THE pandemic has exacerbated the “deadly effects” of the conservative hostile environment, according to a new study documenting the experiences of undocumented migrants during the crisis.
Policies blocking access to health care, housing, benefits and the right to work have forced these people into abusive “no work, no pay” jobs and cramped housing, putting them further at risk of coronavirus , according to the survey.
Published yesterday by migrant rights group Kanlungan Filipino Consortium and supported by the British Academy, the research followed the experiences of 15 Filipino migrants, all but one of whom worked as caregivers or domestic workers. They were interviewed in the spring of 2020 and around the same time this year.
Almost half of those surveyed said they had avoided the Covid-19 vaccination due to their immigration status or lack of sufficient information.
One respondent said: “It could be a trap. If they have our contact details, they can catch us. I will not do the vaccine.
A man said his wife did not seek medical help when she developed flu-like symptoms.
Covid-19 vaccines, tests and treatments are available to everyone, regardless of immigration status and without screening, but campaigners have repeatedly warned that many people are still too afraid to access health care.
The report insists that the pandemic has “intensified and highlighted the deadly effects of the hostile environment.”
The Home Office said: “Many of the large-scale Covid-19 measures we put in place were available to migrants without recourse to public funds, including the coronavirus job retention program, the self-employed income support program; and tenant eviction protections. . “