Support JCWI's challenge to the right to rent (landlord immigration checks) scheme & its expansion to Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland.
The "hostile environment" has been much in the news recently because of the horrific impact it has had on the lives of Windrush migrants. On his first day as Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced a change of language. What was the "hostile environment" is now the "compliant environment".
But underneath, nothing has changed. Right now his own department is spending public money not only defending a key plank of the hostile environment, but trying to extend it to Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland without even evaluating whether it works in England or what harm it causes.
They are doing this in the face of evidence that the scheme, requiring landlords and letting agents to perform immigration checks on tenants, causes discrimination against British ethnic minorities and foreign nationals with legal status in the UK.
Let's be clear:
- There is a lot of evidence, including from landlords & the Home Office themselves, that right to rent causes racial discrimination;
- There is no evidence that it actually works to reduce irregular migration.
Amber Rudd, then Home Secretary, admitted last week that "hostile environment" polices were justified by 'anecdotal evidence' and couldn't point to anything else. In fact, though the hostile environment is supposed to increase the numbers of irregular migrants who leave the country, those numbers have actually gone down since it was introduced.
The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, David Bolt, this March recommended the Home Office evaluate the scheme, but they refused to do so. He said:
Overall, I found that the RtR scheme had yet to demonstrate its worth as a tool to encourage immigration compliance, with the Home Office failing to coordinate, maximise or even measure effectively its use, while at the same time doing little to address the concerns of stakeholders.
Despite all this the Home Office is refusing to re-evaluate the scheme & insisting on rolling it out to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- The right to rent scheme is unlawful and should be stopped because it encourages racial discrimination, and disproportionate because it doesn't even work on it's own terms; and also
- It would be unlawful for Sajid Javid to roll out the scheme to Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland without a full evaluation in light of all the evidence listed above.
We have just been refused permission to proceed by a judge who has looked at the arguments on paper. We are now in the process of renewing our application so that we can go to the High Court and argue our case in front of the judge to obtain permission to proceed with the challenge.
Your pledge will help:
- Fund our work, and possibly pay for experts, to prepare the evidence we and others have gathered for a legal challenge
- Allow us to gather more evidence, if necessary, and to have additional capacity to keep working on the case as it progresses
- Protect against the risk of paying the Government’s legal costs in the event we are ordered to do so
Any money that is not used for this challenge will be used in our charitable work challenging the hostile environment for immigrants that Theresa May has created in the UK.
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