Amber Rudd may have resigned, the hostile environment — rebranded ‘compliant environment’ — has not gone away and could still turn lives upside down.
Remember our visit to Brussels last week when we briefed Guy Verhofstadt and the European Parliament on the Home Office’s new app for settled status and the hostile environment? As a result, he and MEPs jointly wrote to new Home Secretary Sajid Javid, raising our concerns regarding EU citizens’ rights:
The letter makes a clear link to the Windrush scandal and expresses concerns that a similar situation may arise for EU citizens, especially the most vulnerable and hard to reach. The UK Government denies this will be the case.
MEPs also repeated our demands for alternative local face to face arrangements and for family applications when implementing the new immigration scheme.
They also raised the crucial issue of data protection, which brings me to our most important issue today, for which we need your help.
CALL TO ACTION:
ASK YOUR MP TO PROTECT YOUR ACCESS TO DATA
We have seen some shocking revelations about the Home Office over the last few weeks, for instance targets for removing illegal immigrants which have wrongly and badly affected people who have been living here legally, such as citizens of the Windrush generation, and even British citizens.
Amber Rudd may have resigned but the hostile environment has not gone away, whether it is rebranded ‘compliant environment’ or something else: a simple error in an application to stay in the UK, or not having the right paperwork, could turn your life upside down.
Access to data means access to justice — that is why it is vital that people can have access to the information held about them by the Home Office so they can correct mistakes and launch appeals.
The Data Protection Bill now going through contains an exemption for immigration cases that will prevent this access An amendment to the Bill proposes to remove to remove this exemption, and the third reading in the coming days will be the last chance to influence the process.
Take a minute to ask your MP to vote for Amendment 15 to the Data Protection Bill, and let them know you are concerned about your rights. It won't take long using our template.
Our strength is in our numbers so don’t be complacent and tell your MP to show their support to EU citizens and vote for the amendment.
If your MP is a conservative, do make the point that our lives matter more than party politics and their support would be greatly appreciated by all those who believe that EU citizens should stay after Brexit (which is over 80% of the population).
Finally, we need your support more than ever. Last November, the3million incorporated as a limited company with guarantee, and we opened the organisation to members in March.
If you have become a member, you will receive your first exclusive members’ bulletin next week, introducing you to the team and presenting our vision for 2018 to 2020 (my sincere apology for the delay).
If you haven’t joined yet, please do become a member of the3million to support EU citizens in the UK. We could not carry on our fight for justice without you.
Alternatively, you can also donate online. One-off donations are important, as they enable volunteers to attend meetings in Westminster and in Brussels. We are planning another mini-mass lobby of the European Parliament in June to increase the scrutiny of the Withdrawal Agreement on points such as data protection and access to justice for all applicant to settled status and we need to raise £1,000 for it.
To be continued...🔷
PS: - Please become a member of the3million today. - While the campaign intensifies, we must continue to fight for our rights, alongside our friends in British in Europe. If you can donate, please continue to do so so that our team of full time volunteers can be supported to continue this crucial work.
- Join the3million mailing list today to receive the latest news about the3million and the campaign for all EU citizens living in the EU to retain their existing rights after Brexit.
(This piece was originally published on the3million newsletter.)