSMP is chaired by the Deputy Mayor of London and is made up of a cross section of members whose work touches upon migrants. Its members include representatives from UKBA, government departments, the London development agency, childrens services, local councils, housing bodies, health services, the refugee council, the business sector, Jobcentre Plus, the third sector, the police, and the trade unions. The LSMP also has three migrant, refugee and asylum seeker members. These three members are part of the Migrant and Refugee Advisory Panel, a group of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers set up to ensure that community perspectives inform the LSMP and give practical direction based on grassroots experience.86 Key members of the LSMP form link bodies that are in charge of overseeing and coordinating the delivery of specific sections of the integration strategy. Not only support and integration work is being regionalised. Apart from the formation of regional strategic migration partnerships, the UKBA is also regionalising and localising its enforcement and control work. UKBA has therefore begun a process of establishing local teams and partnerships in charge of enforcement in specific geographic areas. Its plans are to have 7,500 of their staff divided into between 70 and 80 Local Immigration Teams. These teams will be in charge of enforcing immigration rules, tracking down offenders, enforcing compliance of employers, gathering intelligence and addressing community concerns about immigration in a specific area.87 The UKBA has also formed immigration crime partnerships with police forces to carry out joint operations and it has planned or begun piloting partnerships with local authorities, health service providers and workplace enforcement agencies to cooperate and share information that can aid its enforcement work. This regionalisation and localisation of service delivery, enforcement and policy making with regards to migrants means that there should be more opportunities for migrant organisations to respond locally, or regionally, to the policies that affect them. The existence of arenas such


85 LSMP, 2009, LSMPs Terms of reference, available online 86 GLA, 2009, London Enriched: The Mayors refugee integration Strategy, London: GLA, p9. 87 UKBA, 2008, Enforcing the deal: Our plans for enforcing the immigration laws in the United Kingdoms communities. London: UKBA.

33 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

as the regional migration partnerships seem to suggest the possibility that migrant community organisations can have a strong voice that will help shape the policies affecting migrants. However, to take advantage of these opportunities there ought to be a degree of coordination amongst migrant and civil society organisations.

34 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

5. Migrants in London and civil society organisations


Key points: yy There is a long history of migrants forming or taking part in civil society organizations. yy London is home to a large number of small migrant and refugee community organisations. yy There are a number of medium-sized organisations that provide advice, support and advocacy for migrants and refugees. yy There is also a significant refugee and asylum seeker support sector made up of large umbrella and support organizations in London. yy Other civil society organisations such as trade unions and churches have adapted to get migrants in their ranks and provide support to them. yy Broad coalitions are campaigning on issues related to immigration such as low wages and regularisation for undocumented migrants.

35 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

There is a long history of migrants coming together and forming groups to help and support each other and to further their causes. Similarly, migrants have had a large influence on organisations in the geographical areas or sectors in which they have a significant presence. These can range from political parties in areas with large numbers of migrants or trade unions in labour sectors that employ large proportions of migrants. Other charitable organisations have a tradition of helping vulnerable sections of the community, which often have been of migrant origin. Finally, there is also a history of broad coalitions campaigning on specific issues, such as the anti-racism movements in the UK in the 1970s. In the UK, for many years migrants have been active in forming civil society organisations of a diverse nature. Some of them are ethnic based, others class based, and some of the most active in the 1970s and 1980s were race based movements. These organisations have also ranged from providing assistance and support to actively campaigning for changes in policy. However, although there is continuity in some issues, many of the challenges arising for migrants in the past thirty years are different to those faced by post war migrants. Racism and class divisions continue to be pervasive but there is no clear juxtaposition of racial, migrant and class positions at present. Recent migrants include individuals occupying jobs at the top as well as at the bottom of the job market. White European migrants are found in low-paid, low-skilled jobs alongside non-white migrants from the global South.88 Within groups from the same country of origin it is possible to find people with different immigration statuses and therefore different levels of entitlement to welfare support. In the past decades, as the role of government has scaled back, some of the services it used to provide have been handed over to private and voluntary organisations. In terms of immigration, support services for settlement and integration of the new populations has often been transferred to specialist organisations. One sector that showed a

