Faced with COVID, the Government should have done everything in its power to ensure everyone had support. Everyone needs a way to earn a living, access to the public safety net if they need it, safe accommodation, and access to vaccines and the NHS.

But Hostile Environment policies cut undocumented migrants off from these basic rights. Because they don’t have the right piece of paper in their passport, people without status have been left destitute, homeless, and afraid or unable to get help during the pandemic.

In January 2022, nearly 2,000 individuals spoke up, calling for the inquiry into the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic to include the experiences of all migrants, including undocumented migrants.

JCWI also coordinated 17 groups from different sectors, including racial justice organisations, doctors' unions and faith groups, to write a joint letter to the Chair of the COVID inquiry. 

The call was successful - on 11 March 2022, the draft Terms of Reference for the inquiry were published. The inquiry will investigate, among other things, how government actions and policies shaped the way migrants were impacted by the pandemic. 

This is a huge victory for everyone who called for this, including the thousands of individuals who showed their solidarity with migrants by backing the call. The inquiry represents an opportunity for accountability, and for change. Now, the work will continue to make sure that the inquiry has all the evidence it needs, and includes voices representing all migrants. Onwards!

Join us!