London, E2 6ED United Kingdom
The UK government proudly calls the aim of its immigration policy to be the creation of a “hostile environment,” while refugees drown in the Mediterranean and Britain votes to leave the EU against claims that “swarms”of migrants are entering Britain. Meanwhile, study after study confirms that immigration is not damaging the UK’s economy, nor putting a strain on public services, but immigration is blamed for all of Britain’s ills. Yet concerns about immigration are deemed “legitimate” across the political spectrum, with few exceptions. How did we get here?
Maya Goodfellow offers a compelling answer. Through interviews with leading policy-makers, asylum seekers, and immigration lawyers, Goodfellow illuminates the dark underbelly of contemporary immigration policies. A nuanced analysis of the UK’s immigration policy from the 1960s onwards, Hostile Environment links immigration policy and the rhetoric of both Labour and Tory governments to the UK’s colonial past and its imperialist present. Goodfellow shows that distinct forms of racism and dehumanisation directly resulted from immigration policy, and reminds us of the human cost of concessions to anti-immigration politics.
Maya Goodfellow is a writer, researcher and academic. She has written for the New York Times, the Guardian, the New Statesman, Al Jazeera and the Independent. She received her PhD from SOAS, University of London. She is a trustee of the Runnymede Trust.
Minnie Rahman is a writer and campaigner specialising in migrant’s rights, climate change and social justice. After working in both the European and UK Parliament for 5 years as an expert in Government policy, she moved on to help co-ordinate the campaign to uncover the Windrush scandal with the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants. Minnie is now leading on campaigns to scrap the “hostile environment” and to get new rights for undocumented migrants. She is also the creator of Inclusive Book Club.