lot of dynamism throughout the 1990s and into the early 2000s was that of organisations working with refugees and asylum seekers. This arose from the governments need to provide services and support that responded to the needs of different individuals and groups of asylum seekers and refugees entering the UK. Some of these, for example the Refugee Council, Refugee Action and Asylum Aid, are large organisations with a national presence delivering services directly to individuals, but also supporting smaller refugee community organisations and campaigning on asylum issues. They have been contracted by the government to provide support and advice for asylum seekers and refugees in the different regions of the UK. On the other hand, there is a significant number of small community groups and organisations, many of which have received support in the form of public or charitable grants. These are often, though not always, organised on a nationality or ethnic basis and rely heavily on the work of volunteers. Even though they do not necessarily provide services exclusively for asylum seekers and refugees, groups from countries of origin with large proportions of asylum seekers have received a significant amount of support and therefore there are a large number of these groups. This partly reflects the fact that asylum seekers often arrive in precarious situations and need support in starting their lives again, especially in the context of an asylum process that has become progressively more complicated and oppressive. It also reflects the fact that in the 1990s and until 2004, asylum seekers were seen as the main area of concern in terms of immigration, and much of the effort on support and integration was focused on them. Because historically most asylum seekers have gravitated to London, the number of organisations providing support in the capital has been much larger than in the rest of the country, and this situation has been slow to change following the introduction of policies of dispersal of asylum seekers. In a study of Refugee Community

88 This does not imply that ethnic preferences and racism are not present in todays labour market. The Global Cities at Work project has identified how certain groups are dominant in certain lowskilled jobs and the preference of employers for specific ethnic groups for certain jobs. The broad contours of race and class are, however, not as clear as it was once presumed.

36 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

Organisations across the country published in 2005, researchers noted that voluntary sector presence and resources were very concentrated in London. They cite estimates of between 400 and 500 refugee community organisations in the city, but also note that a large proportion of them are small, with unsecure budgets and at risk of surviving.89 Even though some organisations, especially the national ones, have a specific remit to work with asylum seekers and/or refugees, many of the smaller organisations group and provide support to migrants who have a variety of immigration statuses arising from different immigration paths. There are also in London a number of organisations providing support and advice for individuals in tandem with support, networking and capacity building to smaller community groups and organisations. Some of these provide support at the city level and others concentrate on certain areas of London. For example, there are a series of boroughbased forums of refugee and migrant community organisations that act as the voice of refugee organisations and provide them with some support. Again, even though most of these initiatives were set up as a response to the needs of refugees and asylum seekers, some have extended their remit to migrants generally. Examples of organisations providing support and advice to migrants and refugees in London are the Refugee and Migrant Forum of East London (RAMFEL), the Migrants Resource Centre (MRC), Praxis Community Projects, the Migrant and Refugee Communities Forum, the Refugee Womens Association and Refugees in Effective and Active Partnership.
89 Griffiths, David, Nando Sigona and Roger Zetter, 2005, Refugee Community Organisations and Dispersal: Networks, Resources and Social Capital, Bristol: Policy Press. 90 McKay, Sonia, and Eugenia Markova, 2008, Understanding the Operation and Management of Employment Agencies in the UK Labour Market, London: Working Lives Institute.

low-paid jobs and are especially vulnerable to exploitation, and therefore are key targets for union membership. The large numbers of migrants in agency work, tied accommodation, and with visas that tie them to specific employers are some of the factors that increase this vulnerability.90 Similarly to local authorities, trades unions have published information booklets on the rights of workers and translated them into several languages. They have also become more active in recruiting union members amongst the migrant workforce. Migrant organisations in some cases provide a bridge between unions and migrant workers, encouraging their members and users to become union members. In London, different trade unions have organised campaigns in sectors of the labour market where there are large proportions of migrant workers. One such campaign has been the Justice for Cleaners campaign which has helped organise workers in the cleaning sector to demand secure working conditions and decent pay. Together with the Living Wage Campaign they have secured better wages and working conditions for cleaners in a number of banks, universities and public sector organisations. A further development has been the emergence of broad civil society coalitions that campaign on a series of issues, some of which have a large impact on migrants. This is the case of London Citizens, an alliance of London based community organisations that has run several campaigns. Some of London Citizens most active members are churches and other faith based organisations. Amongst some migrant groups, participation in churches and faith based organisations can be very high, and therefore, together with the participation of unions and migrant community organisations, such a coalition has the potential to reach and mobilise a large number of migrants as well as non-migrant activists. Some of their campaigns have great relevance for migrants, such as the London Living Wage Campaign which aims at getting employers to agree to pay workers above the national minimum wage. This should reflect the estimated wage

