5 things you can do to fight back against the hostile environment
The recent scandal around the Windrush generation has exposed the true extent of the inhumanity underpinning the government’s immigration policy. Under the government’s hostile environment policy, people living here a lifetime have been harassed, sacked, arrested and even deported. But as well as demanding justice for the Windrush generation, we need to go further. Thousands of people continue to be denied their basic needs, such as healthcare, housing and employment. We must fight back against the hostile environment in its entirety.
Here are some steps you can take to do so:
1. Campaign online
If we want to make Britain a safe and welcoming place for everyone, we must end the whole hostile environment. Add your name to Global Justice Now’s demand to the Home Secretary calling for her to put an immediate end to this policy for all immigrants in the UK. You can write to Sajid Javid here.
2. Get writing and spread the word
We need to send a strong message to decision makers that opposition to the hostile environment exists right across society. You can help do this by writing to your local paper and ensure that the no one can ignore the inhumane reality of this government policy. You can find a template letter here.
3. Get borders out of the NHS
One of the cruellest and most dangerous parts of the hostile environment is that it has introduced immigration checks into the NHS, including sharing patient data with the Home Office, which deters people from seeking essential health care. You can ask your GP surgery to become a ‘Safe Surgery’ to make sure that all patients, including those from migrant and refugee backgrounds, have access to safe and confidential health care. You can download a Safe Surgery’s tool kit prepared by Doctors of the World here.
You can also support the #StopSharing campaign from Liberty and Doctors of the World who are demanding an end to the sharing of confidential data between the NHS and Home Office. You can sign their petition here.
And, if you work in healthcare yourself, join the Docs Not Cops #PatientsNotPassports campaign to resist immigration checks and charges in health facilities. Sign up to Docs not Cops campaign here.
4. Get together
How about coming together with others in your area to organise a local event to spread awareness of the hostile environment and make sure your town or city remains welcome to migrants? The Haringey Welcome project, with support from Migrants Organise, is a fantastic example of where a group of people came together and got organised in one local London borough to resist the hostile environment locally. You can read more about them here and get inspired for what you could organise in your local area.
There are already groups around the country who are keen to organise public meetings on the hostile environment and explore ways to organise locally. If you would like to find out more or get involved, contact our national organiser at firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Get informed
A detailed guide to the hostile environment has recently been compiled by a network of different groups who work on many of the aspects of the hostile environment. The guide can be downloaded from Liberty’s website here.
Global Justice Now has also written a short introductory briefing on the hostile environment explaining why this is an issue of global justice. The briefing is available here.
Photo: Nick Youngson/Alpha Stock Images CC BY-SA 3.0 (modified)