Daniel Halliday
Nov 20 · Last update 2 mo. ago.
What lead to the Windrush Scandal and what will it mean for post-Brexit migrants in the UK?
This political scandal involved the mistreatment of migrants in the UK, are problems such as this likely to continue with European migrants when Britain leaves the European Union in 2019?
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The UK’s hostile environment policy
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The disorganised nature of Brexit will likely raise many more similar issues
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Destruction of landing cards, a problem that cannot repeat itself
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The UK’s hostile environment policy

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” [1].

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.

[1] theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/apr/18/whistleblowers-contradict-no-10-over-destroyed-windrush-landing-cards theguardian.com/politics/2018/oct/07/sajid-javid-taking-uk-down-dangerous-road-by-expanding-citizenship-stripping

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Daniel Halliday
Feb 26
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DH edited this paragraph
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.
The disorganised nature of Brexit will likely raise many more similar issues

Due to the ferocity with which immigration is being handled and spoken about in the UK and Europe it is likely that scandals such as this will increase in frequency as the country moves forward with Britain's exit of the European Union. The Windrush Scandal was in essence the fault of a hasty, badly thought out policy change to address the public outcry against the government’s immigration stance. As the public’s attitude seems to have changed little since, and so many decisions remain unresolved so close to the Brexit deal deadline, it is most likely that more will suffer unforeseen immigration issues due to the hasty policy-making being made to rush a failing deal through.

The problems with UK immigration policy are not limited to the Windrush scandal though, with a strategy to target asylum seekers that had already been granted refugee status and even the deportation of a pregnant rape victim in 2017; it is clear there are immigration policy problems in the UK. As control of migration is such a popular and misunderstood talking point in the country, it is likely the government will continue to interpret this with further heavy handed immigration policymaking following Brexit. As Brexit was decided mainly over the issue of European immigration to the UK, it is likely that this issue will repeat or continue especially considering the failure of Home Secretary Sajid Javid to fix broken policy; it may take a new government before this issue can really be properly addressed.

newstatesman.com/2017/12/how-theresa-may-s-hostile-environment-created-underworld progressonline.org.uk/2019/01/09/hostile-environment-alive-well

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Daniel Halliday
Feb 11
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DH edited this paragraph
https://www.newstatesman.com/2017/12/how-theresa-may-s-hostile-environment-created-underworld http://www.progressonline.org.uk/2019/01/09/hostile-environment-alive-well/
Destruction of landing cards, a problem that cannot repeat itself

The 2018 Windrush scandal transpired as a result of a 2009 Home Office decision to destroy the landing cards of those who entered the UK as part of the Windrush generation, without any replacement documentation put in place to prove arrival details. To address the scandal apologies from UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Prime Minister Theresa May were made before Amber Rudd stepped down from office. This was followed by policy change, the awarding of compensation, and the removal of fees and language tests for citizenship applications for future Windrush applicants.

In an interview with the BBC in 2018 Home Secretary Sajid Javid said that the government believe only 63 people were wrongfully deported, half of them being convicted criminals. The other half the government is actively trying to seek out to repatriate and compensate. Over time there cannot be more similar windrush issues as this resulted from the destruction of proof of entry to the country, so the number of people affected will inevitably decrease over time. As the UK government have attempted to close this loophole, if immigration scandals occur post-Brexit they will be of a very different nature to this one.

metro.co.uk/2018/06/03/government-still-not-totally-sure-many-windrush-victims-deported-7601074

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Daniel Halliday
Feb 10
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DH edited this paragraph
In an interview with the BBC in 2018 Home Secretary Sajid Javid said that the government believe only 63 people were wrongfully deported, half of them being convicted criminals. The other half the government is actively trying to seek out to repatriate and compensate. Over time there cannot be more similar windrush issues as this resulted from the destruction of proof of entry to the country, so the number of people affected will inevitably decrease over time. As the UK government have attempted to close this loophole, if immigration scandals occur post-Brexit they will be of a very different nature to this one.
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