The Windrush scandal involved the detaining, denying of human rights and the threatening of deportation to a number of British Citizens of Caribbean decent that were part of the ‘Windrush generation’ of Caribbean immigration following the Second World War. The scandal was linked to Theresa May’s own 'hostile environment' policy aimed at curbing immigration in the UK. New Home Secretary Sajid Javid renamed the policy the ‘compliant environment’ policy in the wake of the scandal, but fell short of reviewing the policy itself.
Former Home Office employees have spoken out against government attempts to downplay the significance of both government policy and the destruction of landing cards leading directly to this particular scandal, pointing out that they often used landing cards to verify members of the Windrush Generation. These whistleblowers similarly spoke of their deep concerns over a change in the way the Home Office and immigration case workers handle immigration applicants following recent regulation changes. The attitude of case workers seems to have changed from looking at each person's case with sympathy and discretion to a sort of “gotcha attitude” in which officers attempted to catch out applicants to fail their application. This change of attitudes seems to prevail despite government assertions to the contrary, leading Daniel Ashwell, a senior caseworker at a migrant centre in Wolverhampton, to believe “this [scandal] is just the tip of the iceberg example of the whole immigration system” .
Harsh immigration rhetoric and proposed plans to make it easier for the government to remove citizenship from British nationals have come to light following another recent citizenship scandal involving Shamima Begum, a British wife of an ISIS terrorist who wishes to return to the UK to raise her child. This could see policies such as the hostile environment policy be made to look like friendly treatment as the government uses Brexit, terrorism and changing moods in British politics as an excuse to remove rights from British citizens as it sees fit. If these plans go ahead post-Brexit migrants face a very hostile environment indeed.