Concerns about the use of army barracks, hotels, offshoring etc etc.

How can this be right! Offshoring people to Rwanda. What you can do: petitions to sign, letter to your MP, demonstrations:

This post is being updated with reports of atrocities around the army camp accommodation, and other Home Office plans to accommodate people in new sites: including offshoring in Rwanda (revealed April 2022). How low will this Government stoop?There are petitions to sign below.

Updated 20 May 2022: Rwanda:

Information on the Care4Calais website for people at risk, two leaflets with information in various languages, phone numbers – please pass the information on: https://care4calais.org/stop-rwanda/


Guardian: Far-right threat feared at huge base for asylum seekers in North Yorkshire village

Nicola David, chair of Ripon City of Sanctuary and a member of the Linton-on-Ouse action group, said to Home Office officials at the meeting: “You treat asylum seekers like animals, like pawns in your political game.”

A senior police chief has admitted officers are consulting with counter-terrorism experts about threats from the far right at a military base in North Yorkshire where the Home Office is planning to house 1,500 asylum seekers.

On Thursday night a meeting of residents in the small village of Linton-on-Ouse was told that the first people were due to move in in less than two weeks. The chief inspector for Hambleton and Richmondshire, David Hunter, also acknowledged at the meeting that police were being assisted with advice from Counter-Terrorism North East to prepare for the threat of far-right activity which could put the asylum seekers at risk.

Home Office officials, along with their sub-contractors Serco who will be managing the accommodation, attended the meeting of Linton Parish council to answer questions about the plans from concerned villagers and campaigners. Approximately 10 far-right protesters gathered outside but were barred from entry by police.

Continue reading “Concerns about the use of army barracks, hotels, offshoring etc etc.”

QARN at Yearly Meeting 2022

Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network: Unmasking and unmaking the hostile environment – let us see what love can do – 25 May 2022, 11:00 AM to  12:30 PM, on zoom

Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network will talk with Friends about the current hostile environment and our plans going forward; current development (as best we can) and where members of our network are particularly engaged. Friends who represent QARN in other bodies will comment on current work and developments.

Age suitability: only those over the age of 14

The hostile environment and its impact on everyone involved in or engaged in working against it are very challenging to consider. Not great for those with a strong empathy.

Max number of participants: 100

You need to register for Yearly Meeting in order to participate – book your place at Yearly Meeting here: https://www.quaker.org.uk/ym


We also have an online event on 16 June 2022: And an event in conjunction with Woodbrooke ‘Changing the Conversation’ on 16 June 2022 at 7.30pm when we will be joined by people who have lived experience of the asylum system – book through Woodbrooke: https://www.woodbrooke.org.uk/product/changing-the-conversation/  The painting that advertises this event was commissioned by QARN and created by Erfan, who joined us for the June event last year

New Plan for Immigration – Nationality & Borders legislation 2022

As of 27 April 2022 the Nationality & Borders Bill is now disgracefully on route to Royal Ascent and becoming an Act of Parliament:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/borders-act-to-overhaul-asylum-system-becomes-law

When the will is there, it can be done – that is our point:  there is hope yet … We will collate reports and legal challenges to the Nationality and Borders legislation here.


Updated 28 April 2022: Fight The Anti-Refugee Laws

We’re going to get the anti-refugee laws repealed. Sign the Pledge to Fight the Anti-Refugee Laws

[…] Our pledge below lays out what this campaign and its supporters are committed to: a compassionate approach that welcomes and supports refugees.

The Pledge

Click on the link SIGN UP TO THE PLEDGE to access the form for organisations, faith groups, charities, community groups, businesses, trade unions and others to sign the pledge to fight the ‘anti-refugee’ laws contained in the Nationality and Borders Act 2022.

Continue reading “New Plan for Immigration – Nationality & Borders legislation 2022”

Together with Refugees – show your support

QARN is a signatory to Together With Refugees: please get involved in the Orange Hearts campaign at their your local level.

Updated 28 April 2022: After the government forces through the Nationality & Borders Bill we fight on…

Today, in the face of overwhelming opposition, and forced to resort to strong-arm tactics in the House of Lords, the Government has managed to steamroller the catastrophic Nationality and Borders Bill through Parliament.

[…] Kindness and compassion will win …

We should take a moment to celebrate all that we’ve achieved together over the last year. We will be drawing on the vitality and breadth of our coalition of over 400 organisations, and supporters up and down the country, who have shown their resolve to fight the bill every step.

Continue reading “Together with Refugees – show your support”

QARN next meetings

Next QARN meeting: on zoom 16 July 2022 – this will be our AGM

QARN’s quarterly meetings usually run from 11am – 4pm but while we are on Zoom we keep them shorter.

Plans for where and how we hold our Meetings depend on the progress of measures being put in place in relation to Coronavirus. We currently meet using Zoom https://zoom.us/ and 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; and we aim to end around 12.30pm. The meeting link will  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.

