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The impact of and perceptions of Conservative immigration policy in relation to immigrants from the Indian sub-continent 1979-90: with special reference to Glasgow

Hussain, Asifa Maaria (1997) The impact of and perceptions of Conservative immigration policy in relation to immigrants from the Indian sub-continent 1979-90: with special reference to Glasgow. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

The Conservative government applied restrictive immigration policies on people from the Indian sub-continent (Pakistan, India and Bangladesh) on a large scale during the 1980s for reasons which have been depicted as economic, political, and nationalistic. The Conservative party under Thatcher made immigration control one of its main themes in the 1979 Conservative Manifesto. This thesis looks at the repercussions of Thatcher's immigration policy for people from the Indian sub-continent living in Glasgow. Drawing on a wealth of primary sources, the thesis will argue that Thatcher's immigration policy amounted to discrimination as Indian sub-continent nationals, especially males, suffered unfairly when the policy was implemented. Evidence of this unfairness was implicit in: the various rules and laws which contained elements of discrimination; and evidence from the organisation network in Glasgow which revealed that they had to deal with extra work and with more contentious cases during the 1980s. The impact on individuals was most strongly exemplified by a survey and by individual case studies which revealed problems such as provocative questioning, application of stringent criteria to satisfy the authorities, and the break-up and separation of families who were prevented from being reunited, in some cases even temporarily, by the actions of the authorities. The fact is that no account was taken of the clinical characteristics of the Indian sub-continent which clashed in particular with the primary purpose rule which the authorities applied rigorously. While it is acknowledged that other groups of blacks and coloured immigrants also suffered from the Conservative immigration regime, it will be noted that the impact was most severe on immigrants from the Indian sub-continent. The tough policy on immigration only served to encourage more clandestine means of entry into the United Kingdom, and this gave the government a further pretext to impose more controls on immigration from the Indian sub continent. It has to be emphasised that the extent of the restrictive immigration control regime will be measured not simply in terms of numbers allowed entry but also the procedures used such as the type of questions asked, interviewing techniques and manners, and various provisions made in legislative acts which served against potential immigrants from the Indian sub-continent.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN1187 Scotland
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Supervisor's Name: Fotheringham, Peter
Date of Award: 1997
Depositing User: Elaine Ballantyne
Unique ID: glathesis:1997-2415
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2011
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:55
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/2415

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