Civics Citizenship

Citizenship and Belonging: Immigration and the Politics of by James Hampshire

By James Hampshire

James Hampshire explores the politics of immigration in postwar Britain and indicates how rules of race, demography and belonging intertwined to form immigration coverage. it's the first publication to give an explanation for immigration when it comes to the politics of demographic governance - how states deal with and control their populations - and offers a far wanted ancient context to present debates. moreover, the publication develops new views at the ways that racialized rules inspired politics and policy-making.

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Extra resources for Citizenship and Belonging: Immigration and the Politics of Demographic Governance in Postwar Britain (Migration, Minorities and Citizenship)

Sample text

In June, the Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury and several hundred Jamaican immigrants disembarked to make a new life in Britain; a month later, several miles upstream at Westminster, the British Nationality Act received Royal Assent. The 1948 British Nationality Act (BNA 1948) created the expansive citizenship category of Citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies (CUKC) which underlay and constrained subsequent immigration policy. The Act was not passed with immigration in mind however. It had a constitutional purpose, and was not expected to facilitate immigration from the Empire or Commonwealth.

77 The Attorney General, Sir Elwyn Jones, reported that the Government’s position in relation to international agreements was ‘difficult but not impossible’. 78 As these debates show, the distinction between citizenship and belonging was now an explicit rationale for immigration controls. Given the disagreements and potential difficulties, a final decision was deferred until the following week. In the meantime, efforts would be made to persuade President Kenyatta to control the amount of emigration from his country, the Indian and Pakistani Governments would be consulted and requested to assist, and the Home Secretary would report on further details relevant to his proposal.

55 These measures, which included the establishment of various advisory bodies as well as the provision of grants to local authorities with responsibility for immigrant groups, can be viewed as nascent attempts to render colonial immigrants as ‘belongers’ in the British national community. Although generally pursued with benign intent, the integrationist efforts were flawed in two important ways: firstly, since Britishness remained a racialized idea, there were limits to how ‘integrated’ colonial immigrants could become at this stage; and secondly, ‘integration’ was seen as very much a one-way street.

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