There are also migrant organisations that are organised on the basis of type of employment, which can be linked to specific immigration status. Kalayaan, for example is an organisation that provides advice, advocacy and support services to migrant domestic workers. Trade unions have also responded to the large increase in numbers of migrant workers. Foreign born workers are overrepresented in low-skilled

37 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

a worker needs to survive in London. However, the campaign that has the largest relevance for migrants is the Strangers into Citizens campaign which proposes a one-off earned regularisation that would enable irregular migrants who fulfil certain criteria to obtain a legal immigration status that would eventually lead to citizenship. The campaign has organised two large public demonstrations in London in 2007 and 2009 and has received the backing of several influential London politicians including the mayor Boris Johnson, as well as the support of five of Londons local authorities. For some authors, this style of broad based campaigns, bringing together different civil society organisations around specific issues on which there is a shared interest provides the best hope of having an impact of policies affecting migrants.

38 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

6. Migrants and public opinion in London


Key points: yy Opposition to immigration is significantly lower in London than in the rest of the UK. yy Londoners appreciate the diversity and cosmopolitanism that immigration brings to the city. yy Public figures in London have backed key campaigns such as an earned regularisation for undocumented migrants. yy More positive attitudes toward immigration in London put it in a strong position to lead in debates for more progressive immigration policies.

39 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

The public debate on immigration policy has increasingly centred on the discussion of how to curb immigration and to make legislation and control tougher. The debate has focused on the number of immigrants that should be allowed in the country, on the benefits and costs that migrants bring to the economy, on the increased demands on public services and, more recently, on their impact on community cohesion in the areas where they arrive. Some sections of the media have adopted a hostile stance on immigration and politicians have repeatedly been asked to listen to the people. Public opinion is therefore often perceived as one of the main drivers in the debate on immigration and a challenge to pursuing more progressive policies towards immigration and migrants. Even though there is a body of research suggesting that the British economy has benefitted from increased levels of migration and that the effects on employment and salary levels have been mixed,91 there is a tendency to assume that the British public has become overwhelmingly opposed to immigration and its effects, and this perception seems to be driving the political debate. To date the government has not been able to convincingly argue for the benefits of immigration.
91 Somerville, Will and Madeleine Sumption, 2009, Immigration and the labour market: Theory, evidence and policy, London: Equality and Human Rights Commission; Reed, Howard and Maria Latorre, 2009, The Economic Impacts of Migration on the UK Labour Market, London: IPPR. 92 Greenslade, Roy, 2005, Seeking Scapegoats: the coverage of asylum in the UK press, Asylum and Migration Working Paper 5, London: IPPR; ICAR, 2004, Media Image, Community Impact: Assessing the impact of media and political images of refugees and asylum seekers on community relations in London, London: ICAR.
Source: IPSOS-Mori 50 40 70 60

Despite this, the public perception on immigration is more nuanced than it is often portrayed. It is true that there is a general opposition to immigration and negative portrayal in the media, but this has been the case for many years. Even though the numbers fluctuate, over the past twenty years significantly more than half of people responding to surveys have agreed with the assertion that there are too many migrants in Britain. Over that period the difference between the proportion of people who believe there is too much migration and those who do not has fluctuated between 22 and 55 percentage points, but the number of those agreeing has always been higher than those disagreeing. Concern that there is too much immigration is therefore not a new phenomenon. Sometimes these concerns have focused on specific sections of the migrant population. The media has produced negative portrayals of asylum seekers and refugees for many years, but these increased during the 1990s.92 In the new millennium the focus on asylum seekers seems to have been superseded by worries about over-crowding, pressure on public services and job competition arising from the large numbers of Eastern European migrants moving in following EU enlargement in 2004. The terms in

