Eastern Eye (UK)
‘Racist’ hostile environment
A GOVERNMENT review into the Home Office’s hostile environment policies has revealed that it had disproportionately affected people of colour in UK.
Indians, Pakistanis, Nigerians and Bangladeshis were most likely to be affected by these policies rather than Albanians and Brazilians who are the top five nationalities residing illegally in the UK, the Guardian reported.
In 2012, then home secretary Theresa May said, “The aim is to create, here in Britain, a really hostile environment for illegal immigrants.”
The Home Office wanted to limit access to work, benefits, bank accounts, driving licences and other essential services for illegal migrants.
An earlier review of the Home Office’s handling of the Windrush scandal proposed a full review of the policy which was rebranded as a compliant environment.
According to the assessment published last Thursday (9), “It would initially appear that data indicates migrants impacted by the compliant environment are more likely to be from one of a select number of nationalities rather than a wide-range, and may also be more likely to be of south-east Asian or black ethnicity.”
“We note that of the top five nationalities impacted, most are identifiable as being from/ of brown or black heritage and all five are visibly not white,” the assessment added.
Albanian, Indian, Pakistani, Brazilian and Chinese were the nationalities most commonly found to be illegally present in the UK in 2019.
However, Indian, Pakistani, and Nigerian nationals, who accounted for over a third of the temporary migrant population, were impacted by datasharing between government departments to regulate access to work, benefits and services under the policy.
Following the publication of the equality impact assessment, the Joint Council for the Welfare of immigrants (JCWI) termed the policies as “racist”.