By Sanwar Ali
This is an interesting and sowewhat controversial idea. Is the situation so bad at the Home Office that it should be closed down? It seems that the Green Party or at least some people in the Green Party seem to think so.
There are certainly serious problems at the Home Office. In a recent report it was found that almost all misconduct enquiries at the Home Office relate to immigration. If the Home Office were closed down, what would happen to organisations closely associated with the Home Office and their "hostile environment" policies?
Green Party Co-Leader had the following to say about the Home Office
Jonathan Bartley wants to see the Home office scrapped. He said that the department was "pernicious" in its treatment of people and wanted instead to set up the Ministry for Sanctuary.
In a speech to his party conference, he warned of a "new authoritarianism" in Britain and said he was "ashamed of what our country has become".
He went onto say that only the Greens could deal with the injustices that led to Brexit.
Green Party suggests having a Ministry of Sanctuary and Ministry for the Interior
It is suggested that instead of the Home Office there should be the Ministry for Sanctuary and a separate Ministry for the Interior for law and order. The Ministry of Sanctuary would take over the functions of UK Visas and Immigration.
Jonathan Bartley also had the following to say:
"We would abolish the pernicious Home Office because transformation of our country demands a system that is truly representative of and fair to everyone," he said.
Numerous concerns about UK Visa and Immigration at Home Office
There have been a number of concerns about deliberate targeting of minority groups, frequently referred to as BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic), by the Home Office. Scandals have included both the Windrush scandal affecting Afro-Caribbean migrants and the Tier 4 visa scandal affecting mainly Tier 4 visa students from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
There have also been allegations that there is a Home Office system to prevent access to justice. Apparently called a “Shored Up” system by Home Office officials, it is a system that encourages bogus and false statements to be made to try and make sure any appeals against Home Office decisions do not succeed. This is referred to in the All Party Parliamentary Group report relating to the Tier 4 visa scandal of 18 July 2019. In societies such as in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union there were “Show Trials” to give the impression of justice when justice did not in reality exist. It is hoped that something similar to this will not continue to exist in the UK.
Complaints from actual Home Office staff of widespread discrimination in the workplace have also been made. Statistics also show that African visa applicants applying from abroad, are far more likely to have their UK visa applications refused.
MPs referred Home Office to Equality and Human Rights Commission over UK visa policies
There had been concerns from MPs that 'nothing has changed' since the Windrush scandal of early 2018. In May 2019 they referred the Home Office to the equalities watchdog. The Labour MP David Lammy, and the group urged the Equality and Human Rights Commission to investigate the department's "deeply discriminatory" immigration policies and whether this amounted to institutional racism.
David Lammy MP chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Race, had the following to say to the Guardian:
"The gross mishandling and abuse of the Windrush generation by the Home Office raises serious questions over whether British citizens were discriminated against on the basis of their race and ethnicity, in breach of equalities legislation...
"This is why we are calling on the EHRC to investigate the Home Office and, in particular, the hostile environment legislation, which appears to have led to discriminatory treatment against ethnic minority British citizens.”
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