FIG. 2. ThERE ARE TOO MANY MIGRANTS IN BRITAIN

Agree

Net Agree 30 Disagree 20 10

1994

1997

1999

2000

2001

Feb 2007

Nov 2007

Apr 2008

1989

40 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

which the debate on immigration and refugees is carried out in the press often creates and reinforces negative public attitudes to these issues.93 Some analysts argue, however, that negative attitudes toward migration have increased in recent years. Between 1995 and 2003 the proportion of people who believed immigration should be reduced jumped from two thirds to three quarters of the population, and those who thought it should stay at the same level or increase went down from a third to a fifth.94 The British public does seem to have developed a more negative view of migration than that in other European countries. When compared to other countries, Britain is reported to have the highest level of opposition to migration in Europe. According to a 2009 report covering eight countries, while in the European countries an average 50 per cent of respondents view immigration as a problem, in the UK this proportion rises to 66 per cent. Amongst those countries where the survey

was carried out the UK had the largest proportions of respondents agreeing there were too many migrants in the country (55%), agreeing that migrants take away jobs from the native born (54%), worried about levels of legal migration (36%) and the lowest level of support for giving legal migrants the same rights to social benefits as citizens (50%) and for a regularisation of irregular migrants (28%).95 However, attitudes to migrants and asylum seekers vary between different areas of the UK. Generally, attitudes tend to be more positive in areas with large numbers of migrants, refugees and BME communities, especially those where communities are mixed rather than segregated. This is borne both in qualitative research with focus groups with people from different localities96 as well as by largescale opinion polls. Similarly, in opinion polls and surveys in London there is consistently less support for the reduction of immigration than in England as a whole. The

FIG. 3. IMMIGRATION IS MORE Of A PROblEM ThAN OPPORTuNITY


70 66% 60 54% 58% 49% 43% 40 44% 45% 50%

93 Lewis, Miranda, 2005, Asylum: understanding public attitudes, London: IPPR. 94 McLaren, Lauren and Mark Johnson, 2004, Understanding the rising tide of antiimmigrant sentiment, in: Alison Park et al (eds) British Social Attitudes: the 21st Report, London: Sage, 169-200. 95 Transatlantic Trends, 2009, Transatlantic Trends: Immigration. 96 Lewis, Miranda, 2005, Asylum: understanding public attitudes, London: IPPR.

50

30 25% 20

10

Canada

France

Germany

Netherlands

Italy

European Average

United States

Spain

Source: Transatlantic Trends: Immigration 2009

United Kingdom

41 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

FIG. 4. ATTITuDES TO IMMIGRATION: DO YOu ThINk ThE NuMbER Of IMMIGRANTS COMING TO BRITAIN ShOulD bE INCREASED, REDuCED OR REMAIN ThE SAME

ENGLAND
Increased a lot, 2% Increased a little, 3%

LONDON
Reduced a lot, 37% Increased a lot, 7%

Increased a little, 5% Remain the same, 19%

Reduce a little, 25%

Remain the same, 28% Reduced a lot, 51% Reduce a little, 23%

Source: Citizenship Survey, Cheryl 2009

2008-2009 Citizenship Survey which is published by the Department of Communities and Local Government shows that while 76 per cent of people in England would like immigration to be reduced, in London this proportion goes down to 61 per cent.97 Although there is a perception amongst large sections of the public that too many migrants have moved into the UK in the last few years, that does not mean that people do not recognise the benefits of migration. While a large majority of survey respondents in opinion polls favour a reduction of immigration, the proportion of those who favour a large reduction is about half, at 53 per cent nationally. The other 47 percent favour a small reduction, similar levels or increased migration. In London, less than half the population, 39 per cent, favour a large reduction in immigration.98 Similarly, a national 2006 Yougov poll suggests that only 31 per cent of respondents thought that

