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This is the history of British immigration policy and how we change it

3 24 0
22.06.2019

“Good race relations require tough immigration policies” is a crude but apt summary of the post-war political consensus on race and immigration in Britain.

Theresa May’s time in office, first as home secretary and then prime minister, has seen this consensus tested to its very limits. For almost a decade, her often-repeated commitment to address the “burning injustice” of racial discrimination has sat awkwardly alongside her unfiltered hostility towards migrants and their families.

As May prepares to leaves office, it’s time to also retire the belief that there can ever be such a tidy distinction between tackling racism and building fair and just policies on race, migration and citizenship.

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The outgoing prime minister’s legacy is found in the enduring images of “Go Home” vans and in the Windrush scandal that saw black Britons being sent to the Caribbean in chains, as a consequence of the May-designed hostile environment.

However, it’s worth remembering that the belief that good race relations require hostility to new arrivals has had cross-party support for decades. Just two days after the Empire Windrush landed in June 1948, 11 Labour MPs wrote to Prime Minister Attlee, calling for a halt to the “influx of........

© Independent