A recent new study has found that as the British government has put more control on the immigration system, it has driven up the number of people entering the UK illegally. While the the visa restrictions have cut overall migration as the government planned, academics said they can be “ineffective and counterproductive” because they force more people to find unlawful ways to cross borders.
The tighter restrictions that has been put on low skilled workers has appeared to reduce migration but has led to a significant portion of perspective immigrants turning to illegal ways to enter the country.
The study also found that restricting the number of visas granted to students and highly-skilled workers does little to cut overall migration.
The government’s ‘hostile environment’ for illegal immigrants was also greatly criticised earlier this year when a huge number of Windrush generation migrants were wrongly caught up and sent back.
UCL academic Miranda Simo, who led the study: “The largest reorientation towards unauthorised channels happens when the family route is closed, because it is the most easily accessible out of those considered.
“When restricting immigration policy, governments need to consider that they are also reducing aspiring migrants’ already limited options for legal migration.”
The study found that illegal immigration rose by 14 percent and 245 percent respectively whilst low skilled and family migration was cut by 21 percent and 32 percent respectively.
Taking action against immigration would be difficult as they would have to be found and captured first.