Dr Maya Goodfellow discusses her book 'Hostile Environment: How Immigrants Became Scapegoats' in this Q&A hosted by rapper & activist Lowkey.
This is the first instalment of our book club events. #BIDREADS aims to provide a space for people to deepen their understanding of issues relating to detention and deportation. We'll read a new book every three months culminating in a Q&A with the author hosted by a very special guest.
About the book:
The UK government boasts that the aim of its immigration policy is the creation of a “hostile environment” for so-called “illegal immigrants”, while refugees drown in the Mediterranean and desperate people attempt to cross the Channel in flimsy boats and our media and politicians claim that “swarms” of migrants are entering Britain. Meanwhile, study after study confirms that immigration is not damaging the UK’s economy, nor putting a strain on public services, and yet immigration is blamed for all Britain’s ills. At the same time “concerns” about immigration are deemed legitimate across the political spectrum, with few exceptions. How did we get here?
Maya Goodfellow offers a compelling answer. Through interviews with leading policy-makers, asylum seekers, and immigration lawyers, Goodfellow illuminates the dark underbelly of contemporary immigration policies. A nuanced analysis of the UK’s immigration policy from the 1960s onwards, Hostile Environment links immigration policy and the rhetoric of both Labour and Tory governments to the UK’s colonial past and its imperialist present. Goodfellow shows that distinct forms of racism and dehumanisation directly resulted from immigration policy, and reminds us of the human cost of concessions to anti-immigration politics.