London: The Home Office has admitted that a new immigration rule to criminalise and deport migrant rough sleepers may discriminate against ethnic minorities, including Asian women who have survived domestic violence. An internal document outlines the department’s analysis of how the new power – which prompted widespread outrage when it came into force four months ago – would also indirectly affect at-risk groups, including people with disabilities. The eight-page equality impact assessment, obtained by Liberty Investigates, accepts the potential of the rule to indirectly discriminate on the grounds of race, since some factors leading to homelessness disproportionately affect people from particular ethnicities. “The main reason Asian women give for being homeless is because of domestic violence,” the assessment states.
Pragna Patel, director of campaigning group the Southall Black Sisters, said the document, released under freedom of information law, exposed a callous attitude to migrants made homeless by domestic abuse. Last month, the home secretary, Priti Patel, listed the government’s domestic abuse bill among a number of measures it has taken to ensure women’s safety after the killing of Sarah Everard. “In the same breath, they are saying we are going to introduce this measure around rough sleeping, knowing it will affect victims of domestic abuse,” said Pragna Patel.
Read more: Aaron Walawalkar and Mark Townsend, Guardian, https://is.gd/DzMDqV