This week, tough new rules came into force under the Nationality and Borders Act, potentially denying ‘foreign criminals’ sentenced to over 12 months access to modern slavery protections. At the same time, amendments made to the online safety bill will, if passed, lead to the criminalisation of social media companies that show online videos of Channel crossings in a ‘positive light’. But when it comes to the ‘hostile environment’, it’s not just primary legislation we should be concerned about. As we report in this week’s calendar of racism and resistance, the hostile environment also grows through incremental measures, Kafkaesque bureaucracy, and other dubious practices, both official and unofficial. A new Home Office taskforce is set up to intensify controls and checks in banks, schools and the NHS. Yet this government department is unable to provide basic safeguards for asylum-seeking children, with hundreds disappearing from Home Office hotels. It is only thanks to the vigilance of journalists and campaigners that this has come to light. Thanks to them we know about other practices and acts of institutional neglect that are taking place under the radar, such as the failure to communicate successful asylum decisions to those living in Home Office hotel accommodation, or to provide medical and vaccine records to Tower Hamlets GPs seeking to provide care for asylum seekers dispersed from Manston.
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