Home Office organizes three immigration raids a month on average, with 190 nursing home raids occurring between 2015 and 2019, according to Freedom of Information request data supplied to The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants. These actions resulted in the arrest of 148 workers.
Out of the 148 reprimanded, only 37 carers were actually deported from the UK, including. The excessive arrests have forced many to question the Home Office’s operations and agenda in relation to the hostile environment policy. A majority of the workers targeted were from countries such as China, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, while there were no arrest records of predominantly English-speaking, white staff from the US or Australia.
Furthermore, in the same time frame over 44,000 raids were also carried out on private homes resulting in just 7578 people being deported.
A spokesperson from The Home Office addressed the data, stating ‘illegal working in the care sector is one of the Home Office’s main concerns’. They also justified the immigration raids, stating undocumented people bypass legal processes with falsified documents to obtain DBS certifications and secure care worker positions.
Home Office organizes three raids a month on average, with 190 nursing home raids occurring between 2015 and 2019
Mary Atkinson, a campaign officer for the JCWI discussed how the Home Office’s response and figures show ‘just how out of control the hostile environment has become.
‘Carers are being arrested in the middle of their shifts, often as they look after elderly and vulnerable people – it’s difficult to see who could possibly benefit from that.’
She also discussed the effect of the Home Office’s actions amidst the pandemic, stating ‘I thought we were meant to be clapping carers, not criminalizing them.’
Unison, one of the many care worker’s unions responded to JCWI’s report as evidence ‘how inhumane and ineffective the government’s immigration policy is.’
Unison’s care worker campaign #Timeforafairdeal is pushing for social care reform with a petition urging the government to set up an emergency care worker’s fund. Unison’s campaign aims to increase care workers’ pay to meet the Living Foundation Wage standard which is at least £9.50 an hour or £10.85 in London.
This is ‘just how out of control the hostile environment has become. Carers are being arrested in the middle of their shifts’
Gavin Edwards, the Senior National Care Officer for Unison also demanded reform and respect instead of creating ‘fear and disruption for vulnerable people in care homes.’
An increase in pay will ensure carer roles are more desirable, which is vital as staff shortages continue to increase during the pandemic. The lack of staff is mainly caused by staff illness and the end of free movement which forced many carers to leave the UK.
[Header Image: Immigration and visa solicitors]