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.
Continue reading “UK: ‘Reckless’ new plan on immigration sees major decline in processing asylum claims”
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lawyers and their counterparts challenging the evictions policy confirmed that the home secretary, Priti Patel, had withdrawn it.
Continue reading “Judge criticises Priti Patel over policy for asylum seekers in pandemic”
22 May 2021: Independent: Exclusive: Netherlands and Sweden join list of EU countries saying they will not agree to take asylum seekers from UK
The number of migrants crossing the English Channel has doubled year on year despite Priti Patel’s vow to make the route “unviable”, The Independent can reveal.
More than 3,000 men, women and children have made the trip in small boats since January, up on around 1,400 during the same period in 2020, despite ministers paying millions of pounds to increase security along the French coast.
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: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/may/19/britain-borders-covid-government-indian-variant-migrants
All Party Parliamentary Group on Immigration Detention is calling for submissions by 25 June 2021. Details below:
Background: The APPG on Immigration Detention is conducting an inquiry into the UK Government’s use of large-scale institutional sites, such as former military barracks and a temporarily ‘de-designated’ Immigration Removal Centre (IRC), as asylum accommodation.
Such sites replicate many of the features found in detained settings, including isolation from the wider community, visible security measures, and reduced levels of privacy and control/agency for residents. The inquiry therefore refers to them as sites of ‘quasi-detention’.
Continue reading “APPG Inquiry: quasi detention in camps_deadline 25 June 2021”
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.
Continue reading “BID raises concerns on the use of prolonged solitary confinement in immigration detention”
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.
Continue reading “Iranian asylum seeker cleared of Channel smuggling charges”
QARN has signed up to the Together With Refugees campaign
‘We are calling for a kinder, fairer and more effective approach to supporting refugees in the UK. Be part of a shared movement for change’.
How we treat refugees reflects who we are. At our best, we are welcoming to those facing difficult times. Yet too often people fleeing war, persecution or violence are treated with hostility in the UK, rather than compassion.
Together With Refugees brings together people and movements to stand against the divisiveness and hate directed at refugees. It will show that most people support a fairer, more effective and compassionate approach – and that refugees have always been part of the UK. It’s who we are.
With your support, we are calling for a kinder, fairer and more effective approach to supporting refugees.
Read more here: https://togetherwithrefugees.org.uk/
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? https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/may/13/cruel-paranoid-failing-priti-patel-inside-the-home-office
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”.
Continue reading “Anti-Deportation Protesters Block Immigration Van From Leaving Glasgow Street”
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.
Continue reading “EDM #7 – Regularisation of undocumented migrants”