When the Windrush scandal reached mainstream attention, many were surprised by the cynical response from the right-wing press. After all, the “hostile environment” created by Theresa May was reflected by coverage in their newspapers.
The time for false outrage is over, though. The Mail is once more openly attacking anyone who questions the hostile environment. And it also wants the government to be above the law when it comes to immigration.
Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott gave a speech on 16 May to the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) – a “leading progressive think tank“. In it, she laid out how Labour plans to ‘reframe’ the debate on immigration. She also laid out firm proposals, which included:
- Closing two controversial detention centres, including the notorious Yarl’s Wood.
- Scrapping minimum income requirements for spouses to join UK partners.
- Ending the “scandalous practice” of British-born children having to pay for citizenship.
- Ending the “failing” policy of landlords acting as immigration officers.
We cannot as a Labour party prosecute an immigration policy which is about running scared of the Daily Mail and the Daily Express. We have to own an immigration policy which is based on the facts, and which involves the contribution that migrants make to the economy.
Unsurprisingly, this hasn’t gone down well with the Mail.
Despite the Windrush scandal, the Mail Online is worried that Labour proposals will:
force officials to prove suspects were in Britain without permission
It also reported that:
Tories said the proposals would wreck efforts to deal with the estimated million illegals in Britain.
And it included this quote from Andrew Bridgen MP:
Diane Abbott has confirmed what we already know – that Labour will have an open-door policy where anybody who wishes to come to our country can do so…
Labour are running up the white flag on illegal immigration and declaring an amnesty for those here illegally.
Under Labour, there will be no such thing as an illegal immigrant because anyone who wants to come to our country will be made welcome.
Not surprisingly, people have called out the Mail‘s hypocrisy:
Daily Mail 17th April – How could the Windrush scandal have been allowed to happen?
Daily Mail 17th May – Why should we have to prove immigrants are here illegally? Surely the fact that they look foreign should be enough?
Yeah, still an absolute mystery how Windrush happened… pic.twitter.com/ElCpYz80gR
— Jamie Jenkins (@JJenkinsSJB) May 17, 2018
As opposed to? Think about what the Daily Mail is actually saying here. pic.twitter.com/g8eW952gqK
— Tory Fibs (@ToryFibs) May 17, 2018
"What are you mad at today, Daily Mail?"
"I WANT THE GOVERNMENT TO HAVE THE POWER TO THROW OUT PEOPLE WHO ARE HERE LEGALLY WITHOUT FUCKING CHECKING" pic.twitter.com/1jwmuskNTc
— James Felton (@JimMFelton) May 17, 2018
The Tories are claiming that Labour wants a situation in which there’s “no such thing as an illegal immigrant”. Expecting the government to prove when an immigrant is here illegally, however, is not calling for an open border. It’s just basic legality. And if anything, it sounds like the Tories want an environment in which there’s no such thing as a legal immigrant.
Despite its recent fake outrage, the Daily Mail obviously wants this too. And anyone who calls for an end to the hostile environment is likely to face the tabloid’s wrath. So it’s a good job that wrath ain’t what it used to be.
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Featured image via Garry Knight – Flickr