A Short History of Resistance to Immigration Detention and Deportations in the United Kingdom

April 2020: Bill MacKeith, published by Oxford Against Immigration Detention http://oaid.org.uk

In 2019, ‘enforced returns’ from the UK fell to 7,361, 22% lower than the previous year and the lowest number since records began in 2004. Over the same period, there were 11,421 ‘voluntary’ departures. 

On 31 December 2019, there were 1,637 people in immigration detention, 8% fewer than on 31 December 2018, and fewer than half the number on 30 September 2017. The number of people entering detention in 2019 was similar to the previous year at 24,443. Prior to this, there has been a downward trend since 2015. (Immigration Statistics, Year Ending December 2019)

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Court: bar set too high for NHS surcharge and visa fee waivers

Guardian: 21 May 2020 Tribunal says if migrants can prove they cannot pay fees then they should not have to do so

The Home Office asked the family to pay £7,665 in visa fees and the health surcharge, even though the family produced evidence to the court of having just one penny in their savings account. The Home Office said they did not meet the destitution test because a friend was giving them accommodation and they were getting basic support to survive from their church and a food bank. …
[…] The court ruled that the Home Office was applying the wrong test for whether or not people should have to pay thousands of pounds for their visas and NHS surcharge… Read more

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Immigration Bill – the issues

Update: this Bill was passed at the 2nd Reading  Download this briefing

The Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill will end the EU’s rules on free movement of persons into the UK, bringing EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members under UK immigration control. This means they will require permission to enter and remain in the UK. Continue reading “Immigration Bill – the issues”

COVID-19 IMMIGRATION DETENTION CRISIS

[Note from QARN: what can you do – bring this to the attention of your MP – especially if your MP is on the Home Affairs Select Committee. This is going to the Committee on 29.4.2020 – see Members below]

Dear Home Secretary,

We, Freed Voices, are writing to express our concern regarding the serious risks posed by Covid-19 to those who continue to be held in Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs) across the UK. Continue reading “COVID-19 IMMIGRATION DETENTION CRISIS”

Ease the immense suffering for undocumented migrants

20.4.2020 The BaRE UK: The impact of COVID-19 government measures on asylum seekersAsylum seekers are already the most isolated and marginalised people in the UK and things have just gotten a lot worse for them.

Loraine Masiya Mponela, the chairperson for Coventry Asylum and Refugee Action Group (CARAG), reflects on the unique challenges being faced by asylum seekers and undocumented migrants in the UK.

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Global Compacts for Migration, and Refugees

Briefing from Parliament: The United Nations Global Compact for Migration  

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration was formally adopted by 164 Member States of the United Nations, including the UK, in December 2018. This briefing explains what’s in the Compact and its implications for Member States.

Download the full report: The United Nations Global Compact for Migration (PDF, 2 MB) Continue reading “Global Compacts for Migration, and Refugees”

QCEA: Covid-19 and inequality _ beyond isolation

Quaker Council for European Affairs: 9 April 2020 Navigating uncertain waters: Covid-19 and inequality 

Isolation, disruption and confusion have interrupted many of our lives. Kékéli Kpognon and Andrew Lane chart a way through by focusing on those who have been surviving these conditions for years.

While some countries have relaxed rules towards asylum seekers, others have made their lives harder. Image: <a href="https://www.instagram.com/goppangnyarta/">Goppang Nyarta (Boush)</a> a young Darfuri designer, engineer and artist-in-residence at Quaker House Brussels in 2019.
While some countries have relaxed rules towards asylum seekers, others have made their lives harder. Image: Goppang Nyarta (Boush) a young Darfuri designer, engineer and artist-in-residence at Quaker House Brussels in 2019.

Policies that show generosity towards asylum seekers make some European politicians very nervous, which is why some of what we have seen in Europe in the last few days is so remarkable. The deportation of asylum seekers is being suspended (Germany), immigration detainees are being released (Italy), homeless people are being housed (France), and some are being given temporary asylum (Portugal).

But rather than protect people from Covid-19, some governments are using the crisis for other purposes. We are seeing the right to claim asylum under European and international law being suspended (Greece), and the granting of new powers for a prime minister to rule by decree indefinitely (Hungary).

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