While speculation raged over David Cameron’s weakness in the face of 100 Tory rebels which forced him to rely on Labour to see off a rebel amendment to the Immigration Bill that would see the UK basically bar foreign criminals from using European human rights law to avoid deportation, certain potentially discriminatory practices were given the weight of law:
Such as the phenomenon of the never-ending border check:
1. Landlords will have to check the immigration status of tenants, facing large fines if they fall foul of the law.
2. So will banks.
3. Students will have to pay temporary levy towards the NHS.
4. The rules on appeals against immigration decisions have been drastically altered, to the detriment of the migrant.
And this is before we look at the effects on the most vulnerable- refugees, migrant women fleeing domestic violence.
While my MP was thankfully one of the 16 MPs with the courage of their convictions to vote against this bill, so many abdicated their responsibility. I knew this was coming but it’s so disheartening nonetheless. Too many reports are on process – the political winners (the rebels? Whatever – no one who matters anyway) and losers (Cameron and May – and I’d add decency and justice), but this Bill will have implications for us all.
The takeaway from this? Be mindful of who you love (and hope you earn enough to stay together in Britain if your beloved is from outside the EU.)Be mindful not to get tangled up in the system if you can help it – you may have no space to appeal. Try not to sound too foreign, look too foreign (apologies to all who look a little too dusky) or have a complicated name or weird accent – especially when renting housing, going to the bank or the hospital.
Oh, and just in general now – try not to be poor.