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'Go Home' - Mapping the Unfolding Controversy of Home Office Immigration Campaigns

Researchers

Hannah Jones (University of Warwick), Kirsten Forkert (Birmingham City University), various other institutions and organisations across the UK.

Background

This project, led by the University of Warwick, examined the impacts of the Home Office's immigration campaign, 'Go Home'. It was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council's Urgency Grants Mechanism, which is a scheme for research which responds to unforeseen or urgent events.

The 18-month project was carried out by researchers from across the UK and in conjunction with various partners and community groups. It was in response to the controversial Home Office 'Go Home' campaign in London which called on migrants with an insecure legal status to 'go home or face arrest'. This attracted much public attention and generated debate and activism both offline and online.

Kirsten Forkert's role as co-investigator of the project involved carrying out an ethnography of activism; online ethnography of the public debate around the van campaign, including Twitter as a site of struggle, and she also worked with community organisations in Birmingham to conduct focus groups and interviews. 

Findings

The primary finding from the research is that Government publicity campaigns that demonstrate ‘toughness’ on immigration cause a significant minority of people to become more worried about irregular migration. This includes people who are scared that they are being targeted – both migrants and British citizens – and people who are worried that migration is ‘out of control’.

For more of the findings and to read the full final report, visit the project website.

This project examined the impacts of the Home Office's immigration campaign, 'Go Home'.