It's pretty well understood in my circles, which involve a lot of disabled people and a lot of politics people, that disabled people get a lot of shit from the DWP.
Very few people realize how strikingly similar am experience immigrants can have in dealing with the Home Office.
There really are a lot of parallels. Look at this Guardian article I read today:
It starts right in the subhead.
the Home Office is driven not by reason but by keeping numbers down.And it just goes on.
Not only is the Home Office understaffed and under-resourced as the result of public sector cuts, it is also under pressure to deliver whatever results the government needs to stand any chance of meeting its immigration targetsHaving tried and mostly failed to get blood out of the stone that is the DWP, I don't relish dealing with another system that is similar in any way (and I heartily wish I'd been able to do this while Andrew still had a steady and quite healthy income, because I'm terrified of how expensive this could be... I know I Kickstarted the money for the application fee but, as this article alludes, anything that doesn't go perfectly smoothly will cost a lot more).
The guiding Home Office principle seems to be reject first, ask questions later, and in the meantime hope the applicant does not have the connections or resources to appeal. Immigration lawyers have told me that officials were at one point being incentivised, on the basis of how many applications they rejected, with Marks & Spencer vouchers.
the Home Office in particular, and the immigration system in general, has long made decisions not on the basis of merit or reason, but as a way of filtering out as many applicants as possible – either via exhaustion of resources or impossibly high barriers.
If the waiting or the rejections or the appeals don’t exhaust the anxious applicant, the costs involved in protecting themselves from the relentless machine surely will.
Already there are reports of EU citizens being questioned about their right to use the NHS, and concerns about poor and elderly people who may struggle to fortify themselves against whatever ultimate decision will be made about their status.
these deficiencies yield great consequences for ordinary people who suffer when a bureaucracy turns brutal. It has also revealed the extent to which immigration law is damaged by populist thinking and underfunding.
But now that Christmas is out of the way and I have a nice long stretch ahead of me where I don't expect to need my passport, it's time to put the final touches on my citizenship application and send it off.