Britain opts out of EU asylum directive

The UK has decided not to implement two asylum directives of the European Union as part of its moves to be tough on immigration and asylum seekers, says the Economic Times.
Signing up to the EU’s Reception Conditions Directive would have forced Britain to allow asylum seekers to work after six months, even if their claims had been refused and they were appealing against the decision.
Immigration Minister Damian Green has informed Parliament that the UK will not be opting into the EU asylum directives.
According to him, the directives would have ‘restricted the country’s ability to run an asylum system which is both fair and efficient’.
“This Government does not support a common asylum system in Europe. That is why we have not opted in to these directives and will not opt in to any proposal which would weaken our border,” Green said.

A Home Office release said that signing up to the directives would have sent out the “wrong message, encouraging those who do not need our protection to make unfounded asylum claims”.
“It would also have required all detention to be authorised by a judge, whether or not the detainee wanted to apply for bail. This would have placed a burden on our courts and been costly for the British taxpayer,” the Home Office said in a statement.

It said that opting in to the Procedures Directive “would have jeopardised ways of working which enable the UK to manage straightforward asylum claims effectively – in particular the Detained Fast Track which provides speedy but fair decisions for asylum seekers whose claims can be decided quickly.” Source:Economic Times/  Immigration Matters


On the anniversary of Mubenga’s death in deportation, we call on the government to end these needless abuses

Emma Ginn: Wednesday 12 October 2011

A year ago, Jimmy Mubenga died after being restrained by G4S guards contracted by the British government during an attempt to deport him to Angola.

Medical Justice will join the family of Jimmy Mubenga and others at a vigil on Friday at noon outside the Crown Prosecution Service to mark a year since his death during a deportation attempt.

Independent doctors volunteering with Medical Justice regularly visit immigration detainees who have sustained injuries during attempts to deport them. Continue reading “On the anniversary of Mubenga’s death in deportation, we call on the government to end these needless abuses”

ENAR press release: Does the EU border agency really take fundamental rights seriously?

ENAR has issued a press release concerning the recent European Parliament move on 13 September to agree to increase the powers of the EU’s border agency Frontex and to appoint one fundamental rights officer, among other improvements. While ENAR welcomes this measure towards more respect for human rights within Frontex, we are concerned that it will not seriously address the human rights breaches often committed within Frontex operations as a result of its mission to “monitor and control” Europe’s external borders. Read more: European Network Against Racism 

Companies Use Immigration Crackdown to Turn a Profit

The men showed up in a small town in Australia’s outback early last year, offering top dollar for all available lodgings. Within days, their company, Serco, was flying in recruits from as far away as London, and busing them from trailers to work 12-hour shifts as guards in a remote camp where immigrants seeking asylum are indefinitely detained.

It was just a small part of a pattern on three continents where a handful of multinational security companies have been turning crackdowns on immigration into a growing global industry. Continue reading “Companies Use Immigration Crackdown to Turn a Profit”

Police investigate alleged assault on Nigerian mother on deportation flight

A police investigation has been launched into an alleged assault on a Nigerian asylum seeker in front of her three young children on a plane bound for Italy. The alleged incident occurred just two weeks after the launch of the government’s new family-friendly removal policy. The family are one of the first to be detained under the new arrangements. The woman, Faith, 39, said six of the eight escorts on the flight beat her on the arms and legs, twisted her hand and put hands around her neck. She said she was left spitting blood and had still not recovered. Her claims have raised concerns among human rights campaigners about the treatment of asylum seeker families during the revamped removals process.

Read more

35 NGOs urge the Home Affairs Select Committee not to ignore the issue of unlawful detention

, 3 October 2011: Today, 35 NGOs have written to the Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC), urging him to ‘apply scrutiny to the issue of unlawful detention’ in their forthcoming inquiry into asylum and migration.  The letter was drafted by Bail for Immigration Detainees, Freedom from Torture and Detention Action after the idea was mooted at the Detention Forum quarterly meeting on 14th September.  Continue reading “35 NGOs urge the Home Affairs Select Committee not to ignore the issue of unlawful detention”