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Beyond Windrush

26th April 2018: Madalena Leao (JPIT)
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It is not only the 'Windrush immigrants' who have been affected by the Home Office's much publicised 'hostile environment for migrants.' Malalena Leao from the Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) tells her own story:
"I have been a British citizen my whole life but was born in Brazil and moved here at the age of 18 months. When I applied for university I was assessed by one of the universities as a foreign (non-EU) student despite the fact that all my schooling had been in the UK. This had severe implications for me as the fees a foreign student pays are much higher than those of a UK student. So I duly appealed and was told I had to prove that I had been resident in the UK for the past 3 years...
...The constant checking of people's papers, and the suspicion it encourages, are part of a wider trend towards overt hostility to migrants. This manifests itself in changes which mean that taxpaying, Home Office documented migrants must pay an additional NHS surcharge to have access to the health services their taxes fund...
...The government has deliberately chosen to 'other' migrants. It is hardly surprising then that the consequence of a hostile environment for migrants is distress, expense, profiling, suspicion and precariousness. It becomes not just a hostile environment for those who are migrants, but also for those who look like or sound like migrants. The hostile environment is a racist environment."
To read Magdalena's full story, click here.

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