You may have seen that the government has released its statement on the Afghan resettlement scheme.
There is no deviation from its exclusionary and unlawful policy (under the Refugee Convention) of preventing people claiming asylum except in the smallest of circumstances:
“Thedetails set out above constitute the UK’s comprehensive immigrationresponse to theunique and exceptional circumstances of the evacuation andchange of situation in Afghanistan.There is no change to our longstanding policythat a person can only claim asylum from within the UK. We will not acceptasylum claims at our Embassies, High Commissions or VACs overseas orotherwise; whether by online application or through other correspondence. “
Barbara Forbes has drawn our attention to yesterday’s letter from twelve Anglican Bishops. They describe the Nationality and Borders Bill as ‘an affront to justice’.
The signatories are listed at the foot of the letter. If you live in the diocese of any of these bishops you might like to write and thank them. If they sit in the Lords you could ask them to work against the Bill when it reaches the House of Lords. If you are in a diocese that is not represented in the list you might write in terms that would encourage them to join the protests.
12 September 2021: Guardian: Bishops hit out at ‘criminalisation of Good Samaritan’ over Channel crossings
Letter from 12 C of E bishops says nationality bill is ‘affront to justice’ by penalising the saving of a life
Twelve Church of England bishops have accused the government of criminalising “Good Samaritans” who seek to save the lives of migrants crossing the Channel in small boats.
The bishops, who speak on asylum and refugee issues within the church, said the nationality and borders bill before parliament is an “affront to justice” by putting the saving of life under a legal penalty.
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. The meeting link will be available to those who receive our emails, but for other people, please contact us via email@example.com giving your name, and the Quaker Meeting to which you are attached. Thank you.
Our next planned meeting dates: Saturdays: 16 October 2021, and 22 January 2022 – 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 firstname.lastname@example.org including your name and the Quaker Meeting you are attached to. There is no cost involved.
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.
QARN is a signatory to Together With Refugees: Show your support: The orange heart represents compassion for people fleeing war and persecution. Inspired by the refugee nation flag, and the colours of a lifebelt, the heart symbolises hope and kindness. By recreating and sharing the heart on your social media channels you can show your support for refugees.
The Nationality and Immigration Bill (Anti-Refugee Bill) goes to committee stage in the week beginning 18th October and Together With Refugees and City of Sanctuary are launching a campaign whereby all over the country people will join in the Show Your Heart activities, showing their support for refugees by displaying orange hearts in public places.
On 6 December 2021, there will be a big reveal of orange hearts at landmarks around the UK. You can coordinate your efforts around these dates and share your pictures on social media using the #TogetherWithRefugees and #WhoWeAre hashtags. You will also soon be able to submit them to an online exhibition on the Together with Refugees website.
If you are a local group and would like inspiration and ideas of ways to show support please check out our campaign guide.
The Home Office has admitted that there is “limited evidence” to suggest that its new plans for the immigration system will reduce the number of migrant Channel crossings. The Home Secretary has made promises to reduce the number of immigrants crossing the English Channel as part of the New Plan for Immigration which she hopes to introduce under the Nationality and Borders Bill, which is currently under review in parliament. But in an impact equality assessment recently released by the Home Office stated that the reforms to the immigration and asylum system carry “significant scope for indirect discrimination” and “potential for direct discrimination on the basis of race”.
Home Office’s Justification: As part of the impact assessment the Home Office responded to the concerns of human rights organisations and admitted that there “may be circumstances where someone faces immediate danger in their country of origin but is not eligible for our refugee resettlement programmes”. In these circumstances the department said that the Home Secretary “may consider such cases, by virtue of their challenging circumstances, to merit the use of discretion to allow individuals to come to the UK”, however it did not make it clear how this would be done.
LONDON – As it stands, the UK Nationality and Borders Bill would penalise most refugees seeking asylum in the country via damaging and unjustified penalties, creating an asylum model that undermines established international refugee protection rules and practices, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, said Wednesday.
Worth knowing: DLA Piper are hosting a scheme supported by ILPA where over 400 volunteer lawyers are taking on pro bono cases of people needing to get out of Afghanistan. Email is email@example.com
The government’s naming of its Afghan resettlement scheme ‘Operation Warm Welcome’ is ‘cynical’ given other obstacles, organiser warns
Nearly 400 lawyers and immigration professionals have teamed up with one of the world’s biggest law firms to form a new group to help people trying to flee Afghanistan, i can reveal.
The group, which is yet to be formerly named but operates as the Afghan Immigration Group, was founded by a clutch of UK asylum lawyers in an attempt to share information and work co-operatively to assist as many people as possible left in danger since the West withdrew from Afghanistan and the Taliban seized power.
20 August 2021: From a number of members of the QARN Steering Group:
We understand the urgency of the situation for those fleeing Afghanistan, and also those already in UK who are in the asylum process, or living in the hidden economy without papers at this time.
The situation also provokes us to act, and thoughts in Meetings are turning to offering sponsorship to those who will be brought to UK having been assessed as very vulnerable under the scheme put in place by the UK Government.
These schemes appear attractive to people wanting to do something. They can also bring a range of difficulties to the people offered support, and those offering to help.
People must make their own decisions and there will be others with experience amongst members of the QARN network.
Updated 13 August 2021: Care4Calais: We now know that made the young Eritrean man who died in the sea off Calais yesterday so desperate to leave France.
The 27-year-old had been staying in camp near Calais. In recent days the police were aggressive and violent, taking tents and belongings and harassing people so they could no longer stay even in this rough camp.
In the police’s wake came the smugglers, offering the only way out – a dangerous trip in a small, overloaded boat across the world’s busiest shipping channel.
It takes a lot of luck to make that journey. The Eritrean couple’s luck ran out. There were 37 in their boat, a hopeless overloading. Just off the coast, in choppy conditions, it began to take on water.