Early Day Motion EDM#658 Leave to Remain status

Please ask your MP to support EDM #658.

We have an urgent request: the call for Status Now for All is being carried into Parliament in an Early Day Motion – EDM #658 as follows:

EDM #658 – LEAVE TO REMAIN STATUS

​That this House notes that there are currently an unknown number of persons in the UK who are not citizens of the UK and who do not at present have leave to remain in this country, who lack any entitlement to support from the state and are therefore entirely without funds to feed, clothe and house themselves and their families and who are unable to comply with government guidance on self-isolation and social distancing; and considers it essential that the government takes immediate action to ensure that leave to remain in the United Kingdom is granted to all such persons who are within the UK but are not citizens, irrespective of their nationality or immigration status, so that they can access healthcare, food and housing to enable them to adhere to government advice on social distancing, and to ensure the health of themselves and their families as well as helping protect the health of all of us.

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Epistle from ‘Envisioning a world that is open to all: let us see what love can do’ Conference at Woodbrooke, Birmingham, UK   27-29 September 2019

Ffriends,

From a gathering of 60+ people[i], including Quakers and non-Quakers, people who have experienced the weight of the immigration system, artists, poets, musicians and singers. Continue reading “Epistle from ‘Envisioning a world that is open to all: let us see what love can do’ Conference at Woodbrooke, Birmingham, UK   27-29 September 2019”

QARN Leaflets: Download them here, including ‘Excessive Fees’

We have the following leaflets here: About QARN_Detention_Language_Hostile environment_Removals Deportations_Excessive fees

QARN has put together leaflets that you can download from this page by clicking on the links below. Please feel free to download and print off your own copies. There is also a form below, for ordering printed copies of our leaflets – which are free:

12 April 2020:  The newest leaflet from the Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network (QARN) supports our campaign about the recent increases to the fees for those seeking refuge in this country.   Along with other groups and faith bodies QARN seeks to inspire others to express outrage at this injustice.

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QARN next meetings

QARN’s quarterly meetings usually run from 11am – 4pm.

Plans for where and how we hold our Meetings depend on the progress of measures being put in place in relation to Coronavirus. In view of the restrictions in place due to the Coronavirus pandemic we will possibly have a meeting using Zoom https://zoom.us/ to which Quakers are welcome.

We plan to start at 10.30am to manage the technical aspects of a Zoom meeting, falling quiet at around 10.45am, and beginning business at 11am. The meeting number will shortly be available to those who receive our emails, but for other people, please contact us via info@qarn.org.uk giving your name, and the Quaker Meeting to which you are attached. Thank you.

23 January 2021: on Zoom, all those interested who are attached to Quaker meetings are welcome – if you are not on our mailing list please email:  info:qarn.org.uk for the Zoom link

If you are not already receiving our emails on the QARN network and want to join the network, or just this Meeting, please email info@qarn.org.uk  including your name and the Quaker Meeting you are attached to.

Army-prison style camps used as ‘contigency units’

16 January 2021: Guardian: Legal action launched against plan to house asylum seekers at Yarl’s Wood

Home Office criticised for plans to accommodate 200 people seeking asylum at ‘prison-style’ camp.

Pressure is mounting on the Home Office over its plans to house nearly 200 asylum seekers in what campaigners have described as a “prison-style” camp on the site of an immigration jail.

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The UK’s hostile environment: Deputising immigration control

Melanie Griffiths, University of Birmingham, England
Colin Yeo, Garden Court Chambers, London
Abstract – the full text is here: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0261018320980653

In 2012, Home Secretary Theresa May told a newspaper that she wanted to create a ‘really hostile environment’ for irregular migrants in the UK. Although the phrase has since mutated to refer to generalised stateled marginalisation of immigrants, this article argues that the hostile environment is a specific policy approach, and one with profound significance for the UK’s border practices. We trace the ‘hostile environment’ phrase, exposing its origins in other policy realms, charting its evolution into immigration, identifying the key components and critically reviewing the corresponding legislation.

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ICIBI An inspection of the Home Office’s use of sanctions and penalties

2021 Jan 14: Publishing the report, David Bolt said: For many this will seem to be a case of too little, and much too late. From ICIBI’s perspective, in 2016, and again in 2018 and 2019, a series of inspection reports recommended that the Home Office should monitor and evaluate the impact of the hostile/compliant environment. These recommendations were only “partially accepted” and never implemented. Had they been, some of the harms suffered by the Windrush generation and others may have been avoided.

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Petition: housing vulnerable asylum seekers in portacabins on wasteland next to Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre

It’s the middle of a grim winter, the pandemic is fiercer than ever, and yet the Home Office wants to force hundreds of vulnerable refugees into cramped portacabins at the infamous Yarl’s Wood detention centre.

