Global religious leaders urge end to “broken state of European migration”

22.9.2020 World Council of Churches: Global religious leaders urge end to “broken state of European migration”

A dozen global and regional religious organizations released an advocacy statement on the situation of migrants and refugees in Europe that defines their calling as Christians to “welcome the stranger,” and urges the creation of a world in which “we become human together.”

“Solidarity should be the guiding principle governing migration and particularly refugee reception,” the statement says. “We expect the EU to reject the discourse and politics of fear and deterrence, and to adopt a principled stance and compassionate practice based on the fundamental values on which the EU is founded.”

The organisations have issued the statement in advance of the EU Commission’s presentation of its new Migration Pact on 23 September.

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Of great concern: proposed outsourcing of asylum interviews

23.9.2020: Independent: People seeking refuge in UK face ‘serious risk’ of injustice as Home Office plans more asylum outsourcing despite warnings

Lawyers warn move to outsource asylum interviews is ‘hugely risky’ as private firms in running for new contract have been embroiled in previous scandals over handling of immigration services

People seeking refuge in the UK face a “serious risk” of injustice as the Home Office plans to outsource another element of its immigration services, lawyers warn. 

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Home Office plans to evict thousands of refused asylum seekers

Guardian: People in England whose cases have been refused will be given 21 days to leave UK, letter states

Thousands of asylum seekers currently accommodated in hotels are facing removal from the UK, the Home Office has announced.

A letter from the Home Office, seen by the Independent, states that evictions of refused asylum seekers will take place “with immediate effect” and charities have reported an increase in people being held in immigration detention centres.

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Corporate Watch report on UK Border regime

Throughout history, human beings have migrated. To escape war, oppression and poverty, to make a better life, to follow their own dreams. But since the start of the 20th century, modern governments have found ever more vicious ways to stop people moving freely.

The UK border regime includes the razor wire fences at Calais, the limbo of the asylum system, and the open violence of raids and deportations. Alongside the Home Office, it includes the companies running databases and detention centres, the media pushing hate speech, and the politicians posturing to win votes. It keeps on escalating, through Tony Blair’s war on refugees to Theresa May’s “hostile environment”, spreading fear and division.

This book describes and analyses the UK’s system of immigration controls. It looks at how it has developed through recent history, the different actors involved, and how people resist. The aim is to help understand the border regime, and ask how we can fight it effectively.

NB: we will be glad to send copies for free to asylum seekers and other people without papers. For other people and groups fighting the border regime, we can send at cost price or whatever you can afford to donate.

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100 groups demand safe and legal routes now

[updated 3 Oct 2020 with Channel 4 news item]

17 August 2020: (including the link to a suggested letter to your MP) JCWI: 100 civil society groups, Windrush survivors and religious organisations have come together to demand safe and legal routes now, in response to the government’s dangerous rhetoric surrounding recent Channel crossings. The fact is that people seeking protection in the UK can only do so once they reach UK soil. The lack of safe and legal routes by which to reach the UK means that people are pushed into the hands of people smugglers and forced to take dangerous journeys to claim asylum here.

In its response to Channel crossings, the government has so far sought to abdicate all responsibility. We’ve been here before – if the Home Office is truly serious about learning the lessons of Windrush, they need to listen to expert advice from people who have been through the immigration system, and those who work with them. If they don’t, further tragedy at the UK’s borders seems unavoidable.

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Claudia Webbe MP calls for end to NRPF status

12 August 2020 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Claudia Webbe MP calls for end to NRPF status

Claudia Webbe, Member of Parliament for Leicester East, has today written to Priti Patel, Secretary of State for Home Affairs, urging the government, as the UK faces the greatest ever recession, to end the No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) immigration status.

The letter (attached) draws attention to the fact that recent Home Office statistics show that the number of migrants with NRPF applying for destitution funds dramatically increased by 572% during the coronavirus crisis.

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Home Affairs Committee Inquiry: Channel crossings, migration and asylum-seeking routes through the EU

Inquiry: This inquiry will examine the reasons behind the growth in migrants crossing the English Channel in small boats. It will look at the role of criminal gangs in facilitating the growth of this form of illegal immigration and the response of UK and French authorities to combat illegal migration and support legal routes to asylum.

This inquiry is currently accepting evidence

The committee wants to hear your views. We welcome submissions from anyone with answers to the questions in the call for evidence. You can submit evidence until Monday 14 September 2020.Read the call for evidence before submitting

https://committees.parliament.uk/work/496/channel-crossings-migration-and-asylumseeking-routes-through-the-eu/?fbclid=IwAR0OrVw5U20kY4MKNhZdH8ltxU4Vx0KySe-7s4fxVgDJfxXLWsr-tp1GMLk

Note the language used: Home Secretary appoints small boat commander

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Migrants at risk of drowning

Independent: 9 August 2020 Migrants at risk of drowning if Priti Patel sends Navy warships to Channel, warns ex-home secretary

Hardline Australia-style tactics to block fragile vessels also condemned as ‘completely potty’ by defence official

Priti Patel’s plan to use Royal Navy warships to stop migrants crossing the Channel will put them at risk of drowning, a former home secretary says.

Jack Straw issued the warning after the home secretary’s idea – which would see the rising number of boats blocked before they can enter British waters – was branded “completely potty” by a defence official.

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Strong political statement here

Guardian: German Protestant church to send migrant rescue boat to Mediterranean

Sea-Watch 4 is result of crowdfunding and is set to leave from Spain in few days

The German Protestant church will send a ship to the central Mediterranean to rescue migrants attempting to reach Europe from north Africa.

The boat, named Sea-Watch 4, will depart in a few days from the seaport of Burriana, near Valencia, in Spain, where volunteers are finalising preparations, the crew has said.

The mission, managed by United4Rescue – an initiative led by the Protestant church in Germany (EKD) and backed by more than 500 other organisations – is the result of a crowdfunding campaign launched a few months ago and named #WirschickeneinSchiff (“We send a ship”).

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/06/german-protestant-church-to-send-migrant-rescue-boat-to-mediterranean