New Immigration rules a new form of modern day slavery for Care Workers

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By Eng Jacob Kudzayi Mutisi
In a move aimed at reducing legal migration numbers to the UK by around 300,000, on Monday, 4 December 2023, the Home Secretary unveiled a series of significant measures, including introducing laws that ban care workers from bringing in their dependents.
The protectors of immigrants should emphasise on the importance of family unity and values while calling on Christians from various denominations, such as the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Church of England, and others, to play an active role in upholding these values. It argues that the current situation resembles a form of slave labour, where care workers are allowed to work but are not given due consideration for their family needs.
England is legally a Christian country with an established church, the Church of England, with the monarch as its “titular”  head therefore Christianity places a strong emphasis on the significance of family and the unity it brings. The Bible teaches the importance of cherishing and supporting one’s family members. Christian churches, including the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Church of England, and other denominations, have historically advocated for family unity and support.
Every individual, including care workers, deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. Restrictive laws preventing care workers from bringing their families can lead to a sense of isolation and neglect, denying them the opportunity to experience the joy and support that family life provides. Christian churches should actively advocate for the rights and well-being of care workers, ensuring that their human dignity is upheld.
The introduction of new laws that separate families of care workers and neglect the basic needs and rights of these individuals is essential for the UK government to recognise the hardships faced by care workers and champion their cause. By raising awareness, engaging in dialogue with policymakers, and offering practical support, churches can play a significant role in ensuring that the needs of care workers and their dependents are acknowledged and met.
The UK government emphasises the principles of social justice, which include fairness, equality, and the protection of vulnerable individuals. By denying care workers the opportunity to bring their dependents, the current laws perpetuate an unjust system resembling elements of slave labour and attract undesirable behaviour.UK Christian churches are called to speak out against such injustices and advocate for policies that prioritise the well-being and unity of families.
Christian churches have a responsibility to provide pastoral care and support to their members, including care workers. This support can encompass counselling services, community initiatives, and practical assistance in navigating legal and immigration challenges. By offering a helping hand, churches can demonstrate their commitment to upholding family unity and values.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs applies to families emigrating as they face challenges related to physiological needs for example food, shelter, safety and security establishing new social connections and support systems, maintaining a sense of belonging, preserving self-esteem amidst cultural adjustment, and pursuing personal growth and fulfilment in their new country. Emigrating families can address these needs by securing basic necessities, adapting to a new environment, building social networks, finding a sense of belonging, nurturing self-esteem, and striving for personal development. Meeting these needs is crucial for the well-being and successful integration of immigrant families into their new community.
When physiological needs are left unmet they can result in health issues and increased vulnerability. Lack of safety and security can lead to anxiety, stress, and a sense of instability. Denying love and belonging needs can cause feelings of isolation, loneliness, and difficulty in forming new connections. Neglecting esteem needs can result in low self-esteem, self-doubt, and a loss of confidence. Finally, disregarding self-actualisation needs can lead to a sense of unfulfillment and hinder personal growth. Overall, denying these needs can negatively impact the well-being, adjustment, and integration of immigrant families.
The United Kingdom’s laws restricting care workers from bringing their dependents contradict the principles of family unity and values upheld by the Christian faith. Christians from the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Church of England, other denominations, pressure groups and other immigrants should actively engage in advocating for the rights and well-being of care workers and their families.
By addressing the needs of care workers, promoting human dignity, and embracing the principles of social justice, Christian churches and other organisations can play a vital role in upholding family unity and values in the context of care work. It is essential to create an environment that respects and supports the families of care workers, moving away from a system that resembles elements of slave labour and towards one that cherishes the importance of family in society.
Let us revisit this law and look for a win-win solution for the UK government and the Care workers.