A new report from the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants shines a spotlight on the experiences of undocumented people during the pandemic, drawing on interviews with 10 people who have been undocumented and three frontline charity workers.

It looks at financial security, work, housing and access to healthcare, and highlights how in all these areas, the Government’s Hostile Environment policies have exacerbated the effects of the COVID crisis for undocumented people. 

To launch this report ,we were delighted to welcome Clive Lewis MP to chair a discussion with report author Caitlin Boswell and report contributors Blessing (not her real name) and Francesca Humi, of Kanlungan Filipino Consortium.

This event took place on 18 January 2022 - watch back now.

Take action to make sure the COVID inquiry includes migrants

"We also want to be safe": undocumented migrants facing COVID in a Hostile Environment

When the pandemic hit in spring 2020, all our lives changed. But it quickly became clear that while we were all weathering the same storm, we were not all in the same boat.

The COVID pandemic exposed and exacerbated existing inequalities, with Black and brown communities facing higher rates of infection and hospitalisation

And as the state safety net became a vital lifeline for millions of us, undocumented migrants at the sharp end of the Hostile Environment were excluded from support.

While countries like Portugal, Spain, France and Greece recognised the enormous contributions made by undocumented migrants during the pandemic through regularisation schemes, concessions and subsistence support, the UK Government has consistently prioritised anti-immigrant policies over public health.

Our new report shares the stories of 10 undocumented people, and three people who work alongside and support undocumented migrants. It aims to bring to life some of the experiences of undocumented migrants during the pandemic and shines a light on some of the wider systemic issues they have faced during the pandemic, as a result of the UK’s Hostile Environment policies. Our research makes clear the need for the public COVID inquiry to include the voices and experiences of migrants, including those who are undocumented, and reinforces our calls for an end to Hostile Environment policies.

Take action to make sure the COVID inquiry includes migrants

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