The UK government proudly calls the aim of its immigration policy to be the creation of a "hostile environment," while refugees drown in the Mediterranean and Britain votes to leave the EU against claims that "swarms"of migrants are entering Britain. Meanwhile, study after study confirms that immigration is not damaging the UK's economy, nor putting a strain on public services, but immigration is blamed for all of Britain's ills. Yet concerns about immigration are deemed "legitimate" across the political spectrum, with few exceptions. How did we get here?
Maya Goodfellow offers a compelling answer. Through interviews with leading policy-makers, asylum seekers, and immigration lawyers, Goodfellow illuminates the dark underbelly of contemporary immigration policies. A nuanced analysis of the UK's immigration policy from the 1960s onwards, Hostile Environment
links immigration policy and the rhetoric of both Labour and Tory governments to the UK's colonial past and its imperialist present. Goodfellow shows that distinct forms of racism and dehumanisation directly resulted from immigration policy, and reminds us of the human cost of concessions to anti-immigration politics. "Maya Goodfellow provides a forceful narrative of the current state of British politics by placing anti-immigration at its centre. Goodfellow expertly tackles the consensus from left and right that immigration is a bad thing. In doing so, her book demonstrates the fundamental humanity at stake in critiquing and overturning that consensus. Now is the time to read this penetrating analysis." - Robbie Shilliam, Johns Hopkins
"An informative and insightful account of the history and politics of modern migration to Britain that is also very readable. Ranging across the intersecting histories of class, race, nation and empire, Maya Goodfellow deftly shows how the contemporary demonising of migrants, including refugees and asylum-seekers, has a long and dispiriting national and global backstory to it - but there are also heartening stories of resistance and solidarity which point to the way forward."- Priyamvada Gopal, author of Insurgent Empire: Anticolonial Resistance and British Dissent
"This is a hugely important first book from Maya. After a referendum debate dominated by anti-migrant rhetoric and falsehoods, it's vital that we reflect on how we got to this toxic place. The testimony from migrants in this book, and the examination of the policies under which people have suffered for so long, are a damning indictment of government policy on migrati