In advance of the new overhaul the immigration system:

24 March 2021 The Home Office MP Account Management Team:We are fixing a broken asylum system and creating a new one which will be fairer and firmer and compassionate towards those who need our help.

Government Consultation process announced – responses to be filed by 6 May 2021 11.45pm: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/new-plan-for-immigration

Priti Patel’s statement today: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/home-secretarys-statement-on-the-new-plan-for-immigration


This post will be updated with reports from some organisations considering the plan

1 April 2021: The Tablet: Jesuit Refugee Service: Why the new immigration plan is cruel and inhumane by Sarah Teather

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ICIBI report: An inspection of the work of Border Force, Immigration Enforcement, and UK Visas and Immigration to identify, investigate, disrupt and prosecute perpetrators of modern slavery and human trafficking

4 March 2021: Publishing the report, David Bolt said:

In 2017, ICIBI reported on the identification and treatment of Potential Victims of Modern Slavery (PVoMS) by Border Force, following this up in 2018 with a re-inspection to check on progress made in implementing ICIBI’s recommendations.

Following discussions with the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner about where a further inspection might add most value, between October 2019 and April 2020 ICIBI examined the work being done by Border Force, Immigration Enforcement and UK Visas and Immigration to identify, investigate, disrupt and prosecute the perpetrators of modern slavery and human trafficking (MSHT).

The inspection found that while operational activity overall had increased since the Modern Slavery Strategy was launched in 2014, the work of the Home Office’s three Borders, Immigration and Citizenship System (BICS) operational directorates, and that of the wider Home Office, remained siloed and disjointed, with little evidence of a plan to address this.

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Early Day Motion EDMs #1442 Undocumented migrants and covid-19 vaccination, and #658 Leave to Remain status

Please ask your MP to support EDMs # 1442 and #658.

Updated 8 February 2021: Early Day Motion 1442 tabled on 3 February 2021: Undocumented migrants and covid-19 vaccination

Motion text: That this House believes that access to essential healthcare is a universal human right; regrets the continued existence of structural, institutional and systemic barriers in accessing NHS care experienced by undocumented migrants and those awaiting determination of their asylum, visa and immigration applications; considers that an effective public health response to the covid-19 crisis requires that the most vulnerable can afford to access food, healthcare, and self-isolate where necessary; understands that some of the most vulnerable people in society will not access vaccination against the virus, since to disclose their identity to the authorities would risk their arrest, detention and deportation; fears that without urgent Government intervention this will lead to further avoidable premature deaths, especially in the African, Asian and Minority Ethnic population; and therefore calls on the Home Office to grant everyone currently in the UK at this time who are undocumented migrants and those awaiting determination of their asylum, visa and immigration applications indefinite leave to remain, and to be eligible in due course to receive the covid-19 vaccination.

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“No one should fear accessing medical advice from our superb NHS due to an immigration reason.”

28 December 2020: StatusNow4All: Yes.  This is all perfectly doable. We can overcome public health inadequacies, end the endangerment of people and map out a logical and comprehensive route to health and safety for all by giving settled status or Indefinite Leave to Remain to everyone who is undocumented and in the legal process who is currently in the UK and Ireland, thereby guaranteeing access to services, without fear or retribution.

Open letter from Status Now 4 All:

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Greater Manchester leaders “will not be complicit” in asylum seeker evictions

9 December 2020: Greater Manchester mayoral and local authority leaders have released a joint statement today pledging that they “will not be complicit” in the Home Office policy of enforcing asylum seeker evictions amid winter and Covid.

Andy Burnham, deputy mayors Bev Hughes and Richard Leese, and nine council leaders have written to Priti Patel to express “profound concern” over those asylum seekers who receive a negative decision soon being evicted.

During the first coronavirus lockdown earlier this year, the evictions of refused asylum seekers from Home Office accommodation were paused due to considerations around the impact of homelessness on the spread of the virus.

But the government did not repeat this policy for the second national lockdown, with Home Office sources telling The Guardian last month that refused asylum seekers were again expected to leave the country and would not receive support.

This was despite a court order being issued that instructed the Home Office to halt evictions due to public health concerns and in light of the judge concluding that “the harm and risk cannot readily be reversed”.

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AVID: 60+ organisations join our call to close the barracks and engage with civil society

8 December 2020: AVID: Today, we sent a letter to the Immigration Minister and Shadow Home Secretary highlighting the risks of housing vulnerable asylum-seekers in crowded barracks where social distancing is impossible, and urging them to implement community-based alternatives, to avoid further harm. Our letters were co-signed by more than 60 community organisations working with people in detention or seeking asylum.

Read the letter to the Immigration Minister Chris Philp MP

‘Given the significant backlog in processing asylum applications, made worse during the current pandemic, it is time to consider alternatives. The government has talked about a reset moment for migration. Now is the time, but this can only be done by involving and engaging with civil society and people with experience of the system.’

Read the letter to the Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds MP

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London authorities refuse to cooperate in targeting of rough sleeping migrants

4 December 2020: Freemovement: London authorities refuse to cooperate in targeting of rough sleeping migrants

This week Immigration Rule changes targeting rough sleeping migrants came into force. The Home Office has confirmed that the new Rules will not be enforced until official guidance is published, but the changes have been met with defiance across the board. 

In particular, the Greater London Authority (GLA) has stated that it will not cooperate with the Home Office on this issue:

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The Arrivers: Why Language Matters in Migration Policy

2 December 2020: Rethinking Security: The Arrivers: Why Language Matters in Migration Policy

Catherine Henderson argues that how we talk and write about migrants determines how we and others think about them and their place in our society. Welcoming migrants as ‘arrivers’ matters as much as recognising the reasons they had to leave other countries.

A few weeks ago a series of leaks from the Home Office conjured up a dystopian world where people seeking asylum in the UK might be kept on old ferries or oil rigs or sent to Ascension Island in the South Atlantic. The boats in which they attempt to cross the Channel might be pushed back to France by wave machines or trapped in giant nets.

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More chaos and human rights violations

2 November 2020 Guardian: Lone child migrants cannot be put in adult hotels, high court rules

More under-18s seeking asylum likely to be affected by ruling against Hillingdon council

The high court has ruled that unaccompanied child migrants cannot be placed in adult hotel accommodation after three young asylum seekers won the right to be placed in the care of social services in the first case of its kind.

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