A NEWSPAPER investigation has revealed that the Home Office has been making huge profits out of the human misery of the Tories’ ‘hostile environment’ campaign against every foreign-born worker and their families in the UK.
According to the report, the Home Office has been profiteering from the soaring immigration fees charged to hundreds of thousands of people applying, or forced to apply, for British residency and citizenship under the racist rules introduced by Theresa May when she was Home Secretary.
The Home Office made £500 million in profit last year as a result of the massive increase in fees levied – an increase of 91% over previous years.
People applying for limited leave to stay in the UK have to pay 72% more than five years ago, from £601 to £1,033, while the actual cost in processing the application is £243.
For those applying for indefinite leave, the cost has shot up by 119% over the same period – from £1,093 to £2,389 – giving the Home Office a profit of £203 million last year.
Those applying for British citizenship must pay £1,012, an increase of 51% since 2014, a profit of £640 for every application whether successful or not.
The entire system of application is a minefield of bureaucratic form-filling that has been likened to ‘snakes and ladders without the ladders’ resulting in numerous cases where a single error in filling in the complex forms or being unable to find any of the historical records demanded to ‘prove’ a person’s right to remain can lead to them being designated as ‘undocumented’.
This means being automatically denied benefits, jobs or access to the NHS, and facing deportation. Children, even if born in the UK, could be deported to countries they have never even been to.
The ‘Windrush’ scandal broke last year when it was revealed that thousands of workers from the Caribbean and their descendants – who had been welcomed to Britain at the end of the war to rebuild the country – were being subjected to a reign of terror to drive them from the country.
At the time, the Tories fell over themselves to apologise and promise it would never happen again. It now transpires that not only is the hostile environment campaign alive and kicking it is also making a handsome profit for the government.
While making £500 million in profit it is driving families into massive debt as they are forced to find the money to pay the extortionate fees levied on them by the Home Office.
Labour MP Rupa Huq commented that she found the profiteering ‘shocking but not surprising’ saying: ‘Every week I see people who have been ripped off by exorbitant application fees for a substandard service while being fleeced by money-gobbling solicitors. The Windrush scandal exposed the incompetence of Home Office bureaucracy. This profiteering shows the hostile environment is alive and well.’
She added: ‘Labour would review these fees as a matter of urgency.’ It is not a question of reviewing fees.
The hostile environment unleashed against immigrant workers finds its reflection in the hostile environment the Tories have waged against the entire working class through austerity cuts to wages, benefits and the systematic privatisation of the NHS.
In this war against the working class, the Tories have consciously turned to racist attacks on immigrant workers and asylum seekers in an attempt to split the working class and divert their hatred away from the real enemy – a bankrupt capitalist system that in its death agony can only strive to survive by dumping its crisis on the backs of the working class.
The enemy of the working class is not migrant workers or asylum seekers but the Tories and this bankrupt capitalist system determined to screw a profit out of every worker and young person.
The only answer to this is for workers to demand that the TUC call a political general strike to bring down the Tory government and bring in a workers government that will expropriate the bosses and bankers and open its doors and welcome all workers from across the world to help build a socialist society.