Detention, Deportability and Article 8: Mixed immigration status families and the right to respect for family life

  • Griffiths, Melanie B E (Principal Investigator)
  • McAlinden, Sarah (Principal Investigator)

Project Details


Immigration Enforcement and Article 8 Rights: Mixed-Immigration Status Families
ESRC-funded research at the University of Bristol has examined the intersection of family life and immigration enforcement, for families consisting of ‘deportable’ foreign national men and their British or EEA-national partners and children. As a result of their irregular or precarious immigration status, the men in these ‘mixed-immigration status families’ are liable to immigration enforcement measures, such as a prohibition against employment, immigration detention and forced removal from the UK. Their partners and children, in contrast, are exempt from British immigration controls on the basis of their citizenship.

The research explores the juggling of immigration precariousness and family life, and the impact of immigration status insecurity and enforcement on whole families, including children and British and EEA citizens. The research also investigates changing policy constructs and evaluations of fathers, the family and 'genuine' relationships, as well as the impact of new legislation around deportation and Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (respect for one’s private and family life).

The project ran between 2014-17 and followed 30 mixed-immigration status families and couples. Additional interviews were conducted with ‘meso-level’ practitioners from state, NGO, private and legal sectors. Researchers also charted media and political rhetoric, and observed 30 immigration legal hearings, primarily deportation appeals and immigration bail hearings.

Project ethics:
Ethics clearance was obtained from the University of Bristol's Research Ethics Committee. Participation was voluntary and could be withdrawn at any point. Particular care and sensitivity was applied when interviewing individuals directly affected by the immigration system, following a specially-tailored ethics process. ‌

Research data files are stored securely on University of Bristol encrypted equipment and in line with the University’s data protection regulations. No sensitive information was recorded. All data has been anonymised and audio files deleted.

This project was funded by the ESRC under Grant number ES/K009370/1
Effective start/end date1/01/1431/12/17

Structured keywords

  • SPAIS Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship
  • Migration Mobilities Bristol


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