This is a cruel way to treat refugees, it’s badly planned policy and it should be stopped. One brave local resident has today launched a legal challenge to halt the Government in its tracks. It’s a cause we should all support.

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“No one should fear accessing medical advice from our superb NHS due to an immigration reason.”

Yes.  This is all perfectly doable. We can overcome public health inadequacies, end the endangerment of people and map out a logical and comprehensive route to health and safety for all by giving settled status or Indefinite Leave to Remain to everyone who is undocumented and in the legal process who is currently in the UK and Ireland, thereby guaranteeing access to services, without fear or retribution.

Open letter from Status Now 4 All:

Continue reading ““No one should fear accessing medical advice from our superb NHS due to an immigration reason.””

The Friend Christmas issue 2020

The new issue of The Friend is a double 32-page Christmas special. 

You can download the magasine as a PDF above. It has now been circulated to every Local Quaker Meeting in the UK on BYM’s generic address list, that’s over 400 Meetings.

George Penaluna, Advertisement Manager, hopes you’ll share this PDF with your networks, QARN trustees and anyone else you think may enjoy reading it. Many thanks and best wishes for Christmas

We thank George for his warm engagement with us.

Migrant Voice report launch, today

16 December 2020: Migrant Voice: As part of our International Migrants Day celebrations, we’re launching a report looking at media coverage of migrants and migration during the first Covid-19 lockdown in the UK.

The launch will take place on Zoom, Wednesday 16 December, 5.30-7pm, and all are welcome. Email info@migrantvoice.org to get the link. 

For this report, we analysed almost 900 news stories across nine of the UK’s most popular media outlets to answer these questions: Did we really see a shift to positive coverage of migrants, or just those working in the NHS? Which news outlets were best at including migrant voices in their Covid-19 coverage? Were migrants presented as heroes, threats or victims during this unprecedented time?

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Revealed: shocking death toll of asylum seekers in Home Office accommodation

15 December 2020 Guardian: FoI response shows 29 people died – five times as many as lost their lives in perilous Channel crossings

Twenty-nine asylum seekers have died in Home Office accommodation so far this year – five times as many as those who have lost their lives on perilous Channel small boat crossings over the same period.

The Guardian obtained the figure in a freedom of information response from the Home Office, which does not publish deaths data. The identities of the majority of those who died have not been made public and the circumstances of their deaths are unclear.

[…] Read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/dec/15/revealed-shocking-death-toll-of-asylum-seekers-in-home-office-accommodation


We call for Status Now 4 All #HealthAndSafetyForAll Join us

High Court finally calls time on asylum accommodation delays

15 December 2020: Freemovement

Everyone who works with asylum seekers knows that the Home Office system for providing accommodation is not fit for purpose. In R (DMA and Others) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWHC 3416 (Admin) the High Court has finally and emphatically recognised this. The judgment will surely have significant ramifications for how the Home Secretary discharges her duty to accommodate destitute asylum seekers.

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2020 Nov Public accounts committee: Asylum accommodation and support transformation programme 

The Committee of Public Accounts is appointed by the House of Commons to examine “the accounts showing the appropriation of the sums granted by Parliament to meet the public expenditure, and of such other accounts laid before Parliament as the committee may think fit” (Standing Order No.148).

The report itself is here: https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/3561/documents/34409/default/

Conclusions and recommendations

1.It is unacceptable that the Department has failed to engage adequately with local stakeholders. The Department and its providers have repeatedly failed to properly consult and communicate with local authorities and NHS providers, and local MPs on the use of hotels in their areas. We are concerned to hear that the Department moved service users that had contracted COVID-19 to a hotel in another local authority at the last minute and without notifying either the relevant local authority or the relevant NHS bodies affected. We are similarly concerned to hear that in another local authority, the provider had told the local authority but had not informed the local health commissioner that 160 asylum seekers were moving to a local hotel and would need medical services. Where plans are shared, this is not done so with enough time to allow health and well-being services to put the necessary support services in place. It is essential that the Department contacts local care commissioning groups or equivalent before relocating asylum seekers in their areas so that their medical needs can be properly catered for. The Department accepts it needs to improve how it works with local partners, but despite its claims to have redoubled efforts since we last discussed this issue in June 2020, MPs’ and local authorities’ concerns have continued.

Recommendation: The Department should, as a matter of urgency, communicate with NHS bodies, MPs and other key stakeholders such as police, setting out how it will consult and engage with them in future. The Department should write to the Committee within three months to confirm its approach.

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