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Home News The human impact of Theresa May’s hostile environment policies

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Author: May Bulman

The outcry over the Windrush scandal has unearthed the devastating effect of the government’s self-proclaimed “hostile” immigration policies on some Caribbean migrants who were welcomed into the country before 1971.

While individuals from this group have been at the forefront of the story so far, it is becoming increasingly clear that the Home Office’s “inhumane” approach to cutting immigration spans far beyond only those who arrived on the Windrush.

People from a plethora of nationalities and backgrounds in Britain have been stung by Theresa May’s hostile environment.

Here, some of these individuals tell The Independent how their lives were devastated when they were told by the Home Office – often in error – that they were no longer welcome.

Ms Kaali, who was born in Bradford and now lives in Carlisle, was told she was not eligible for British citizenship because her parents – who moved from Tanzania shortly before her birth – did not have indefinite leave to remain when she was born.

Despite the fact that she has grown up, studied and worked in Britain, the Home Office informed the 24-year-old that she had “no automatic claim” to British citizenship, and that if she wanted to apply, she would have to pay £1,163 plus an admin fee of £80.

For the first time, I truly know what it feels like to be segregated – cast out by the people I had trusted to protect me. I thought that we had moved on from any discrimination, yet here it is, still prevalent in 2018.

I felt extremely frustrated because the very same people weren’t doing anything to help. Nobody around me really understood first-hand how much of a profound effect it had on my life. Losing work opportunities and not being able to fully pursue the things I had been working towards for so many years left me feeling like my efforts were pointless. 

To question yourself, your place in life and in this country, is a stress that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.



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