Defend migrants, defend us all

Submitted by AWL on 30 March, 2020 - 10:04 Author: Labour Campaign for Free Movement
Migrant workers

Migrant communities are largely being overlooked during this pandemic, even though migrant NHS workers, migrant supply-chain workers, and migrant carers are doing the most essential work.

Immigration rules like No Recourse to Public Funds leave migrants especially vulnerable to economic hardship and incentivise them to disregard public health advice and continue working.

Migrants seeking to self-isolate to protect their own health, or the health of others, face destitution and potential homelessness without access to the social security net currently being ramped up to support British nationals.

There are several courses of action which councils can take now in order to help mitigate the risks presented by these punitive immigration rules. The Labour Campaign for Free Movement is calling on everyone to contact their local councillor to push them.

They include:

• Identify constituents who, due to their immigration status, are at increased risk of domestic violence or homelessness
• Ensure all necessary information and guidance about COVID-19 is circulated in all community languages and in accessible formats
• Ensure all residents, regardless of immigration status, have access to self-contained accommodation and the ability to self-isolate securely, without threat of immigration enforcement through data sharing with the Home Office.
• Support demands made to central government by JCWI and other migrants rights organisations to suspend immigration rules which place migrants at increased risk of destitution or exposure to COVID-19.

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