By Prakash Shah, Prakash Shah
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Additional resources for Refugees, Race and the Concept of Asylum
More focused studies of immigration law have reinforced the view that the racial composition of the UK has been uppermost in the minds of policy makers. Sanjiv Sachdeva’s (1993) account of the ‘primary purpose rule’ in British immigration law leaves no doubt about that in the area of family reunification for South Asian spouses since the 1960s. An analysis of the development of British attitudes towards decolonisation in Hong Kong similarly shows that a paramount consideration was the maintenance of a fictive racial purity in Britain, in line with Norman Tebbit’s views (Menski, 1995).
Bevan (1986, p 11), for example, is forthright in saying that: ‘Racial purity is frequently defended in terms of the necessary homogeneity of the host society. ’ Legal practitioners, in particular Macdonald and Blake (1991, pp 8–19), also acknowledge that immigration legislation in the UK has generally been crucially informed by racial considerations. More focused studies of immigration law have reinforced the view that the racial composition of the UK has been uppermost in the minds of policy makers.
7 Refugees, Race and the Legal Concept of Asylum in Britain events as they are seen to be, rather than planned development. Whatever the underlying reasons for control, there is no doubt that extensive control of entry into and residence in the UK is here to stay. Jackson thus avoids dealing with the uncomfortable issue of race although successive studies have already amassed a considerable amount of material to demonstrate its key role in informing the law and practice of immigration control. The question of asylum increasingly began to assume a prominent part in publications on British immigration law particularly since the early 1980s (see Grant and Martin, 1982, pp 322–46; Supperstone, 1982, pp 84–85, 111–12; Macdonald, 1983, pp 237–47).