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Everyone is at greater risk of covid from the hostile environment

Everyone is at greater risk of covid from the hostile environment

The unwavering commitment of the governments to the hostile environment has led to serious public health risks and contributed significantly to the severity coronavirus crisis in the UK.

The hostile environment is a constant blocker So-called irregular immigrants(those who do not have valid documentation or secure status) cannot access the basic necessities they need to be safe and healthy during the pandemic. They are especially vulnerable to Covid-19

But with coronavirus – a virus that is transmitted by touch and airborne infection – exposing just how interconnected individual and collective wellbeing is, it has become abundantly clear that such policies dont just endanger migrants; they endanger us all.

This danger goes beyond the physical. The hostile environment causes deliberate suffering that deepens the culture and distrust that grew long before the pandemic. This makes it difficult to use many of the tools available to fight the virus and reduces our chances of recovery as a nation.

The new environment will only make the negative effects on public health worse for the future. Bill on nationality and bordersIf we are to ever Learn to LiveIt is crucial that we create a more compassionate and rational immigration system, which centres public health, in order to combat coronavirus.

The hostile environment hinders access to healthcare.

The most explicit way the hostile environment harms migrants – and, by extension, us all – during the pandemic, is by blocking their access to healthcare.

Since 2014, many NHS workers have been able to act as border agents. They conduct immigration checks and charge migrants with irregular visas or irregular status for their care. To increase the NHS charges for migrants, 15% of the national tariff meaning that patients are often handed extortionate medical bills – one person was charged 90,000 after Recovering from a ComaAnother.4,000 after Giving birth.

The NHS data-sharing arrangement with the Home Office was a policy that has led to Monitoring of over 6,000 migrantsby the immigration police, which meant that accessing health services could lead either to detention or removal.

The NHS has border enforcement that discourages migrants from seeking care. This has resulted in health conditions deterioratingDue to delayed care, pregnant woman avoiding crucial appointments, and Grenfell tower survivors being too scared Go to A&E.

This culture of policing migrants has severely undermined the government’s public health strategy during the pandemic. Despite the Tories guaranteeing universal access to coronavirus testing and treatment – a logical imperative during a global health crisis – A study by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants found that 43% of migrant respondents were too scared to access healthcare during the pandemic due to fears of immigration checks or being charged – a figure that rose to 82% for irregular migrants who feared deportation. This fear is illustrated in the Tragic case of ElvisA Filipino immigrant who died from Covid-19 at home, rather than risking going to hospital.

His fears were completely justified. Although illegal migrants are not legally required to prove their right access to coronavirus service, An investigation by the Independent62% of centres rejected a dummy vaccine-seeker who attempted to book a vaccine with no identification.

This culture of distrust and exclusion now pervades the NHS and likely has contributed to its current state. Migrants have lower vaccination ratesThis undermines the UK government’s central pillar, the Covid-19 recovery strategy. To get as many people vaccinated as possible.

By discouraging a section of society from getting vaccinated, the government is limiting the success of the vaccine in reducing community transmission, which, in turn, undermines the country’s resilience to current and future variants. This decision exposes us all to the coronavirus.

Migrants are forced to work in unsafe environments by the hostile environment

The hostile environment makes it more difficult for irregular migrants not to be accepted into the workforce. This has wider consequences for all of us during the pandemic. With the recent relaxation of all coronavirus rules, it is possible to isolate people if they are symptomatic and have tested positive for this virus. This is extremely difficult for many migrants because of the hostile environment.

Employers who hire illegal workers and asylum seekers without legal permission face fines of up to 20,000. Five-year sentences in prisonAnd the possibility of their business being shut down.

Employers face high risks due to limited employment options. This makes irregular migrants extremely vulnerable to exploitation. They often do precarious, informal work with low wages and no labour rights.

These problems have only been exacerbated by the Coronavirus. With no access to sick pay or benefits, migrants are left unable to demand adequate personal protective equipment or take time off work if they are vulnerable or – seriously risking their own health.

What’s more, mIgrants are often forced to work despite coronavirus symptoms. This contradicts self-isolation regulations and risks spreading the virus to others.

The Conditions of work that are exploitative experienced by migrant domestic and care workers – many of whom interact closely with extremely vulnerable people – highlight the extent to which the limited power and choices migrants possess endanger everyone during the pandemic.

Housing inequality is perpetuated by the hostile environment

This hostile environment severely limits housing opportunities for irregular migrants as well as many other members of society. It creates fertile environments that allow the virus to thrive.

Right to Rent legislation threatens landlords to spend five years in prison if they rent to tenants who can’t prove leave to stay. Home Office dreams These migrants will find it difficult to adjust to their new environment To establish a settled lifestyle by purchasing stable housing

These punishments can be described as huge deterrents for landlords,These irregular migrants often rent from landlords in the margins or are unable to pay rent. This greatly reduces their power and normalizes overcrowding in low quality housing, which can pose serious risks during a pandemic.

It has been shown that overcrowded housing is a problem. Strongly positive correlation According to Covid-19, Newham, London borough had the highest death rate and highest proportion of overcrowded houses in spring 2020. A study that examined the experiences of Filipino migrants in the UK during the pandemic highlighted the dangers of household transmission. One interviewee, He recalled living with 14 migrants in a five-bedroom home, where they all contracted coronavirus simultaneously.

Right to rent is not only for irregular migrants. Landlords are encouraged to rent to tenants they assume to be British because they face severe criminal penalties. widespread evidenceRacial profiling and discrimination.

This policy increases structural barriers in the housing market, especially for Black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities. It makes it harder to get decent, non-crowded housing, and perpetuates housing inequality, which makes people more vulnerable during a pandemic.

It is eroding our trust and confidence in each other.

The hostile environments not only prevent migrants from being able keep themselves and others safe, but also hinder their ability to work in a practical sense. Encouragement of Civilian-on–civilian policing has created a climate that fosters distrust and suspicion that threatens us all during Covid-19.

It is not an outcome of the hostile environment. Suffering is a part of it.With the government having spent over a decade enforcing policies that deliberately cause harm to arguably the most vulnerable section of society, many people – both irregular migrants and the wider public – find it difficult to trust our political leaders, and, by extension, their public health agenda.

Global research shows that people are less likely to comply when there is less trust in the government. Regulations on Covid-19. Under the hostile environment, migrants are forced to retreat from the reach of the state, making them far less likely to comply with public health measures that require being detected, “tracked” or “traced” by authorities. The involvement of SercoAnd G4SThis problem is further exacerbated by the presence of companies that are notorious for operating private immigration detention centres. Their involvement is likely to have further compromised the public’s willingness to follow coronavirus regulations.

The trust and solidarity between us all is further damaged by making everyday citizens and public servants responsible for creating hostile environments.Because solidarity is crucial in a pandemic, we should view hostile environments, suspicion, and distrust as a threat to our collective fight against Covid-19.

Public health is an imperative.

By deliberately incapacitating immigrants This hostile environment makes it difficult to implement many of the necessary measures to recover from coronavirus. The virus can breed in a variety of places, making everyone more vulnerable. It is evident now more than ever that justice for migrants must be pursued.

We can only increase our resilience to Covid-19 and future epidemics by removing border enforcement from our NHS, housing, and labour markets as well as other public services. This should be a key part of our post-pandemic recovery strategy. It should aim to protect all of our health, and to mitigate the economic and social devastation the pandemic continues its wreak havoc across the country.

It is possible to create a system of migration that is based on logic and evidence and fairness, and not on cruelty or political gain. This will ensure that everyone is safe and protected during this pandemic.

Ella Weldon She is a master’s degree holder from the School of Oriental and African Studies.

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