The Commonwealth Games welcomes you to Birmingham 22 – but the Government with its ‘hostile environment’, its laws and Immigration Rules prevents your citizens from staying
The 2022 Commonwealth Games, officially known as the XXII Commonwealth Games and commonly known as Birmingham 2022, is an international multi-sport event for members of the Commonwealth to be held in Birmingham between 28 July – 8 August 2022.
People from over 30 countries are coming to compete.
In UK your citizens are welcome as athletes, administrators, trainers and supporters. However, many people who have lived here for decades have been subject to deportation orders. Others live a precarious existence. We ask all Commonwealth Heads to support our call for equal rights and grant indefinite leave to remain for all Commonwealth Citizens irrespective of the status of your nation. We also request an end to deportations.
Note: At a time when the Home Secretary, Priti Patel has been stalling to publish a report by the Government’s own ICIBI David Neal, she had sought an ‘independent review’ that would fully support the intensification of this hostile environment.
Alexander Downing’s report is here – note the language he uses, and his recommendations that will intensify the hostile environment, for example:
10.3 Third country processing should be fully implemented People that have entered the UK should be moved to a third country rapidly for assessment under the UN Convention and other relevant legislation. The rapid movement of people that have entered the UK illegally to a third country reduces the risk of the removal process being frustrated. The eligibility for removal should embrace all cohorts of people who enter the UK illegally.
The lessons from Australia’s experience on this issue suggest that the pace with which people are moved, along with avoiding a running commentary on numbers, is useful in achieving success. The discussion of numbers at various stages of operational implementation will potentially look like the odds are still in favour of attempting dangerous, illegal migration journeys and the deterrent effect is lost.
We spread our wings but what are the consequences?
The desire to broaden our horizons is a natural one, but for many, it is a necessity to improve on circumstances. However, the result of doing so often has unintended consequences.
Through a series of parallel storylines, Welsh National Opera’s new opera explores the highs and lows of migration: from the migration of birds to the sailing of The Mayflower over 400 years ago; from the story of an Afro-Caribbean slave in Bristol to the experience of Indian doctors working in the NHS.
The versatility of the music, composed by British composer Will Todd (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland), is unlike anything ever performed at WNO, and adapts to the setting and mood of each narrative, written by six writers from diverse backgrounds.
An expanded WNO Orchestra is joined by a cast of over 100 performers, including WNO Chorus, Renewal Choir Community Chorus, Bollywood ensemble and a children’s chorus. This is an epic drama on a huge scale, an unmissable live experience. #WNOmigrations
Quakers in Oxfordshire are campaigning against the re-opening of a notorious immigration detention centre.
The Home Office has announced plans to reopen the Campsfield House centre in Kidlington, north of Oxford, in 2023 as a new immigration removal centre.
While the government calls this part of the “fair but firm immigration system,” Quaker asylum experts say that detaining asylum seekers is expensive, ineffective and criminalises people who do not arrive through formal resettlement schemes.
Rooted in the conviction that there is that of God in every person, Quakers across Britain work to protect and welcome people seeking sanctuary.
Quakers point to the fact that well over 70 per cent of asylum claims are upheld, with even more being upheld on appeal, confirming that most asylum seekers are ‘genuine’, by the government’s own definition.
Campsfield House was closed in 2018 after a long campaign by Quakers and others and following riots, escapes, hunger strikes and a teenage suicide The new plans have been condemned by Oxford City Council and Layla Moran MP, who has started a petition against it.
Bridget Walker of the Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network and member of Oxford Against Immigration Detention, formerly the Close Campsfield Campaign, said the group were opposed to all immigration detention. “The Close Campsfield Campaign was a long haul and now we are in it again,” she said.
Tom Pursglove MP, Minister for Justice and Tackling Illegal Migration said the new centre would ensure there was enough detention capacity to “safely accommodate individuals ahead of removal.”
But Quakers point out that the government’s own Shaw Review has labelled conditions in detention centres unsafe, with thousands of vulnerable people detained for prolonged periods.
The decision to reopen Campsfield comes hot on the heels of Home Office attempts to fly asylum seekers to Rwanda where they would become subject to Rwandan immigration rules.
Welcome to this edition of SNN Newsletter! We are covering a number of items in this issue that will be of interest to everyone involved in migrant and refugee solidarity work.
First up is the report on our campaign for better asylum seeker accommodation. Our SNN colleagues in the North West are particularly active in this area and after a first online event during Refugee Week are now planning new initiatives to fight for better provision of safe and decent homes for people in the asylum system.
The second article is dedicated to the campaign “Our place is here” developed by Kanlungan together with other organizations in defense of the rights of domestic workers.
The third item reports on the SNN event organised during Refugee Week which assembled a roundtable of activists to discuss where we have got to with the campaign against the hostile environment and the steps that need to be taken for this to go forward. The key idea is the project underway to organise a People’s Tribunal on Migration Justice over the course of the next 12 months which will draw on the evidence of violation of the rights of migrant people to indict Government policies and help forge the sort of alliances we will need to bring about change.
The appalling news about the deaths of at least 37 people at the border between the Spanish enclave of Melilla and Morocco is the subject of our fourth feature. In response to this massacre at the hands of the Spanish civil guard and the Moroccan police authorities the Transnational Migrant Platform has launched an appeal for solidarity and action to force an inquiry into how the tragedy happened.
Finally, our fifth article focuses on the important role assumed by the Union, particularly by the Public Services and Commercial Union (PCS), in the fight against the Rwanda offshore plan and stresses the need to fight all together for the rights of migrant and native workers in the UK.
In addition to these items we also have information on the call for a public demonstration outside the Royal Courts of Justice on 19 July to coincide with the opening of the judicial review hearing on the legality of the Home Office’s Rwanda refugee removal plan. Do join us at this protest if you can.