97 Lloyd, Cheryl, 2010, 2008-09 Citizenship Survey: Community Cohesion Topic Report, London: CLG. 98 Ibid. These figures are similar to a Yougov poll where 48 per cent of people nationally said they did not want numbers of migrants to rise at all while in London this was lower at 42%. 99 YouGov Survey, 1 Sep 2006, Tonight with Trevor McDonald Results.

in most cases migrants workers were taking jobs from British workers. Most respondents thought that migrants mostly or only took jobs that British workers did not want to do. In that same poll only 17 per cent of respondents agreed that migrants should not be allowed to come and work in Britain. A large majority agreed migrants should be allowed to come and work, albeit with conditions.99 The prevalent concern with immigration and the majority view that there have been too many migrants coming in the past few years therefore does not equate to an outright opposition to immigration. Constructing it as such is a distortion of public opinion. Furthermore, despite concern with levels of immigration, there is a recognition of some of the benefits of migration regarding the jobs migrants undertake which sometimes goes unreported.

In the UK, concerns about immigration and refugees often focus on the increased demand on public

42 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

services and effects on employment.100 On the other hand, however, the contemporary cultural diversity which has been an outcome of previous migrations is seen in a very positive light by most people. This feeling is especially strong in London where 75 percent of survey respondents agree that it is good that Britain is a multi-cultural society (in other areas the proportion is much lower: 39 per cent in the North East and 50 per cent in Scotland).101 In a 2004 London poll, the second most common reply to what makes people proud of London was its cultural diversity, and cosmopolitanism was the ninth most common answer.102 It is clear that overall London is a city that is comfortable with its multicultural character and that this is one of its characteristics appreciated by residents and visitors alike. Londons diversity has also been used as a selling point for the city: the fact that there are people from every country in the world living in London was one of the citys selling points to win the 2012 Olympics. It is also clear that opposition and concern with immigration are significantly lower in London than in other areas of the UK. It is necessary to recognise that there is still a large proportion of Londoners who are concerned with immigration and would like to see lower numbers of migrants entering the country. However, the generally more tolerant attitudes to immigration and diversity in London provide more political space for progressive policies toward immigration and integration to be supported in the capital.

For example, the mayor of London has gone against the national political current and against his own partys policy by backing the call for an earned regularisation for undocumented migrants. Similarly, five of the London boroughs, some London Assembly members and MPs for London constituencies have signed up to this campaign. The campaign also attracted tens of thousands of people to two mass rallies it organised in support of the initiative. London therefore provides a good opportunity to gain public support for progressive policies towards immigration and migrants.

100 Transatlantic Trends, 2009,Transatlantic Trends: Immigration. 101 MORI, 2003, British Views on Immigration. 102 MORI, 2004, What is a Londoner? Research for the Commission on London Governance.

43 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

7. Putting ideas into action making changes for London


Key points: London is well-placed to make the case for progressive policies on immigration because it is disproportionately affected by restrictive policies and there is a more positive public attitude towards diversity and immigration than in other areas of the country. yy London should lead the way on making a case for progressive policies on immigration in the UK. yy Problems in Londons labour and housing markets cannot be solved through immigration restrictions. yy Development of local immigration enforcement in London should be scrutinised. yy Londons migrant strategy should be informed by migrants.

44 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

This study has highlighted Londons role as a hub of migration to the UK, together with consideration of how its long-standing experience of immigration has led to a somewhat progressive agenda at city level. The presence of a diverse and dynamic migrant population in London presents major challenges to the national government aim of simplifying and toughening up immigration management. It is likely that there will be an increase in national pressure on city administrations to monitor and control migrants. As a result, we can expect that Londons policy makers will find it more challenging to maintain a progressive stance on immigration. However, because London is a city of migration, as well as a capital city, its policy makers can to some extent choose how to respond to the national immigration and asylum agenda. The London Strategic Migration Partnership (LSMP) in particular is well-placed to develop a cohesive and forward-looking city strategy for maximising the benefits and addressing the challenges presented by migrants to the capital. It is possible that the strategies adopted for London will inform strategies in other regions of the UK, addressing the demands and needs of new arrivals.