Our next planned meeting dates: Saturdays: 16 July, 15 October 2022, and 14 January 2023 – on Zoom while the pandemic roams. 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. There is no cost involved.

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.

Continue reading “QARN Leaflets: Download them here, including ‘Excessive Fees’”

Ending Immigration Detention

18 May 2022: International Detention Coalition: Gaining Ground: Promising Practice to Reduce & End Immigration Detention

International Detention Coalition report: Gaining Ground May 2022
International Detention Coalition report: Gaining Ground May 2022

Immigration detention represents one of the most flagrant human rights violations of our time. In recent years, IDC has seen a number of governments begin to recognise that effective and feasible alternatives to detention (ATD) do exist. This paper was written to provide an overview of practical examples and recent developments in the field of alternatives to detention (ATD), in order to highlight promising practice and encourage further progress in this area. It aims to inspire and embolden governments, local authorities, international organisations, civil society and community actors and other stakeholders, with steps they can take to move away from the use of immigration detention. This report includes an Annex compiling short country profiles for the 47 countries included in the research mapping.

Continue reading “Ending Immigration Detention”

Further concerns about visa fees

9 May 2022 Birmingham Mail: Mum campaigns against ‘extortionate’ visa fees after 34 year long immigration battle with Home Office

Takesh has now launched a campaign shining a light on unaffordable visa fees and the long wait times for processing visa applications costing her years of her life.

A mother from Selly Oak has ended her 34 year long immigration battle as she is finally granted British citizenship. Although a happy time for the 40 year old, Takesh Hibbert said it’s a ‘bittersweet’ moment as she now begins her campaign to help other migrants fighting to stay in the UK.

Read more: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/mum-campaigns-against-extortionate-visa-23862534

Download or order QARN leaflets n the concern about fees here: https://qarn.org.uk/qarn-leaflets-download-them-here/

Understanding the roots of the UK’s immigration system

This post also includes examples of racism that are underpinned by the ongoing hostile environment

Updated 11 May 2022: Our Racism Exposed – Barbara Forbes, published in Churches Refugee Network Advisory Group Bulletin May 20222

It is surely very heart-warming to observe the enthusiasm across the country to support and welcome those fleeing the war in Ukraine – and it therefore might seem somewhat curmudgeonly to offer any criticism.

And yet, all across the refugee sector, voices have been raised pointing out that the disparity between the responses to refugees from Ukraine and refugees from elsewhere has revealed a deep and ongoing racism both in the government and the wider public.

Media coverage of the refugees from Ukraine has been in marked contrast to headlines condemning those asylum-seekers who have hitherto been “swamping” the country. The Daily Mail headlined “Putin’s stain on humanity” but had previously ignored the similar “stains of humanity” of those perpetrating atrocities in countless other wars – possibly because the UK has often been complicit in those other atrocities?

There is blatant racism also, for example, in the treatment of Black students trying to flee from Ukraine; there have also been reports of Roma families being prevented from leaving.

Continue reading “Understanding the roots of the UK’s immigration system”

‘The other side of hope’

the other side of hope: journeys in refugee and immigrant literature

SUBMISSIONS OPEN until 31st of May 2022 – ​please read updated submissions guidelines below

new email address for submissions: submissions.otherside@gmail.com

​We admire, respect, and are friends with writers and poets from all walks of life. However, the other side of hope exists to serve, bring together, and celebrate the refugee and immigrant communities worldwide. To help promote and showcase writing from these communities, fiction and poetry are open to refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants only. We accept non-fiction, book reviews, and author interview submissions by everyone on the theme of migration. Please see categories below.

We publish twice a year, one print issue and one online issue. Continue reading “‘The other side of hope’”

Some good news:

6 May 2022: BBC: Former Glasgow Girl refugee Roza Salih becomes a councillor

Roza Salih has become the first refugee to be elected to Glasgow City Council.

The 33-year-old has been elected for the SNP to represent the Greater Pollok ward.

Ms Salih has campaigned for the rights of refugees since she was a teenager and with school friends formed the activism group the Glasgow Girls.

They protested against the dawn raids by immigration officials in Drumchapel in 2005 and inspired a BBC musical drama.

The Glasgow Girls were formed by a group of pupils at Drumchapel High School who came together to protest at the detention of a friend.

From a school petition, the campaign grew and soon attracted national attention, highlighting wider concerns about the treatment of asylum seekers.

Roza Salih took to social media after her election on Friday to thank “the wonderful city I love so dearly”.

Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-61355719

Surveillance

Updated 1 May 2022: Guardian: Immigration officers placed in 25 local authorities by Home Office, FoI reveals

Embedded officials can pass the details of undocumented people to immigration enforcement

The Home Office has placed immigration officers in child social services and dozens of other local authority departments, in an arrangement that has raised concerns about the ability of the most vulnerable to seek support, the Guardian can reveal.

Continue reading “Surveillance”