Chapter 2 End-of-chapter question guidance

Policy, politics, and the media

1. Under what conditions is it possible to make immigration policy in a way that is truly democratically accountable. Is this desirable?

You might consider the mechanisms of accountability to the public that are presently used, whether or not these are formally part of government. What does accountability mean? Does it mean giving information, allowing for input into policy-making, setting up mechanisms whereby information can be obtained on the initiative of the public, or what?

If you want to go further into the politics of the question, you could consider different models of democracy. Does putting a cross on a ballot paper and having an MP speak in Parliament fulfil conditions for democracy?

How is public opinion formed? Is this the correct basis for determining immigration policy? If not, by what right or authority can any alternative be relied upon?

2. What elements would you like to see in a code of practice for the media on reporting on immigration and asylum issues?

Bear in mind the right to freedom of expression and to impart information and the rights and freedoms of those who are the subject of reporting.

 

Additional questions

3. How should immigration policy be made? Should there be any considerations or forms of consultation that are different from ordinary policy-making?

For example, would you have special consideration or special consultations for the legitimate or established expectations of residents of the country who are the family members of proposed immigrants, or for the views expressed on behalf of immigrant communities? 

What might be the practical issues if you did have such special processes?

4. Does a country have a duty to right the wrongs of its history through its immigration and asylum policies?

How would you decide what such wrongs were?

If you did decide to deal with them through immigration and asylum policy, how would you justify that for people who disagreed?

5. What have the main messages of media publicity about immigration issues been in the past two years?

How do you think the different media have decided what to focus on, and what do you think they have been trying to achieve? Identify some interest groups and what they call for.

How far and how quickly do you think the media have influenced public opinion or government policy?