About Hostile Environment

As part of its plans to decrease immigration, the government has said it will deliberately create ‘a really hostile environment for illegal immigration’ in the UK.

Through a series of laws and policies, it has created a framework of measures to exclude people from accessing services and benefits based purely on their immigration status. These measures include information sharing protocols, for example between the Home Office with schools and NHS services, so that data can be used for immigration purposes.

They also involve curtailing people’s access to driving licenses, bank accounts, employment, marriage/civil partnerships, asylum support and accommodation. While hostile environment measures apply to everyone in the UK, in practice they impact disproportionately on people who are Black, Asian or from other ethnic minority groups, migrants (regardless of their immigration status) and anyone who, in the eyes of the person carrying out the required checks, doesn’t look or sound ‘British’.

At GMIAU we are concerned people are self-censoring their access to services because they are frightened they will be reported to the Home Office, for example not accessing NHS services until they reach a health crisis point. We are also concerned that hostile measures are being applied in a discriminatory way because the people policing them (officials from different government departments, businesses and private individuals) are not trained or confident in immigration matters.

We believe

  • It is a scandal that every week people in Greater Manchester are deliberately made vulnerable to exploitation as a result of measures to create a hostile environment
  • The government’s hostile environment measures encourage racial profiling, xenophobia and discrimination – they should be repealed

John Clegg

In Honour of John Clegg, 1950-2020

John Clegg’s family asked that donations be made to GMIAU in his memory. We’d like to thank all the people who generously donated.  John Clegg, who was one of the key people involved in the origins and foundation of the Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit, died on Saturday 7th November 2020.…

Vacancy: GMIAU Policy Officer

Do you want to help end the Hostile Environment? Build your policy, influencing and communications experience? Support children, young people and families to speak out about their experiences of immigration control? Then come work for us! We are looking for someone to join us as our Policy Officer to help deliver…

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

We are in contact with all our existing clients and we will continue to advise and represent to the best of our ability. All our services are running. Home Office interviews for adults and children who have already claimed asylum have now resumed remotely, using video link. Face-to-face interviews have…

Families unable to access visa services

GMIAU featured in the Independent this week, as part of their reporting on the injustices faced by families trying to get appointments at visa centres. This leaves people who are legally allowed to be here – refugees and others with leave to remain – without documentation to prove it, meaning…