Since 2012, it has been an explicit aim of Government immigration policy to create a ‘hostile environment’ for anybody unable to demonstrate their immigration status on demand. From the ‘Go Home’ vans driven through ethnically diverse neighbourhoods to passport checks in hospitals and schools, the government has worked to create a climate of fear and hostility, criminalising and impoverishing those who may find themselves without the correct papers. These are the same policies that have seen long-term residents of the UK, including members of the Windrush Generation, denied healthcare and the right to work and even detained or deported illegally.
JCWI has long warned of the devastating consequences of these measures. And we’re working hard, with many others across the UK, to dismantle the Hostile Environment and fight for better, fairer policies. To achieve this, the Government must abolish the Hostile Environment in its entirety so everyone can live fully in society without fear of discrimination or criminalisation. This includes:
- Ensuring everyone has access to state support regardless of immigration status.
- Repealing the NHS Charging and data-sharing schemes.
- Repealing discriminatory right to rent and work checks.
- Ending restrictions on bank accounts and driving licenses.
- Ending immigration raids.
- Ending cooperation and data sharing between Immigration Enforcement and police, local authorities, and public services.