In 2012 Theresa May, then-Home Secretary, announced a new approach to immigration: to make Britain a “hostile environment” for people who have “no right to be here”. Imran Arif and Peninah Wangari-Jones’ report on the government’s ‘Hostile Environment policy’.

The introduction of compulsory ID checks in hospitals, is just one element. The plan is to make it even tougher for people under immigration rules to get a job, rent a flat, use a bank, drive a car, get medical treatment, send kids to school, or otherwise live a normal life.

The rationale, more or less, is: ‘if the government can’t actually seal tight the external borders, it can push unwanted “illegals” to leave, or deter others from coming in the first place, by making it near impossible to live a normal life.’

In October 2013, announcing the parliamentary bill that was to become the 2014 Act, Theresa May declared that its aim was: “to create a really hostile environment for illegal migrants”.

In the formal language of the act itself, the main aim is to “limit... access to services, facilities and employment by reference to immigration status”.

The Immigration Act 2016 made these measures harsher still, and added some new ones. However, in many areas the new policies and interventions do not involve new legislation, but internal changes in policy or approach by the Home Office and other government departments. Some of these are formalised in protocols, guidance documents, and Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) for cooperation between agencies. Others are informal shifts in practice.🔷

Read the entire report now:

Authors of the report:

Imran Arif is an Educator, Social Scientist, Academic Researcher, Activist and Racial Justice Network member. Imran is mainly based in Leeds and is interested in questioning foundations and dominant narratives to shift paradigms.

Peninah Wangari-Jones is an Activist, Organiser, Trainer, Public speaker on race and social injustice, Co-chair of Bradford Equality Forum and Co-ordinator of the Racial Justice Network. Based in Leeds and Bradford, Penny’s interests include: race, mental health, migration, colonialism, gender, marginalised communities, movement building, identity and intersections.

Embed from Getty Images

(This piece was first published on the Racial Justice Network website.)

(Cover: Wikimedia/ImmigrationEnfIO - A thin purple line (UK) patch as seen on an Immigration Enforcement uniform fleece.)