For a glimpse into the experience of people who are undocumented and on the receiving end of the Hostile Environment, please read this poem by Champagne, a Haringey Welcome member and Haringey resident, who finally had her status resolved recently, after twenty years.
An atmosphere of darkness
A place of despair.
Its like spilled milk to them
But that was my Life to me
In constant worry, stagnant fear.
When I looked up like others do, I never saw ladders but a mirror of me
Looking at my reflection
That’s all I could see.
Hiding from the police
Lying to my friends and family
Sleeping rough here
Sleeping rough there
Being unpaid, under valued and cheat
was a cycle to me
But i wasn’t trapped
I was imprisoned by a system.
That said NO!
NO passport no residence here!
That’s what I saw, when I was even noticed.
I was labelled, subjected, ranked,
Classed, branded and decided as the loneliest scrub.
To get up in the morning, was becoming a chore, so why did I bother to go through the door?
Because one day I met a hand, a finger it was
That said speak what you wanted even if all I saw was a reflection of me…
When you have given up on the host, you have no probability.
But time and patience ticked away…
Its nice to be noticed that’s all I can say.