Special rapporteur warns government immigration policy may violate international law.
Theresa May’s creation of a “hostile environment” towards illegal immigrants is “destroying the lives” of ethnic minorities in Britain, a United Nations expert has warned.
“The harsh reality is race, ethnicity, religion gender, disability status and related categories all continue to determine the life chances and well-being of people in Britain in ways that are unacceptable and in many cases unlawful,” she told a press conference in London.
The special rapporteur said the 2014 and 2016 Immigration Acts were at the “rotten core” of the prime minister’s “hostile environment” plan.
She said it was “no surprise” that a policy to target what she called “regular immigrants” had ended up impacting the lives of those who had been “instrumental in the prosperity of this nation for centuries”.
Achiume said while the UK had the right to set its own immigration policy, if it resulted in the “exclusion, discrimination and subordination of groups and individuals on the basis of race or ethnicity” then it would cross a line.
“Such a strategy violates international human rights law and the very commitments the UK government has made to racial equality,” she said.
The newly appointed Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, who took on the role after his predecessor Amber Rudd was forced to resign her post following the Windrush revelations, has said he will abandon the term “hostile environment” and instead prefers to use the phrase “compliant environment”.
Achiume, who is independent of the UN, was invited examine the levels of racism in the UK by the British government.
“Another Brexit related trend that threatens racial equality in the UK has been the growth in the acceptability of explicit racial, ethnic and religious intolerance,” she said.
She said while extreme right-wing political parties were not on the rise in the UK, some of their views had “gained ground” within the mainstream on the right and the left.
In her initial findings, she also said it was clear austerity measures had been “disproportionately detrimental to racial and ethnic minority communities” in the UK – especially women of colour.
And she warned Islamophobia had taken “firm root in the UK” and that instances of anti-Semitism had increased.
Written By: Ned Simons
First Published 11.05.18: https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/theresa-mays-hostile-environment-is-destroying-the-lives-of-ethnic-minority-britons-warns-un-expert_uk_5af57ca9e4b00d7e4c19b881