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Hostile Criticism – Documentary Highlights the Wickedness of UK Immigration Policy | Movies

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One of the ugliest and dumbest chapters in the history of the Home Office came in 2013, when, under the auspices of then Home Secretary Theresa May, vans drove through the areas of London with high immigrant populations displaying the sign: ‘In the UK illegally? Go home or face arrest. Of course, this ridiculous toxic abuse wasn’t really aimed at illegal immigrants: Home Office officials were well aware that they themselves couldn’t or wouldn’t respond. It was a taxpayer-funded party political posturing, a dog whistle or a human whistle to fanatics and intended to be part of a charmless new ‘hostile environment’ policy – rendering nasty things in the country in general, a way of trying to pressure people into leaving voluntarily.

Sonita Gale’s interesting and highly relevant documentary explains how this ugly little malaise has spread outwards but is coming to a crisis now that Brexit has brought it back to the ruling classes, how much our service industry depends of casual work and how dependent the NHS is. is about immigrants. Many of them are ex-students applying for leave to stay but were thus denied public funds and were therefore not eligible for furlough payments or any help when the lockdown hit. It meant utter poverty and Kafkaesque bureaucracy – for once that adjective is truly justified.

And that brings us to the other, really grim part of this story, revealed by Gale’s film: the staggering sums of money charged directly to the immigrants themselves, thousands of pounds just for making these claims, well beyond any conceivable administrative expense – again, an assault by the hostile state on otherwise innocent people, a deliberate use of deterrent impoverishment.

It’s a powerful film, although in his reporting on the Windrush scandal Gale might have recognized the work of The Guardian’s Amelia Gentleman.

Hostile hits theaters on January 21.

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