The Walk: Hope. Too BIG to ignore.


Updated 14 June 2021: The Walk Education Programme

From July to November 2021 a giant puppet of a 9-year-old Syrian refugee girl called Little Amal will walk from the Syria-Turkey border, across Europe to the UK, travelling 8,000km to focus awareness on the refugee crisis.

Before, during and after her journey Little Amal will connect people from refugee and non-refugee communities through creative learning projects to help forge lasting bonds of friendship. The Walk‘s Education programme will be developed by, with and for each community, responding to local realities with a focus on bringing people together through projects that transcend borders, culture and language. Working with all age groups, we aspire to build a programme of workshops, performances and apprenticeships that celebrates migration and has the potential to empower what might otherwise be a lost generation of refugee children: https://www.walkwithamal.org/education/

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New Plan for Immigration

Updated 13 May 2021: Quakers reject New Plan for Immigration

Quakers in Britain and the Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network (QARN) have criticised the government’s immigration plans.

Quakers in Britain and the Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network (QARN) have criticised the government’s immigration plans.

Believing in the sanctity of all human life, Quakers believe that the current immigration and asylum system should be replaced by a compassionate, human rights-based approach. But the the government’s New Plan for Immigration is designed to increase hostility rather than create a fair system.

Quakers are particularly concerned about the unjust proposal to discriminate against people on the basis of how they arrive in the UK. It would punish those who are fleeing persecution but who cannot access safe and legal routes.

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Women for Refugee Women

QARN signed this letter:

30 April 2021: Women for Refugee Women: New Plan will harm women:

OVER 70 LEADERS WORKING WITH REFUGEE WOMEN COME TOGETHER TO HIGHLIGHT TO THE HOME SECRETARY THAT HER NEW PLAN FOR IMMIGRATION WILL HARM WOMEN

The government’s New Plan for Immigration will harm women seeking asylum. Today, 30 April 2020, more than 70 leaders of organisations and groups supporting women who have sought asylum write to the Home Secretary to express shared concerns about the New Plan.

Read the full letter below:

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Concerns about New Plan for Immigration consultation process

QARN signed this letter: 30 April 2021: Guardian: ‘Sham’: 200 groups criticise UK government consultation on refugee policy

Bodies say survey is poorly designed, rushed and may exclude refugees from responding

Almost 200 organisations have branded a government consultation on fundamental changes to refugee policy “a sham”.

A total of 192 refugee, human rights, legal and faith groups have signed a public statement condemning the six-week consultation on the government’s New Plan for Immigration as “vague, unworkable, cruel and potentially unlawful”.

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Support for people seeking asylum

28 April 2021: Home Office to resume evicting some asylum seekers with immediate effect.

23 April 2021: The Home Office writes:

We will be sharing details of the current number of cases for review with local authorities to assist them in planning. However I would like to emphasise that it is not possible at this stage to be definitive about the final volume of cases that will have their support discontinued. This is partly because all individuals will continue to receive a minimum of 21 calendar days notice from the decision to stop their support and have the opportunity to remain in their accommodation, supported under section 4(2) of the 1999 Act, provided that they agree to take reasonable steps to leave the UK (in practical terms by registering with the Home Office’s voluntary returns programme and leaving when a flight can be arranged for them)

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Vice: Europe’s Forgotten Graveyard

Desperate people in desperate circumstances need a safe place to live. An estimated 19,000 people have been reported dead or missing in the Mediterranean Sea since 2014 as they attempt the treacherous boat journey from Libya to Europe, fleeing war, persecution and poverty.

It is time for people who are undocumented and those in the legal process to be given Indefinite Leave to Remain in UK. https://statusnow4all.org/edm-1442-undocumented-migrants-and-covid-19-vaccination/

They ask why there is no European Search & Rescue Area.

This is a film made in November 2020: Vice: An estimated 19,000 people have been reported dead or missing in the Mediterranean Sea since 2014 as they attempt the treacherous boat journey from Libya to Europe, fleeing war, persecution and poverty. We went on the frontline with a rescue mission trying to save as many lives as possible.

We join the ‘Open Arms’ crew as they embark on the most dangerous migrant route in the world — and one of their deadliest missions to date.

An estimated 19,000 people have been reported dead or missing in the Mediterranean Sea since 2014 as they attempt the treacherous boat journey from Libya to Europe, fleeing war, persecution and poverty.

