Commonwealth or “Windrush” nationals are being caught out by the Government’s cruel “hostile environment” policy. For years, this policy has purposefully denied migrants access to services like the NHS, employment and bank accounts, pushing them into destitution and putting them are risk of trafficking.
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Case Study: Michael Braithwaite
Michael Braithwaite has lived in the UK for more than 50 years. He had been working at a primary school for 15 years when a routine check on his immigration status revealed he didn’t have the right documents. He was fired. For two years Michael tried to get the Home Office to acknowledge that he is in Britain legally. It was only after huge public outrage that the Home Office finally gave Michael his Biometric Residence Permit.
Michael’s story is not unusual and it was not accident. This happened to Michael because of Theresa May’s so-called 'hostile environment'.
The policy requires everyone to show documentation to access basic services like NHS care, rent property and open bank accounts – as a way to meet the government's arbitrary net migration target. The policy asks landlords, doctors, nurses and employers to check everyone’s immigration status.
Migration checks can affect any of us, but migrants and ethnic minorities are most regularly targeted by the Home Office. The policy causes unacceptable consequences. It ruins people’s lives and puts them at risk of destitution and can even increase the risk of modern slavery.
But what's most concerning is that there is no evidence that the policy works.
The public can no longer trust that the Home Office can function effectively and fairly.
That's why we are calling for an independent commission into the behaviour of the Home Office and its hostile environment. It is the only way that the rights of the Windrush migrants, and everyone else who may unwittingly be caught up in Theresa May’s hostile environment, can be protected.
Ask your MP to attend the debate taking place on 30th April between 4.00pm and 7.00pm in Parliament on “Windrush” nationals and add their name to Early Day Motion 1182 tabled by Caroline Lucas MP. It is vital that MPs stand up against the “hostile environment” and show the strength of support for an Independent Commission to review Home Office policies and practice.
As a member of your constituency, I am writing to you about the ongoing plight of Commonwealth or “Windrush” nationals which has drawn stark attention to the Government’s cruel “hostile environment” policy.
The policy, which bars migrants from accessing vital services including NHS treatment, banking and employment, is having a devastating impact on the lives of migrants and BME communities living in the UK. What’s more, the policy places responsibility for border enforcement on doctors, nurses, teachers and employers. All without evidence that the policy is working.
The Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration recently highlighted the Home Office’s failure to properly monitor and evaluate the scheme, but his recommendations were ignored. JCWI’s “dossier of failure” also documents the Home Office’s failure to heed multiple warnings about the impact of the ‘hostile environment’.
Please stand up for the rights of migrants who have fallen foul of the Government’s “hostile environment” policy by attending the debate taking place in Westminster Hall on 30th April between 4.00pm and 7.00pm. The debate follows the successful Parliamentary petition which passed the 100,000 mark, showing the strength of support from the general public.
I also ask that you add your name to EDM 1182, tabled by Caroline Lucas MP, which calls for an Independent Commission to review Home Office policies and practice in light of the “Windrush” scandal.
If you are attending, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and let JCWI know that you will be standing up for migrants.
I look forward to your response.