NEW BOOK. The UK Border Regime – a critical guide

by Corporate Watch | 23rd October 2018 11:13 am

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The UK Border Regime: a critical guide is now out.


This brings together Corporate Watch’s recent research on the “hostile environment” against migrants in the UK, and the companies that profit from it. It also includes a lot of new research and analysis, and looks at the history of recent migration struggles in the UK, asking what has been effective.


You can download it for free here[1]. And you can order paper copies here in Corporate Watch’s online shop[2]. (It will be in bookshops soon too).


“We will be glad to send copies for free to asylum seekers and other people without papers. For other people and groups fighting the border regime, we can send at cost price or whatever you can afford to donate. Email us on contact[AT]”


The UK Border Regime


Throughout history, human beings have migrated. To escape war, oppression and poverty, to make a better life, to follow their own dreams. But since the start of the 20th century, modern governments have found ever more vicious ways to stop people moving freely.


The UK border regime includes the razor wire fences at Calais, the limbo of the asylum system, and the open violence of raids and deportations. Alongside the Home Office, it includes the companies running databases and detention centres, the media pushing hate speech, and the politicians posturing to win votes. It keeps on escalating, through Tony Blair’s war on refugees to Theresa May’s “hostile environment”[3], spreading fear and division.


This book describes and analyses the UK’s system of immigration controls. It looks at how it has developed through recent history, the different actors involved, and how people resist. The aim is to help understand the border regime, and ask how we can fight it effectively.


You can read the introduction and summary of the book here[4].

And see the full table of contents below.


Table of Contents

Introduction, Acknowledgements, Summary


Part One: Background
1. A brief history of the UK border regime
2. The Home Office: an overview
3. Sorting people
4. What is the border regime?


Part Two: Control
5. In limbo: reporting, dispersal, destitution
6. Immigration raids
7. Detention
8. Deportation
9. Calais (the ultimate “hostile environment”)
10. The “hostile environment”: making a nation of border cops
11. Hostile data
12. The logic of hostility: how collaboration works
13. Does immigration control work? The deterrent dogma


Part Three: Consent
14. Public opinion: target publics
15. Media: communication power
16. Politicians
17. Corporate power
18. Agitators
19. Anxiety engine


Part Four: How can we fight it?
20. Fighting the border regime



Annex 1. Border profiteers: list of major Home Office immigration contracts
Annex 2. Border profiteers: company mini-profiles (G4S, Serco, Mitie, GEO, Carlson Wagonlit, Titan Airways)
Further reading



Corporate Watch[5]


Corporate Watch is a not-for-profit co-operative providing critical information on the social and environmental impacts of corporations and capitalism.


Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License[6].




UK Border Regime: Detention Centres briefing October 2018[7]


As you read this, around 2,000 people are locked up without trial or time limit in the Home Office’s immigration detention centres.


UK Border Regime: a brief history of resistance to immigration detention[8]


Detention centres have always been amongst the most active sites of migrant struggle in the UK. Inside, resistance takes numerous forms: small everyday acts of refusal and solidarity, sit-in protests and hunger strikes, escapes, and sometimes major outbreaks of revolt. The most famous of these was the Yarl’s Wood uprising[9] in 2002, which permanently destroyed half of the new centre just a few months after it opened.

  1. download it for free here:
  2. Corporate Watch’s online shop:
  3. “hostile environment”:
  4. introduction and summary of the book here:
  5. Corporate Watch:
  6. Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License:
  7. October 2018:
  8. a brief history of resistance to immigration detention:
  9. Yarl’s Wood uprising:

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