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Hostile Environment & Undocumented Migrants

Since 2012, it has been an explicit aim of Government immigration policy to create a ‘hostile environment’ for undocumented migrants. This has involved high profile enforcement campaigns, which saw controversial vans printed with the slogan ‘Go Home or Face Arrest’ driven through ethnically diverse areas in the UK, as well as successive legislation which restricts access to basic services and criminalises those who find themselves without status.

It has been JCWI’s position that such an explicit, hard line approach is making the UK a more hostile environment for all migrants, as well as for Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities in the UK.

Our current policy and campaigns work focuses on the following key areas:

  • Monitoring the impact of restrictions to access to services, with a specific focus on the ‘right to rent’ scheme and implications for securing housing for migrants and BME groups
  • Researching and collating data on the causes and consequences of being undocumented in the UK, and the impact of policies aimed at them.

Right to Rent

The ‘right to rent’ scheme requires landlords to check the immigration status of prospective tenants. If a landlord is found to have rented a property to an adult who does not have the required immigration status, they could face a fine of up to £3,000 or, from December 2016, a criminal sentence.

  • Read our independent evaluation of the ‘right to rent’ scheme
  • Download our toolkit for tenants and advisors on how to prepare for and comply with the scheme

JCWI continues to monitor the scheme and its impacts on tenants, landlords and agents.

  • If you are a landlord or agent, you can contribute to our research by filling out a short survey via this link
  • If you are a tenant or lodger with experience of the scheme, please take 5 minutes to fill out our survey via this link

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