The cross party consensus that “Something Must Be Done” is very welcome. The problem is that there is no quick fix. Short thread. 1/?
2/? The problem originated because previous system of Commonwealth citizenship and free movement was ending and status was conferred by law on people to safeguard them, but they did not acquire papers at that time. Explainer: freemovement.org.uk/why-caribbean-…
3/ For decades those people did not need papers and no one bit racists questioned their right to be here or that they “belonged”. That changed under Home Secretary Theresa May when she introduced what she called the “hostile environment”.
4/ Since 1996 employers had to check employee immigration papers *in theory*. New laws in 2006 started to enforce this with big fines. But these privatised immigration checks were still limited in scope.
5/ In 2012 T May announced the “hostile environment” and brought it into law with Immigration Acts 2014 and 2016. Now landlords, banks and public servants had to do “papers, please” checks on other citizens. Explainer: freemovement.org.uk/hostile-enviro…
6/ At same time immigration fees have been ramped up 20% per year to astronomical levels, rules made more Byzantine and raids in workplaces, colleges and streets have been more visible. All to deter migrants coming and encourage them to leave to try to meet net migration target.
7/ It is this hostile environment that has cut off the Windrush generation from employment, housing, healthcare and more. Home Office requires proof of residence since 1973 they simply do not have.
8/ Home Office is paranoid that non-entitled migrants might benefit from rules so requires super strict proof. Officials worry that people are lying about their long term residence, basically.
9/ So the idea of an “amnesty” is a non starter. These people are lawfully resident *if they can prove they are entitled*. They don’t need an amnesty. The problem is 1. They are being asked for proof because of hostile environment and 2. The level of proof is totally unrealistic
Thanks for this. I’m still promoting the petition even with the word ‘amnesty’ just because I don’t know any other way to show there’s a large number of us who object to what’s being done. Wish I knew what else we could do specifically for the Windrush people right now.