UK: ‘Reckless’ new plan on immigration sees major decline in processing asylum claims

27 May 2021: Amnesty International: UK: ‘Reckless’ new plan on immigration sees major decline in processing asylum claims

Quarterly immigration statistics published by Home Office today: Long outstanding asylum claims 50% higher than a year ago

‘The Home Office’s new asylum rules are reckless and impractical’ – Steve Valdez-Symonds

New statistics published today by the Home Office show that immigration rules introduced by the Home Secretary last December have led to more than 1,500 people who have sought asylum in the UK being warned the Home Office is looking to send them to other countries. Although there are no agreements in place for those countries to accept responsibility for their asylum claims. To date, none of these people have been removed from the UK.

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Judge criticises Priti Patel over policy for asylum seekers in pandemic


Updated 25 May 2021: Guardian: Home Office drops plan to evict thousands of migrants during pandemic

U-turn affects around 4,000 people refused asylum who were facing eviction with ‘immediate effect’

The Home Office has reversed its plan to evict thousands of migrants during the pandemic, the Guardian has learned.

The U-turn affects about 4,000 migrants who were facing eviction from Home Office accommodation.

Concerns were raised that the department’s plan to resume evictions of some refused asylum seekers with “immediate effect” could increase the spread of Covid and discriminate against people of colour who will be disproportionately affected by the policy.

A court order signed on Tuesday by government lawyers and their counterparts challenging the evictions policy confirmed that the home secretary, Priti Patel, had withdrawn it.

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Britain’s borders: wide open to Covid, slammed shut for people in need

What are the priorities?

19 May 2021: Guardian: Britain’s borders: wide open to Covid, slammed shut for people in need

“During the first three months of the pandemic – from 1 January until lockdown on 23 March last year, 18 million people arrived in the UK from abroad. But only 273 of them were obliged to quarantine. By contrast, across the 12 months to March 2020, 23,075 people were thrown into immigration detention centres: prisons for people who have not been convicted of any crime but are suspected of entering – or remaining in – the country without the correct paperwork.”

Read the article here:

BID raises concerns on the use of prolonged solitary confinement in immigration detention

Time-served prisoners!

16 May 2021: Guardian: Torture victims kept in solitary by Home Office for up to a year

Immigration detainees left desperate and suicidal after being held in prisons during the pandemic

The Home Office has pursued a policy of psychological brutality by locking up scores of torture survivors in solitary confinement for indefinite periods, according to fresh testimony from immigration detainees.

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Iranian asylum seeker cleared of Channel smuggling charges

January 2021: BBC: Channel migrants: Iranian jailed for piloting two dinghies

‘Following the sentencing, the Home Office’s Clandestine Channel Threat Commander Dan O’Mahoney said Kakaei’s actions “risked lives” and the prosecution “put a stop to that cycle of criminality”.

This is what the New Plan for Immigration rests on, calling people seeking asylum ‘criminals’, but on retrial:

14 May 2021: Guardian: Iranian asylum seeker cleared of Channel smuggling charges

Man who took turn steering boat ‘because he didn’t want to die’ freed, with case opening way for others to appeal their sentences

An asylum seeker jailed on smuggling charges for helping to steer a boat filled with migrants from France to England has had his conviction overturned at a retrial after spending 17 months in jail.

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Anti-Deportation Protesters Block Immigration Van From Leaving Glasgow Street

Guardian Cruel, paranoid, failing: inside the Home Office

For the thousands of people who end up on the wrong side of the Home Office each year, there is often a sudden moment of disbelief. This can’t be happening, people tell themselves. They can’t do this, can they?

BBC: Police release men from immigration van blocking Glasgow street

Two men who were being detained in an immigration van which was surrounded by protesters have been released.

The move followed a standoff between police officers and protesters in Kenmure Street on Glasgow’s southside.

Early on Thursday people surrounded the Home Office vehicle believed to contain two Indian immigrants who had been removed from a flat.

Hundreds gathered in the area, with one man crawling under the van to prevent it from moving.

