1. Exquisite Tweets from @monlouhawk, @omaromalleykhan, @jwahjwah, @vonbladet

    PreoccupationsCollected by Preoccupations

    Thread on why @theresa_may's Hostile Environment policy could potentially work in the Netherlands but cannot possibly work in the UK.

    And why @David_Goodhart (of Anywheres vs Somewheres) is fundamentally wrong about ID cards.

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    monlouhawk

    Monique Hawkins

    The STATED objective of the Hostile Environment is to remove illegal immigrants.

    I'll try and explain why in fact this is impossible in the UK, and rather the ACTUAL objective of the Hostile Environment is to make life hell for UNDOCUMENTED people. ANY undocumented people.

    Reply Retweet Like

    monlouhawk

    Monique Hawkins

    Two facts first that we need to agree on.

    First, a crucial one - in order to remove illegal immigrants, you need to be able to distinguish not just between illegal immigrants and legal IMMIGRANTS, but between illegal immigrants and legal CITIZENS.

    The difference is NOT trivial.

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    monlouhawk

    Monique Hawkins

    Second fact you need to know is that this decision of distinguishing between illegal immigrants and legal citizens is not just taken once centrally, but, BY DESIGN it is to be taken by all landlords, healthcare providers, banks, employers, DWP, education establishments.

    Reply Retweet Like

    monlouhawk

    Monique Hawkins

    So how do landlords, employers, healthcare providers etc make this decision to distinguish between illegal immigrants and legal citizens?

    Reply Retweet Like

    monlouhawk

    Monique Hawkins

    Employers can face unlimited fines and 5 years jail sentence if they fail to distinguish between an illegal immigrant and a legal citizen.

    gov.uk/penalties-for-…

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    monlouhawk

    Monique Hawkins

    Here is the simple guide to help employers distinguish between illegal immigrants and legal citizens. It's only 25 pages long.

    assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/upl…

    Reply Retweet Like

    monlouhawk

    Monique Hawkins

    Landlords can face unlimited fines and 5 years jail sentence if they fail to distinguish between an illegal immigrant and a legal citizen.

    gov.uk/penalties-ille…

    Reply Retweet Like

    monlouhawk

    Monique Hawkins

    Here is the simple guide to help landlords distinguish between illegal immigrants and legal citizens. It's only 39 pages long.

    assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/upl…

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    monlouhawk

    Monique Hawkins

    As far as I'm aware, I don't think NHS employees can face fines or jail sentences for treating illegal immigrants. Perhaps Theresa May is still building up the courage for that one.

    The NHS is merely under huge financial pressure.

    Reply Retweet Like

    monlouhawk

    Monique Hawkins

    But here is the simple guide to help NHS employees distinguish between illegal immigrants and legal citizens. This one is only 118 pages long.

    assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/upl…

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    monlouhawk

    Monique Hawkins

    They all have to be immigration experts and check for illegal immigrants.

    You can check EU citizens for EU passports (for now at least, that's enough).
    You can check non-UK/EU citizens for e.g. proof of leave to remain.
    But what about those who claim they're not EU or non-UK/EU?

    Reply Retweet Like

    monlouhawk

    Monique Hawkins

    In other words, what about British citizens? After all, if you're worried about checking foreigners, then non-foreigners will need to prove that they're not foreigners.

    (For a bit of diversion, I would HIGHLY recommend The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss).

    csun.edu/~sm60012/GRCS-…

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    monlouhawk

    Monique Hawkins

    So, to check the "non-foreigners", "one of us", "not one of them" category, there's a variety of acceptable documents - including a British passport (though note! the NHS guidance says that's not in itself enough for being eligible for NHS treatment), or birth certificate.

    Reply Retweet Like

    monlouhawk

    Monique Hawkins

    This is where the system starts falling down.

    What about British citizens who don't have a British passport? Or whose birth certificate doesn't show they were born in the UK?

    Reply Retweet Like

    monlouhawk

    Monique Hawkins

    This is of course the group that includes the Windrush generation that thanks to the wonderful journalism of @ameliagentleman (who has been writing about this for MONTHS) most people are now aware of, and horrified about.

    Reply Retweet Like

    monlouhawk

    Monique Hawkins

    But hold on - why particularly the Windrush generation? Why not other British citizens who struggle with documentation?

