Anti-racism / Hostile environment

Liberty calls for end to hostile environment as Immigration Bill returns

Posted on 18 May 2020

Liberty, the human rights organisation, has called for the Government to use the Immigration Bill as a chance to end the hostile environment and redesign the UK’s immigration system, as the Bill returns to Parliament today for its second reading.

Gracie Bradley, Liberty policy and campaigns manager, said: “The coronavirus has shone a spotlight on how the UK’s two tiered system is rigged to help some and shut others out. Migrants and people of colour have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic – not least because of the hostile environment which embeds border controls in the heart of our public services and communities. If you’re an undocumented migrant these brutal policies not only prevent you from accessing healthcare – but also sending your children to school, going to work, opening bank accounts, accessing benefits or getting a drivers’ licences.

“It’s impossible to have a hostile environment which doesn’t result in human rights abuses – and expanding it is nothing to be proud of. The Government could use this Bill as an opportunity for redemption, to learn the lessons of the pandemic, and to ensure there’s no repeat of Windrush. But it will only achieve that by ending the hostile environment and redesigning the immigration system so that humanity, dignity and respect sits at its core.”

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