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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The Arrivers: Why Language Matters in Migration Policy

2 December 2020: Rethinking Security: The Arrivers: Why Language Matters in Migration Policy

Catherine Henderson argues that how we talk and write about migrants determines how we and others think about them and their place in our society. Welcoming migrants as ‘arrivers’ matters as much as recognising the reasons they had to leave other countries.

A few weeks ago a series of leaks from the Home Office conjured up a dystopian world where people seeking asylum in the UK might be kept on old ferries or oil rigs or sent to Ascension Island in the South Atlantic. The boats in which they attempt to cross the Channel might be pushed back to France by wave machines or trapped in giant nets.

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Home Office failed to comply with equality law when implementing ‘hostile environment’ measures

and … Bella Sankey@BellaSankey· Director of @DetentionAction: And it’s officially confirmed. The @ukhomeoffice are planning a pre-Christmas mass deportation of Black British residents to Jamaica on 2nd December. Despite #COVID19 risks they think that they have capacity to deport 50 people on the flight. #Jamaica50@DetentionAction

Note – you can sign this petition: Urgent action needed: Home Office plan pre Christmas mass deportation to Jamaica during lockdown


EHCR: Home Office failed to comply with equality law when implementing ‘hostile environment’ measures Published: 25 Nov 2020

We assessed how and whether the Home Office complied with the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) when developing, implementing and monitoring the hostile environment policy agenda, particularly in considering its impact on Black members of the Windrush generation.

The assessment has found that negative consequences were repeatedly ignored, dismissed, or their severity disregarded at crucial points of policy development. There was limited engagement with representatives of the Windrush generation, even as the severe effects of hostile environment policies began to emerge.

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Appeal Court Quashes UK Policy of Removing Migrants With Little Warning

21 October 2020: The court of appeal has quashed a Home Office policy of removing migrants from the UK without access to justice. In a unanimous decision, three judges found the policy, which allowed the forcible removal of a migrant from the UK sometimes within hours and in many cases without access to lawyers, to be unlawful. More than 40,000 removals were affected by the policy, resulting in vulnerable people being put at risk. Some were recognised as having been removed unlawfully, were brought back to the UK and granted leave to remain.

Wednesday’s ruling will be a blow for the home secretary, Priti Patel, who has vowed to take a tough line on removing migrants from the UK. It also comes at a time when she has been reported to be considering making some definitions of human rights law for judges rather than leaving judges to decide these legal points for themselves.

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Inspectors report on Home Office flight removing immigration detainees to France and Germany

Please do Read the report: Germany and France escort and removalit is disturbing

2.10.2020: Extract: ‘Managers were expecting some resistance, because of their previous experience of detainees being reluctant to return to other European countries under the TCU arrangements. Several of those scheduled to be on the flight had been very distressed; the removal of most of those identified as at risk of suicide or self-harm was cancelled, but two who were at risk travelled, of whom one self harmed on the aircraft and the other was found during the journey to be secreting a fragment of sharp metal in his mouth. Two detainees had to be carried on to the aircraft and restraints were used on half the total number.

Handcuffs were fitted for short periods to the wrists of three detainees for the purpose of achieving compliance through inflicting pain. We did not directly observe the incidents and so cannot judge whether use of this technique was proportionate in the circumstances.’

[and … ‘

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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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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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Refugee Week – powerful Stay Home for Labour online event

Refugee Week Facebook event – it took place on Wednesday 17.6.2020, but is available for viewing. You may find it interesting to hear the stories of people with lived experience, and hear from Shami Chakrabarti, Alf Dubs and Jeremy Corbyn: 

Shaista spoke about Status Now at 1hr 17 mins on this Zoom event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGGeBUdY-ps

This is a powerful discussion, giving a voice to people with lived experience, also featuring Shami Chakrabarti, Alf Dubs and Jeremy Corbyn.

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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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