Coronavirus: migrants’ rights
Since 2010 the Government has embedded immigration control into every aspect of life. The ‘hostile environment’ aims to make life as unbearable as possible for undocumented migrants by blocking access to public services and pushing them into extreme poverty.
The cornerstone of the hostile environment are data-sharing deals between vital public services and Immigration Enforcement so that undocumented people who access healthcare or report crimes to the police can be targeted for deportation. This has a devastating impact on an already marginalised community.
Many people are still too afraid to seek medical care in case their details are passed to immigration enforcement.
The Home Office says everyone will receive free treatment for coronavirus, but because data-sharing between the Home Office and NHS Trusts hasn’t stopped – and undocumented people will still have to pay massive fees for any other kind of treatment – many people are still too fearful of seeking medical care in the middle of this public health crisis.
Thousands of people are also locked up in immigration detention centres every year in the UK where there is no access to satisfactory healthcare. For those currently held in detention, there is no adequate plan.
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