Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) has criticised the consultations on healthcare for immigrants and measures to make landlords check immigration status before letting property.
JCWI said they will herald a society of snitches and sneaks. Instead of a compassionate, open society that cares for the most vulnerable amongst us, we will witness a growth in discrimination, mistrust and red tape, JCWI said.
While acknowledging that it is right to expect visitors to the UK to pay for healthcare, JCWI said the newly announced measures will seriously affect many categories of people.
They will expose failed asylum seekers, trafficked individuals and other undocumented migrants, many of whom cannot leave the UK through no fault of their own, to a precarious future with significantly more health risks than before, JCWI said.
The Department of Health has confirmed that pregnant women will be required to pay. JCWI wonders what happens if they can’t, will mother and baby be put at risk?
Habib Rahman, Chief Exec of JCWI said: “To celebrate the 65th birthday of the NHS with a consultation along these lines is pretty pernicious. The NHS was established to provide for everyone, now the government wants to turn neighbour against neighbour and breed mistrust everywhere. This is another blow against society and vindictiveness towards those who most require our empathy. The landlord scheme is an open invitation for rogue landlords to abuse and for discrimination to become widespread.”