    Well…. occasionally it does also catch out British citizens born here - see this case from last year.

    msn.com/en-gb/news/ukn…

    Reply Retweet Like

    monlouhawk

    Monique Hawkins

    But on the whole, it's much easier to find stories of foreigners caught out by the Hostile Environment - see this @the3million page for just a few.

    the3million.org.uk/hostile-enviro…

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    monlouhawk

    Monique Hawkins

    I think the answer lies in the fact that many service providers really struggle with these complex guidances. They may want to ignore them altogether. But the fines are scarily high if they "knowingly" employ / let to illegal immigrants, and the NHS is under financial pressure.

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    monlouhawk

    Monique Hawkins

    So what do they do? To avoid of being accused of "unknowingly" emplying/letting to/treating illegals, they pick out people who they "suspect" of being foreign, and check them. How do you do that?

    You go for accent, you go for skin colour.

    Reply Retweet Like

    monlouhawk

    Monique Hawkins

    This research by JCWI backs this up:

    "27% [of landlords] are reluctant to engage with those with foreign accents or names. Checks are not being undertaken uniformly for all tenants, but are instead directed at individuals who appear ‘foreign’."

    jcwi.org.uk/sites/default/…

    Reply Retweet Like

    monlouhawk

    Monique Hawkins

    This is why what Prince Charles said WAS SO IMPORTANT.

    "After being introduced to the prince, she says he asked where she was from. When she replied "Manchester ", he reportedly quipped "Well, you don't look like it", before laughing and walking away."

    independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-n…

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    monlouhawk

    Monique Hawkins

    Anyway, back to my original statement that this ingenious scheme called Hostile Environment could work in the Netherlands, but is fatally flawed in the UK.

    Reply Retweet Like

    monlouhawk

    Monique Hawkins

    In the Netherlands (and other countries, but I'll talk about the one I know about), everyone registers with the community you live in. If you move from say Rotterdam to The Hague, you deregister from Rotterdam, and then you re-register in The Hague.

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    monlouhawk

    Monique Hawkins

    EVERYONE has to register with their community. Not just foreigners. Not just EU citizens. Not just adults. EVERYONE.

    It's not an ID card, and it's not something to be carried at all times. Nothing like that. It's just a registration.

    Reply Retweet Like

    monlouhawk

    Monique Hawkins

    When someone from outside the Netherlands arrives in the Netherlands, they do the same - and obviously can only go on the register if they're entitled to do so.

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    monlouhawk

    Monique Hawkins

    So, in the Netherlands they can check easily whether someone is entitled to work, rent, healthcare etc. Really easy. Landlords, employers, healthcare providers don't have to be immigration experts. There's no "them and us". EVERYONE is on the register.

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    monlouhawk

    Monique Hawkins

    @David_Goodhart completely misses the point when he says on Newsnight that giving foreigners biometric ID cards would solve things.

    No it wouldn't because what about CITIZENS who don't have these biometric ID cards?

    How do you prove you don't need one?

    Reply Retweet Like

    monlouhawk

    Monique Hawkins

    There's a fundamental paradox at the heart of the Hostile Environment policy.

    Opposition to any mandatory registration for ALL, and an obsession with getting immigration down AT ALL COSTS.

    And see this article for the tip of the human cost iceberg. /End

    Reply Retweet Like

    monlouhawk

    Monique Hawkins

    monlouhawk

    Monique Hawkins

  2. There are 9 million people without passports in the UK, hardly a trivial number. And as you say, only some for those 9 million are likely to be asked for proof of British ID

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  3. Excellent thread, clearly explained. Like everyone else, I had to register locally in Germany & Netherlands when I lived there, also in France where I had a house, but didn’t live there. Simple system. Cheaper to run than hostile environment. Non-divisive too.

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    jwahjwah

    Chris #RevokeA50 #BitchesAgainstBrexit #FBPE

  4. My Dutch employers asked for and retain on file, as they insist they are required to by law, a photocopy of my passport.

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    vonbladet

    Squiffy-Marie “Des” von Bladet

  5. I think I may have mistakenly oversimplified the situation in NL.

    But the UK doesn't even know who's here (not even their own citizens), yet through ideology introduce a policy requiring citizens to ask other citizens for "their papers", resulting in widespread discrimination.

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    monlouhawk

    Monique Hawkins

  6. Oh, I am also British. But the Dutch registration system did make it *really* easy to apply for Dutch nationality when the time came...

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    vonbladet

    Squiffy-Marie “Des” von Bladet