The new Immigration Bill is a sinister, nasty piece of legislation. Building on man-made laws that define certain humans as ‘illegal’, it seeks to create an even more hostile environment for an already marginalised section of society. People are to be deprived of employment, bank accounts, driving licences, accommodation and family life. Legal rights for seeking redress will be severely curtailed and the courts instructed by Parliament how to decide cases. At the same time social media channels churn out bile, propaganda wagons have been sent to patrol the streets bearing a slogan of hate and ‘papers, please‘ checks at public transport and on streets are spreading.
But families will not simply accept their own extermination. Lovers will not part because a bureaucrat makes an error. Parents will not abandon their dreams for their children because some politician says so. Children will not exile their own parents to a distant and lonely death because compassion and rights are no longer relevant to modern public policy.
Nor will society return to the chalky-white days of the 1950s, before all these inconvenient cross-border, cross-racial family relationships. Theresa May’s ‘hostile environment’ is not just about purging these modern, loving families from our society, it is also about wishfully thinking that such relationships can be discouraged in future. The setting of the minimum income for spouses at a level that literally half the population cannot meet warns our young and poor people that love with a foreigner comes at huge personal cost. It is intended to dissuade.
Theresa May’s social engineering is unnatural and morally wrong. It cannot possibly work. But it can cause misery along the way.
Taking away civil rights and immigration appeal rights will punish migrants and their families, both present and future. But they will not simply give up. They will fight on by whatever means available, within the law or without. Appeals will diminish but applications for judicial review will rise. It will be more expensive, it will be slower and it will be less effective but it will be the only lawful option. The blog will return to this issue of what remedies will be available in a future posting.
However, students may well decide to study elsewhere. Somewhere less overtly and deliberately hostile. Businesses may well relocate, or else they will fall behind in the global battle for talent, dragging our economy with them. Our public services, so reliant on foreign labour, may well deteriorate.
The Immigration Bill will punish us all if it becomes law: we will all be collateral damage in the quest to create an unnatural and hostile environment.