Today, with Liberty and Medact and many others, we have written to Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, to call for urgent changes to ensure the safety of migrants in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
We call on the Home Secretary to:
ensure access to healthcare – this means immediately suspending all NHS charging and data sharing with immigration enforcement, and launching a public information campaign that makes clear that healthcare services are available and safe for all migrants to use
ensure all migrants have access to vital public services by suspending ‘No Recourse To Public Funds’ conditions
make assurances that no one will be penalised for missing appointments, reporting or court dates due to illness
make sure no one is made an ‘overstayer’ because of being self-isolated or unable to return to a country that is not safe to travel to, by extending or modifying visas
release everyone detained under immigration powers to reduce the risk of COVID-19 entering the detention estate and causing avoidable harm
22.10.2018: In the last year, over 26,000 people were detained in the UK under immigration powers.
There is no time limit on how long people can be detained under immigration powers in the UK. That means that people are held in prison-like conditions with no idea when they will be released. There is plenty of evidence documenting the harm that this causes to those detained, and to their families and communities. Continue reading “Detention Forum: Unlocking Detention”