Suella Braverman has been sacked as Home Secretary. Over the last year, she has headed up some of the most regressive immigration policies and made some inflammatory, divisive statements about marginalised groups. So, we thought we’d put together a short list of some of the most infamous moments:
Her complicity in creating harmful anti-migrant laws and policies
Whether it was her involvement in the ‘Illegal Migration’ Act, her proposals to deny citizenship to anyone with a criminal sentence of 12 months, or her obsession with “stopping the boats”, Suella’s commitment to demonising and violating the rights of migratised and racialised communities truly knew no bounds.
When she called migrants an “invasion” and a “hurricane”
Suella never shied away from scapegoating, whipping up hysteria, and fear mongering, as her “hurricane” comments showed. She had the audacity to claim migrants are an “invasion” when so many migrants are fleeing conflict and instability caused by the West’s colonial legacies and imperialism in Africa, South Asia and the Middle East. She clearly hadn’t heard of the famous quote “we are here because you were there”. Maybe now she has more time on her hands she could go educate herself.
When she couldn’t stop dreaming about Rwanda
We dream of a world without oppression. Suella dreams of a world where marginalised people are deported to Rwanda. Weird flex but OK.
When she fangirled over the British Empire
Suella has stated her “pride” for Britain’s colonial history, and that “those on the left are ashamed of our history”. We wonder how someone whose own family has fled the effects of colonialism could be so delusionally unashamed.
When she attacked the Refugee Convention
Appallingly yet unsurprisingly, the Home Secretary stated she wanted to abandon the 1951 Refugee Convention in favour of stricter measures to limit the eligibility for refugee protection. She believed that the Refugee Convention was not “fit for the modern age” because the threshold was too low.
When in reality, the Refugee Convention is not fit for any age because the threshold is far too high. The reasons people flee are complex and numerous, including discrimination, economic instability and climate change, which are all threats to someone’s dignity and quality of life. How much harm is enough for you Suella?
And if this wasn’t enough, she also went out of her way to state that people falsely claim they are gay in order to claim asylum. Let that sink in.
When she took issue with migrants’ failure to “integrate”
Suella expressed concern that migrants have failed to “integrate”. It’s bizarre that migrants should be expected to give up important elements of their identity in order to be respected. Instead of obsessing over how migrants can be forced to “integrate”, let’s dream of a world where migrants are celebrated and respected.
When she said people chose to be unhoused
She continued to prove how ridiculously out of touch she was when she tweeted that migrant rough sleepers dabble in rough sleeping as a “lifestyle choice”. No one chooses to be unhoused. Austerity policies and the UK’s racist immigration system force people to become unhoused.
When she was obsessed with grooming gangs
Suella made no secret of her obsession with the ethnicity of grooming gangs. She previously claimed in an interview with Sky News that grooming gang members are “almost all British-Pakistani”, despite Home Office statistics showing that group-based Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) offenders are most commonly White. This obsession also forms part of a long history of the Home Secretary’s demonisation of Muslim and racialised communities, who are often disproportionately affected by deprivation of citizenship.
So called “hate marches”
According to the Home Secretary, marching against ongoing settler-colonialism, genocide and ethnic cleansing is hateful? Ok Suella.
TLDR: Suella, you’re the threat
And finally, who can forget when she called migrants an “existential challenge for the political and cultural institutions of the West”? She was obsessed with demonising migrants as a “threat”, drawing on the Great Replacement Theory (a White supremacist myth) in order to justify violence against them. In case it’s not abundantly clear, the actual threat to our collective society is racism and divisive rhetoric.
Now as the new Home Secretary, James Cleverly, takes her place, we’re anxiously awaiting what his stance on immigration policies will be. We urge him to meet with migrants and ask them what changes they want to see. We hope his legacy won’t be following in his predecessor’s footsteps when it comes to demonising marginalised groups.