The Home Office said the men had been detained over “suspected immigration offences”.

Some of the protesters were heard shouting “let our neighbours go”.

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EDM #7 – Regularisation of undocumented migrants

That this House recognises that there are many barriers that prevent people from accessing and maintaining stable immigration status even when they were either born in the UK or have lived in the UK for many years; further recognises that the majority of undocumented migrants have lost their status through no fault of their own, including through an inability to pay application fees, lack of access to legal advice, mistakes on the part of decision-makers and complexity of immigration rules; understands that the harm done to individuals through hostile immigration policies extends to family members and the communities that they are part of; notes that the UK has one of the most complex and expensive routes to regularisation in Europe; further notes that all current routes to regularisation and settlement are far too long, complicated and inflexible, leaving people with no options but to live undocumented; understands that migrants who do not have access to the public safety net or the right to work are vulnerable to exploitation and; and calls on the Government to support recommendations made by Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants in its report, We Are Here: routes to regularisation for the UK’s undocumented population, published in April 2021 by introducing new routes to regularisation and removing barriers which cause migrants to become undocumented.

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22 May 2021 – a day of solidarity at Napier Barracks!

Close The Camps UK: We are a coalition of grass-roots groups organising against the Home Office housing of asylum seekers in Napier Barracks, an old army accommodation in Kent that has been declared unfit for purpose. Join us on 22 May for a day of solidarity at Napier Barracks!

Hello friends, comrades, chosen family and fellow workers. 

Hello siblings of colour, migrants and asylum seekers, LGBT and sex workers fam, poor and working class folks, Gypsy, Roma and Travelers, feminists, trade unionists, activists and all those who stand in solidarity with us to oppose state violence. 

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The Immigration Plan and the ‘Sovereign Borders’ Bill

10 May 2021: Rethinking Security: Article by David Forbes

As the UK Government prepares to announce its new Sovereign Borders Bill in parliament, David Forbes argues that the very idea of ‘sovereign borders’ is false and ignores both the reality of international legal commitments and the disastrous precedent of Australia’s flirtation with the concept.

The British people were invited to respond to a Consultation about Home Secretary Priti Patel’s New Plan for Immigration over the six weeks to 06 May. This has proved to be a highly contentious process, with almost 200 refugee, human rights, legal and faith groups publicly condemning the process, not least for excluding the perspective of refugees.

None of us were invited to challenge the title ‘Sovereign Borders’ attached to the post-Consultation Bill which will be announced in this week’s Queen’s Speech. Nor were we invited to question whether “sovereign borders” is an appropriate concept to apply to complex issues of migration and asylum which are defined in customary international law.

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For stateless people in the UK, the road to recognition can be tortuous

UNHCR: For stateless people in the UK, the road to recognition can be tortuous

I am a human being just like you all,
I have great moments and sometimes I stumble and fall.
I am merely a human being first and foremost,
Do not treat me like I am a number, I am not a ghost.
I have a family which I have not seen in years,
I try to wash away the pain but all I feel are tears.
Running down to the bottom of my face,
I may not have a document, but I am part of the human race.
I fight my battles inside and out, trying to prove I am worth much more,
I try to show you what I am all about, but you keep slamming the door.
I have worked hard for all that which I have achieved,
I am still human if only you will believe.
Believe, that I have a right to live and be free as everyone else,
My circumstances, my life in chaos, I am in a mess.
Through no fault of my own I find myself here stuck,
I am stuck in this injustice, riding extremely low on my hope and luck.
But I believe in all the good that still exists,
the truth will surface if I persist,
I will continue to raise my voice for those who cannot,
this choice I do not regret.
I am still a human being, lest you should forget

from the report ‘I Am Human’ (the link is below)

Most of us take our citizenship for granted. But for people who are stateless, the lack of citizenship is often an identity crisis that can last many years – sometimes, the best part of a lifetime.

Stateless people living in the UK told UNHCR of the limbo they find themselves in as they seek recognition of their status. 

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