Juggling a "parallel welfare system": local government responses to migrants' locked out of the welfare safety net

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Over two million people in the UK are impacted by the ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ (NRPF) policy, an immigration policy restricting access to the mainstream social security and welfare system. Many people impacted by this policy are long-term UK residents who have regularised their status and are locked out of the welfare safety net, with limited avenues for support. Whilst the NRPF policy excludes many migrants from the welfare safety net, local government have been described as providing a “parallel welfare system” (Price & Spencer, 2015) funded by local rather than central government for vulnerable destitute migrants, locked out of the mainstream welfare safety net in the UK. Drawing on a mixed methods study including fieldwork with local government, NGOs and people with lived experience of the NRPF policy, this paper will present findings on local government approaches to providing a “parallel welfare system” for vulnerable, destitute migrants, including supporting them to regularise their status, and will unpack how this system is justified, administered, and how it could be improved.

Zoom link: zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAkf—trDgoG9XRsWVJzXOeZf2ZRDMRTLxu