Channel Crossings

That which is morally wrong cannot be politically right


21 September 2021: JCWI: How to answer when someone asks “why don’t people just claim asylum in France?”

When our Policy Manager Zoe was asked this question by an MP, she gave this great answer. Watch and share Zoe’s reply in 5 steps:

  • Give context
  • Point out people’s ties to the UK
  • Explain we all have the right to claim asylum anywhere
  • A gentle reminder that geography doesn’t trump responsibility
  • Take a look and share now!

Read more: https://www.jcwi.org.uk/jcwi-tells-mps-dont-criminalise-refugees


Updated 14 September 2021: Independent: Border Force carries out ‘pushback drills’ using jet skis to divert dinghies in Channel, footage suggests

‘We saw the jet skis either side and at the rear of the boat and then collide with the vessel to actually spin it around. It looked dangerous,’ says director of Channel Rescue

Border Force staff have used jet skis to turn around dinghies in the English Channel as part of a training exercise, footage suggests.

Continue reading “Channel Crossings”

Together with Refugees

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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.

New Plan for Immigration

We will collate reports of the Nationality & Borders Bill which has come out of the recent ‘New Plan for Immigration’.


Updated 23 September 2021: [Thanks No Deportations – Residence Papers for All] IAS: Home Office Admits That Their Immigration Plan Might Not Work

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.

Read more: Immigration Advisory Service, https://is.gd/hXmE5X


UNHCR: UK asylum bill would break international law, damaging refugees and global co-operation

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.

Continue reading “New Plan for Immigration”

Concerns about the use of army barracks etc.

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:

You can write to your MP in support of the #CloseTheBarracks campaign.

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:

Updated 21 September 2021: Event by Humans for Rights Network and Close The Camps UK: Demonstration 28 September 2021, London:

BBC: Napier Barracks asylum seeker site must close, charities say

Use of a former military barracks to house asylum seekers “beggars belief” and must end, charities say.

Part of Napier Barracks was branded unfit for habitation after two Covid outbreaks, with both a High Court judge and inspectors criticising conditions.

The site was loaned to the Home Office a year ago for emergency use amid rising numbers of people crossing the Channel.

The Home Office said the ex-barracks in Folkestone, Kent, is suitable for use.

Despite continued outcry from charities and refugee organisations, the government announced last month that the barracks could be used for accommodation until as late as 2025.

Tuesday marks a year on from the first asylum seekers moving on to the site. It comes as high numbers of people continue to cross the Dover Strait from France.

In the latest crossings, 41 people on a single boat reached the UK on Sunday, and a further 123 arrived on three boats on Monday.

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

If you can, please write to your MP and point out that pushbacks are dangerous and unworkable.

Dear Friends,

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:

“The details set out above constitute the UK’s comprehensive immigrationresponse to the unique 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. “

Continue reading “If you can, please write to your MP and point out that pushbacks are dangerous and unworkable.”

Bishops hit out at ‘criminalisation of Good Samaritan’ over Channel crossings

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.

Continue reading “Bishops hit out at ‘criminalisation of Good Samaritan’ over Channel crossings”

400 volunteer lawyers are taking on pro bono cases of people needing to get out of Afghanistan

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 projecta@dlapiper.com

4 September 2021: i : Hundreds of lawyers team up to help Afghans flee Taliban – and navigate complex refugee systems in the West

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.

Continue reading “400 volunteer lawyers are taking on pro bono cases of people needing to get out of Afghanistan”