Over the last year, British filmmaker Sonita Gale has shone a light on the hostile environment created by immigration policies in the UK through the making of her film Hostile. The documentary explores the impact of the No Recourse to Public Funds policy which restricts migrant’s access to the welfare state, and the chasm between Britain’s rich and poor, unveiling how the country has reached a point of crisis. In this special screening and discussion, Sonita will share scenes from her near-complete documentary, and will be joined by social commentator and Windrush Campaigner Patrick Vernon OBE, and Natalie Barnes (daughter of prominent Windrush campaigner Paulette Wilson) to discuss the Windrush Scandal, and how it is indicative of a systemic issue in the way that so many migrants are treated in this country.
In light of the Lesson’s Learned Review, which assessed the causes and impact of the Windrush Scandal, they will discuss the steps the government has taken in recent years to ensure mistakes from the past are not repeated, ask how the findings of the Sewell Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities reflects the lived experiences of minorities and migrants in modern Britain, and question why the Home Office has stopped recording how many people from the Windrush generation have died waiting for compensation. In looking to the future, they will look at how current immigration policies – like the New Points Based System – will impact migrant communities, and whether the hurdles placed in front of highly-skilled migrants may indeed be the next Windrush Scandal in the making, begging the question: what happens when the Hostile Environment turns to us all?