PCS is encouraging all to write to write to their MPs asking them to oppose the government’s new Immigration Bill which the organisation says threatens to divide communities.
The policy of discrimination and division lives and breathes in the new Immigration Bill, PCS said.
The organization said it was extremely concerned that the bill will increase racial stereotyping, racial profiling and impede community cohesion and, given the cuts to resources in the Home Office, is ultimately unworkable.
Under the Immigration Bill, landlords will be required to check the immigration status of all tenants. MPs on the Home Affairs Select Committee have warned that many landlords will simply turn migrants away. MPs said: “There is the possibility that landlords will discriminate against all immigrants regardless of their status rather than take the risk of housing a person without right to remain.”
The bill also includes plans to limit access to the NHS for overseas visitors. PCS said these plans have come forward without the government producing any proper evidence that so-called ‘health tourism’ is a problem. Many visitors pay for private health treatments in the UK and then return home. Denying healthcare to migrants poses a wider potential risk to communities as their illnesses could be contagious if not treated, PCS said.
PCS accused the government of using its attack on the social security system as an excuse to demonise migrants. Some newspapers have quoted as many as 600,000 unemployed EU migrants in the UK. However, this figure includes older schoolchildren, students, the spouses of migrant workers, and retired people. In fact, fewer than 38,000 claim Jobseeker’s Allowance. Most migrants come to work, and they contribute more to the welfare system than this government would lead you to believe, PCS said.
Observing that migrants were being used as a scapegoat for government cuts to services, PCS is calling for an immigration policy led by “what benefits our society and economy as a whole, rather than pandering to prejudices.”