Let’s not forget how Sajid Javid has voted when it comes to immigration

Sajid Javid
Sam Woolfe

Following Amber Rudd’s resignation, Sajid Javid is now the home secretary. Rudd displayed serious failings when it came to the treatment of Windrush generation migrants. But Javid’s approach to immigration is also raising a few eyebrows.

Javid wants to correct Rudd’s mistakes 

During his first appearance in the Commons, the new home secretary told MPs:

We will do right by the Windrush generation.

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I want to start by making a pledge, a pledge to those from the Windrush generation who have been in this country for decades and yet have struggled to navigate through the immigration system: This never should have been the case and I will do whatever it takes to put it right.

He also told Sky:

The most urgent task I have is to help those British citizens… that came from the Caribbean, the so-called Windrush generation, and make sure that they are all treated with the decency and the fairness that they deserve.

Deeds not words

Javid has expressed his dislike for the term ‘hostile environment’ to describe how the Home Office deals with immigrants. He prefers the term “compliant environment”. He said:

I think the terminology is incorrect, I think it’s a phrase that is unhelpful and does not represent the values as a country.

Labour MP Stella Creasy, however, questioned whether this was a change in name only. She tweeted:

Meanwhile, 20 NGOs have written a letter to Javid, urging him to scrap the “inhumane and arbitrary” policies of the Home Office.

So far, he has made a vague pledge to “do right” by the Windrush generation. Let’s see what kinds of changes he actually makes. Because when it comes to his voting record on immigration, it doesn’t look promising.

Javid’s votes on immigration

TheyWorkForYou points out:

Sajid Javid voted against banning the immigration detention of those who are pregnant and against guidance to be taken into account on the immigration detention of vulnerable people.

In response, performance artist Mark McGowan (also known as the Artist Taxi Driver), called this “shocking”, “sick”, “abhorrent”, and “brutal”.

The new home secretary also voted:

to make it an offence to rent a home to someone who is disqualified as a result of their immigration status from occupying premises under a residential tenancy agreement.

Katie Newbury, Senior Associate at Kingsley Napley LLP, said this is “a key part of the [hostile environment]”. In addition, Javid has voted to increase the power to deport before considering an appeal on human rights grounds.

The home secretary may talk about treating Windrush migrants with ‘decency’. But his voting record on immigration – his actions, rather than his words – do not reflect decency. Voters won’t miss the hypocrisy.

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Featured image via Creative Britain – Wikimedia

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