When Theresa May was Home Secretary, she declared that she wanted a ‘Hostile Environment’ for Illegal Immigrants. How was she to enforce that? By requiring every individual to be able to produce extensive evidence of residency. This was somehow approved despite it presumably being obvious (and hence should have been advised to her at the time) that many people would never be able to produce such evidence of residency.
This Hostile Environment has been as hostile for many legal immigrants in this country as illegal immigrants. The Windrush generation deserve full residency rights and an amnesty guaranteeing that has not been put forward by government, meaning that people could still yet face questioned status and a need for an extensive set of documented evidence that may not exist, or indeed may not be easy to find. These paper trails also have effects on their children, who have to fight tough battles to try to obtain a British Passport. And today there are reports that an amnesty or faster evidenced residency process would be much easier if the records of those who came to the UK at the time of invitation, if the Home Office hadn’t destroyed Windrush landing cards, again under Theresa May’s leadership, despite the department being warned by staff that this was the only documentation of arrival some would have.
Story after Story of last minute intervention or other invasive processes(Sky News, The Guardian) comes forward, yet no resignations seem forthcoming. Even more regrettably, no cultural shift looks likely either.