The Director of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants has said that the Home Office has created a “hostile environment” after Sajid Javid apologised for immigrants being forced to provide DNA samples as part of their applications.
Satbir Singh told talkRADIO’s Eamonn Holmes: “Throughout this year we have seen, like with the Windrush scandal, is that there is a very clear policy of hostility.
“We have that hostile environment baked into every layer of the immigration system.
“There are very clear decisions that have been taken at a political level that have led us to the situation we are in.”
He added: “The default setting is suspicion and hostility. Many people who have a right to be here are being removed unlawfully from this country.
“There are people being forced to take DNA tests despite not actually having to.”
'No one should have been penalised'
The Home Secretary has been forced to apologise to MPs after it emerged that the Home Office has been illegally requiring immigrants to provide DNA samples.
Mr Javid apologised to the Commons and told MPs that the practice was "unacceptable".
He added: "I am determined to get to the bottom of how and why, in some cases, people were compelled to provide DNA in the first place.
"Across our immigration system, no-one should face a demand to supply DNA evidence and no-one should have been penalised for not providing it."
The Home Office said that 398 applicants were told they must give DNA as part of a 2016 operation investigating fraud, with 13 subsequent refusals linked to DNA provision and seven of those solely because DNA was not provided.
'Yet another apology'
Mr Singh called for an independent review of the Home Office following Mr Javid’s apology.
He said: “This was no supposed to be happening. We were first alerted to this story earlier in the summer when we heard the immigration minister Caroline Nokes say to Parliament that this simply wasn’t happening.
“We encountered people that this had actually happened to so what we have seen today is the admission of yet another scandal from the Home Office.
“Yet another apology, yet another taskforce set up. It is really clear that there are plenty of those inside the Home Office and it is clear we need an independent review of the whole place.”