Under the Hostile Environment, borders are everywhere. We might be questioned about our immigration status at a job interview, at the doctor’s office, in our faith community or even just in the street. The Hostile Environment affects us all. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be dismantled – in fact, it means that all of us, no matter where we’re from or how we got here, can have the power to bring it down.
Facing the coronavirus pandemic, we saw what we can achieve when we work together, even in the toughest of times – communities coming together to provide mutual aid, and people risking their lives to keep everyone safe; to hold the hands of isolated elderly people in care homes or to keep the shelves stocked.
But many of those same people live at the sharp end of this country’s hostile immigration policies. Every day, workers are forced to choose between the safety of their families and being able to keep a roof over their heads and put food on the table. That’s not a choice any of us should have to make.
Together, we can make change happen. The system that exists today seeks to divide us – migrant versus non-migrant, refugee versus migrant worker, settled person versus person without status. But we don’t have to accept that. It’s time to come together, build our power and fight for a new normal in which everyone has the right to safe work, to support when they need it, and to a dignified life.
Sometimes, the things we fight against can seem all-powerful. But the solutions here are simple: legalise the work of all migrants, dismantle the Hostile Environment and make sure everyone who is living here can access the public safety net.
Whatever our starting point, we can work together to build our power in many ways. Whether you’ve experienced the Hostile Environment yourself or want to stand in solidarity with those who have, you’ll find suggestions here of things that you can do in your own community to make change happen.
There are many ways to build our power as a movement. We can equip ourselves with knowledge to understand the system and how it affects our communities. We can build strength with others in our communities. And we can take a stand for what’s right.
Here (and as a download here), you’ll find suggestion for things you can do to build your community, grow your knowledge and stand in solidarity. Together, we can make a change.
Community is power. Knowledge is power. Solidarity is power.