Will EU nationals be the latest Victims of the “Hostile Environment” Policy
During Theresa May’s time as Secretary of State for the Home Department, measures were taken to create a “hostile environment” policy for those who do not have the right to reside in the United Kingdom. The basic principle behind this policy is to force people to prove their right to reside within the United Kingdom. This included renting a home, accessing healthcare or applying for a driving licence. This essentially meant public and private sector workers became enforcers of immigration control.
The latest victims of the hostile environment policy were the Wind Rush Generation.
The Windrush Generation refers to the people who arrived in the United Kingdom after the Second World War from Caribbean countries by invitation of the British Government.
Approximately 50,000 people face the risk of deportation if they had failed to regularise their stay or if they do not have the evidence/documentation to prove it. Many children who had been travelling on their parent’s passport had never formally naturalised. These children had assumed they were British and therefore did not apply for passports. The Home Office had failed to keep a record of the people who were entering the United Kingdom and granted leave to remain to those who had been living continuously in the country since before 1 January 1973
A new Home Office team has been deployed who are dedicated to ensuring that Commonwealth-born long-term UK residents would no longer find themselves classified as being in the UK illegally.
Are EU citizens the next victims?
There are approximately 3.6 million EU nationals who live in the UK. The Home Office, in light of Brexit, have the task of processing applications and granting them settlement, allowing them to continue working and living their lives in the United Kingdom.
“There are large numbers of EU migrants who a few years from now are quite likely to fall into the same trap as the Windrush migrants unless the ‘hostile environment’ policy is changed,” said Robert Ford, a professor of political science at the University of Manchester.
Professor Robert Ford goes on to state “That’s deportation, job loss, housing loss, and healthcare loss. That is what will happen to some people who are completely innocent five to ten years from now unless the policy changes.”
Former Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, stated that there is a “presumption in favour of granting status” which will allow caseworkers to efficiently process large number of applications, however the fear remains that some EU citizens will fail to register or provide sufficient documentation and fall victim of the “hostile environment” policy.
The new Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, has maintained that the treatment of the Windrush generation was a disgrace however views this as an anomaly and believes that the crackdown on illegal immigration must continue.
In order to avoid falling prey to the “hostile environment” policy, call our offices today and book an initial consultation with one of our immigration experts on 020 3503 0880 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org