Hostile Environment: How Immigrants Became Scapegoats Maya Goodfellow


The UK government proudly calls the aim of its immigration policy to be the creation of a hostile environment, while refugees drown in the Mediterranean and Britain votes to leave the EU against claims that swarmsof migrants are entering Britain. Meanwhile, study after study confirms that immigration is not damaging the UKs economy, nor putting a strain on public services, but immigration is blamed for all of Britains ills. Yet concerns about immigration are deemed legitimate across the political spectrum, with few exceptions. How did we get here? Maya Goodfellow offers a compelling answer. Through interviews with leading policy-makers, asylum seekers, and immigration lawyers, Goodfellow illuminates the dark underbelly of contemporary immigration policies. A nuanced analysis of the UKs immigration policy from the 1960s onwards, Hostile Environment links immigration policy and the rhetoric of both Labour and Tory governments to the UKs colonial past and its imperialist present. Goodfellow shows that distinct forms of racism and dehumanisation directly resulted from immigration policy, and reminds us of the human cost of concessions to anti-immigration politics.

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