Laura Sharman 05 May 2020

Migrant women left unsupported during crisis, report warns

Migrant women are at risk of being left without support during the Covid-19 crisis due to ‘hostile’ immigration rules, a new report has warned.

Migrant Women and the Economy warns that despite being disproportionately represented in ‘key worker’ occupations, most migrant women have no recourse to public funds.

Published by the Women’s Budget Group and Coventry Women’s Partnership, the report finds that migrants can be left with no rights to social security or vital services if they are unable to work because of Covid-19.

It is calling on the Government to review the ‘no recourse to public funds’ policy, extend the Destitution Domestic Violence Concession to all migrant women victims and assess the impact immigration policies have on equality.

Dr Sara Reis, head of research and policy at WBG and author of the report, said: ‘The report highlights that the problems with the rules of the current immigration system have never been starker. We have seen how dependent our NHS, social care services, agriculture, food production and distribution are on the labour of migrant workers.

’We have seen MPs recognise that many of the people who would be excluded under the Government’s proposed new immigration rules are actually key workers: supermarket cashiers, care workers, and hospital cleaners.

’It is now time for fundamental change, rethinking of whose jobs are crucial, and valuing the contribution of migrant workers through an immigration system that centres on the care and wellbeing of people and reflects their lived experiences.’

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