Introducing a national strategy for integration and ensuring that refugee settlement schemes become a permanent fixture of our society are amongst the recommendations of a Home Affairs Select Committee report published today (Monday 15 January 2018).
Drawing from the “National Conversation on Immigration” launched in Parliament, the report calls on the Government to publish an Annual Migration Report to ensure the public is better informed and that immigration policy is developed using evidence and honest debate.
It also states that: “We believe that striving to meet the best interests of families and children should be at the heart of immigration policy. We urge the Home Office to take note of these concerns and review the impact of its policies on families and children”
Amongst the report’s recommendations are the introduction of national and local integration strategies, and the establishment of a permanent resettlement scheme, following on from the well supported Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme. The Committee also highlights the very serious issues currently surrounding immigration detention, in particular the length of time that people are detained and the numbers locked up for immigration purposes each year .
Responding to this report, Dr Lisa Doyle, Director of Advocacy at the Refugee Council, said:
“Refugee resettlement has a truly transformative impact on refugees’ lives and we therefore welcome this report’s call for resettlement schemes to become a permanent fixture in our society.
“While we support the call for national and local integration strategies, we strongly encourage that a focus on refugee integration be a key part of such strategies and believe that this inclusion is key for their effectiveness.
We also urge the government to heed the advice of the Committee regarding the best interest of families and ask it to ensure in particular that families are able to reunite under more generous refugee family reunion rules.”