The Government claims the policies are needed to deter illegal immigration. However, the Opposition believes it has had a negative impact on individuals’ lives, including those with a right to live in the UK.
This is according to a June 2018 House of Lords briefing paper on the ‘Hostile Environment’ policy.
The briefing summarises the background to the hostile environment policy, the measures introduced and their impact upon individuals, including recent developments relating to the ‘Windrush generation’.
It refers to a report by Liberty which identifies multiple practices in schools and universities, healthcare; banking, housing, employment, driving, social support, rough sleeping and stops in the street which contribute towards a hostile environment towards immigrants.
It also references cases of discrimination and hardship as a result of these policies that, according to reports, disproportionately affect young people and vulnerable groups.
The House of Commons Home Affairs Committee wrote:
While the hostile environment is currently aimed at non-EU nationals without valid leave to be in the UK, there are regular reports of people with a lawful right to be here being caught up in the system.