As the Public Inquiry into the government’s handling of COVID-19 gets underway, New Europeans UK has signed an open letter by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI), calling for the Inquiry’s Chair, Baroness Hallett, to ensure that migrants – both with and without status – are included in its scope. And we urge other organisations to do the same.
Chair of New Europeans UK, Ruvi Ziegler, said: “Virulent viruses do not recognise borders or nationalities. At New Europeans UK, we strongly believe that all migrants’ voices must be heard and that their lived experiences must be shared, if we are to have a genuinely inclusive, pluralistic, and open British society.
The calls follow a report published by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants this January which found that the UK lagged behind other European countries in protecting undocumented migrants during the pandemic. It highlighted how the government’s Hostile Environment policies such as NHS data-sharing, No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF), and Right to Rent checks have exacerbated the risks of COVID-19 for undocumented people and hampered public health efforts.