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Study of children joining family in England under the Dublin III Regulation

November 2020: IFF Research on behalf of Dept of Education:

Conclusions
This study has attempted to fill the evidence gap about what happens to Dublin III and Calais Camp Clearance children and young people, their support needs, and the experiences of the local authorities they move into, from the perspectives of staff within local authorities and the children/ young people and their families. It has found a mixed picture in terms of outcomes for children and young people, with the majority of those covered by the available data having become a looked after child at some point.

Family living arrangements broke down in around one-third of cases. Upfront assessments are sometimes squeezed by time or information and local authorities would feel more confident making recommendations if they could do a more in-depth, holistic assessment, which they felt would also help to identify potential issues that might affect the sustainability of the arrangement in the longer-term. This is important as the survey identified that relationship issues were the biggest factor in the breakdown of an arrangement. Assessments therefore need to look beyond finances and housing to consider wider issues such as how it will impact on the dynamics of wider family (which would involve a more in-depth assessment). Local authorities also emphasised the need to make very clear to families that no extra substantive financial support or housing support will be on offer, to manage their expectations.

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Child Citizenship Registration Fees model letter to MP

This is self-explanatory, please write to your MP and let us know what they say:

Dear Member of Parliament, Child Citizenship Registration Fees

As your constituent (address supplied), I am asking if you would kindly contact the Home Secretary and the Prime Minister to ask them to give effect to the recent decision in the Court of Appeal (R v SSHD EWCA Civ 193 – Feb 2021) and reduce the per capita child citizenship fee from £1,012 to the administrative cost, which is £386. The decision binds the Home Secretary only to a review, not to a figure, but it would be reasonable to expect this reduction in view of the radical change of culture promised in the Comprehensive Improvement Plan drawn up last September to reflect the Lessons of Windrush Learned.

I would also like you to ask them to review all immigration fees downwards in advance of the same claimant taking a case to the Supreme Court to annul the Fees Regulations of 2017 and 2018. It is clear that most of the immigration fees currently being charged are unaffordable to individuals and families, many of whom have already had to go into debt over recent years because of excessive Home Office fees.

Yours sincerely,


25 March 2021: This was discussed in Parliament – click here for the Hansard link, but your attention is drawn to this extract, Meg Hillier speaking:

2.58pm I will just say, though, that the Minister let the cat out of the bag, rather, when he talked about the rationale behind the fees being the benefits likely to accrue to the applicant. I would say we should also think about the benefit of the applicant to the UK, which has been ably highlighted by, among others, my hon. Friend the Member for Mitcham and Morden (Siobhain McDonagh). The Minister also talked about paying for the costs of other parts of the immigration system, so this does cross-subsidise, and I think we need to look very carefully at that principle.

UK’s £1,000 child citizenship fee ruled unlawful by appeal court

18 February 2021: Guardian: Court upholds ruling that Home Office failed to assess best interests of children in setting the fee

Home Office fees of £1,000 for children to register as British citizens are unlawful, the court of appeal has upheld in a landmark ruling.

The high fees that children or their parents are expected to pay to secure British citizenship have been controversial for many years. Children who have a right to register as British citizens but may be prevented from doing so due to the high cost or lack of access to legal advice risk losing out on rights and benefits.

Thursday’s ruling found that ministers had failed to assess and consider the impact of this fee on children and their rights, pointing out that for some families it was “difficult to see how the fee could be afforded at all”.

The Home Office charges £1,012 for a child to register for citizenship. However, the process costs about a third of that, at £372. The Home Office says the profit is used to fund other areas of its work.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/feb/18/uk-unlawfully-charging-1000-for-children-to-become-citizens

The Guardian view on Tories and migration: stop the posing

Guardian: Editorial

1.11.2020: The drowning of a family of five in the Channel and a fire on a ship off the coast of Senegal should prompt action – ‘thoughts and prayers’ are not enough

[…]

Responsible politicians would address the causes as well as symptoms. They would also keep a sense of proportion, and enjoin the public to do the same. The number of asylum applications in the UK (35,566 in 2019) is a small fraction of that in France and Germany; Turkey is home to around 4 million refugees. But again and again, the UK government chooses hostile posturing over rational policy based on international cooperation, respect for the law and human rights. Could the deaths of three children lead Ms Patel to give it a rest and listen to European politicians such as Ms Jalloul, or even Lord Dubs? Don’t hold your breath.