the irregular population in the UK. We have also seen how destitution amongst asylum seekers and A8 migrants is becoming a serious problem. The wider acceptance of diversity and the relatively more positive attitude to immigration that is evident in London compared to the UK means that representative London voices should be leading the debate on progressive immigration policy and not just dealing with the consequences of restrictions. Some leading London figures have already spoken in support of more progressive policies. For example, the mayor of London and several London boroughs already support the Strangers into Citizens Campaign on regularisation of irregular migrants in contrast with national Labour and Conservative party policies. However, more can be done. The LSMPs remit includes influencing national debates on immigration, and putting forward views that are beneficial for London. The LSMP and the mayor of London, together with input from migrant organisations, could play a more vocal role in influencing the national debate on immigration. In particular, London can play a role in advocating the need for a system that provides a pathway into citizenship for the citys substantial irregular population.

PRINCIPlES fOR LONDONS PROGRESSIVE STANCE ON IMMIGRATION


This report would like to propose four principles to policy makers and advocates which should underpin the development of strategy around immigration in London.

2. Problems in Londons labour and housing markets cannot be solved through immigration restrictions
Some of the issues that affect migrants most adversely are common to all of Londons residents, especially wages, working conditions and access to affordable housing. Restrictions on migrants have only made the situation worse. Tackling low wages, poor working conditions and unemployment require labour market regulation. The shortage of affordable housing should be addressed through a housing strategy. Restricting migrants access to welfare and social housing has only compounded the deficiencies in the labour market by forcing migrants to

1. London should lead the way on making a case for progressive policies on immigration in the UK
London is well-placed to make a strong case for more progressive policies towards migrants because it is disproportionately affected by the consequences of restrictive policies. We have seen how London is home to the majority of

45 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

work under poor conditions. Labour market regulations that create better job security and ensure a London living wage would benefit both migrant workers, settled residents and, potentially, those outside the labour market or unemployed.

As the UKBA sits on the LSMP, and its strategies respond to local circumstances, service providers and migrant groups should use the partnership as the arena to take a stand with regards to immigration enforcement and ensure that enforcement does not negatively affect the work of service providers.

3. Development of local immigration enforcement in London should be scrutinised


The establishment of local enforcement teams within the UK Border Agency (UKBA) presents new challenges to a wide range of people within London. By developing partnerships with local service providers, the UKBA is hoping to extend the reach of immigration enforcement. Employers have already been brought into enforcing immigration rules by being required to check the entitlement to work of employees. There are plans to give service providers, including local authorities, housing providers and health services, a much more active role in immigration enforcement. Overall, it is a bad idea to ask actors beyond the UKBA to have a role in immigration enforcement. This results in a lack of clarity about the rules and entitlements afforded to different groups, potentially leading to disproportionate effects on sectors of the regular migrant and settled population, especially on members of ethnic minority groups. Furthermore, immigration enforcement can jeopardise the work of service providers. Many migrants in London find themselves excluded from health services to which they should have access, and this exclusion could lead to public health problems. Enforcement action by local authorities can also strain relations with certain communities and thus harm community cohesion.

4. Londons migrant strategy should be informed by migrants


Finally, migrants and immigration should be a central part of the policies that are decided at the London level, and especially the strategic plans which are responsibility of the GLA. It is critical to involve migrants themselves in developing the citys policies on immigration. The LSMP has already set out an integration strategy for refugees in London and is working towards widening its strategy to include all migrants a project under development during 2010. The structure of the LSMP provides an arena in which migrant organisations can have a role in influencing the policies that affect them. It also creates the possibility of a constructive dialogue between migrant organisations and service providers. To make the most of these opportunities migrant organisations in London will need to articulate and put forward their views in an effective manner. This requires translating their experience and knowledge into well supported arguments and advocacy.

46 Migrant Capital: a perspective on contemporary migration in London

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MRN would like to acknowledge and thank City Parochial Foundation for their generous support.

Migrants Rights Network Royal London House 22-25 Finsbury Square London EC2A 1DX Tel. +44 20 7920 6421 www.migrantsrights.org.uk info@migrantsrights.org.uk