Asylum queue nine times longer than 10 years ago

2 July 2021: BBC: The number of migrants waiting in the UK for their asylum claims to be processed was nine times higher by the end of last year than it was in 2010.

One is Patricia, 19, who fled war and abuse in Liberia and says her mental health has suffered during the two years she has waited for a decision.

There are currently 65,000 people in the queue, official figures obtained by the Refugee Council suggest. [Read the report here: https://media.refugeecouncil.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/01191305/Living-in-Limbo-A-decade-of-delays-in-the-UK-Asylum-system-July-2021.pdf]

The Home Office said it had a plan to “fix the broken asylum system”.

Continue reading “Asylum queue nine times longer than 10 years ago”

Corporate watch reveals the figures behind Channel-crosser deportations

25 June 2021: This is an organisation that monitors big business, as its name suggests: Corporate watch reveals the figures behind Channel-crosser deportations

Between August and December 2020, in the run-up to Brexit, the UK Home Office carried out a rush of mass deportation charter flights. This was part of a media campaign to show the government was “taking back Britain’s borders” – against the menace of desperate refugees crossing the Channel in small boats.

Corporate Watch published a detailed report on one of the first flights, on 26 August 2020, highlighting the abuse these refugees faced in the UK, and after they were dumped in Germany and France. We also profiled the airlines running these flights for the Home Office including Hi FlyPrivilege Style, and TUI.

We can now make an overall assessment of what happened: how many people were deported, to where, using what airlines, and how much it all cost.

Read more here: https://corporatewatch.org/the-home-office-deportation-drive-against-channel-crossing-migrants-a-balance-sheet/

SAFE ROUTES FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF YOUNG REFUGEES. OUR REPONSE TO THE NEW PLAN FOR IMMIGRATION

25 June 2021:We are Young Leaders. We come from three groups led by young refugees and asylum seekers: Safe Passage Young Leaders, The KRAN Youth Forum and Hummingbird Young Leaders.

Together, we are a group of 26 young people from different backgrounds working together for a better future for young refugees and asylum seekers.

We are a community of people with experience of migration and the asylum system, brought together by humanity, and we are working to protect and defend human rights.

We are a voice for the voiceless. We have high hopes that together we can make a change. 

We believe that the Government needs to make fundamental changes in policy to ensure that people fleeing war and persecution can access safe routes to sanctuary. Through a series of group workshops and discussions, we have worked together to agree on the following list of eight recommendations.

Continue reading “SAFE ROUTES FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF YOUNG REFUGEES. OUR REPONSE TO THE NEW PLAN FOR IMMIGRATION”

Aspen cards and surveillance of people in the asylum system

Reports coming in from around the country about serious delays in the changeover of ‘Aspen’ card provider on 21 May 2021, leaving people destitute; see the Home Office ‘fix’ as an attachment below … but people are still without money for food two weeks later.

Updated 14 June 2021: Faith is still waiting … see the post below of 7 June 2021.


11 June 2021: Independent: Fifty Charities Urge Home Office to Act on ‘Crisis’ in Asylum Support Payments

Continue reading “Aspen cards and surveillance of people in the asylum system”

Solidarity in the Hostile Environment: what can we do?

5 June 2021: Following our course on Understanding the Roots of the Immigration System, Woodbrooke and Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network hosted a day on 5th June: ‘Solidarity in the hostile environment: what can we do?’   https://www.woodbrooke.org.uk/product/solidarity-in-the-hostile-environment-what-can-we-do/  We were joined by people with lived experience of the asylum system.

This is a summing up of the day. A report/ artwork representing the day will be available later:

This morning we listened to people who have direct experience of the hostile system:

Continue reading “Solidarity in the Hostile Environment: what can we do?”

Judge criticises Priti Patel over policy for asylum seekers in pandemic

Updated:

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”

Government ‘devoid of compassion and competence’ over English Channel crossings as numbers double

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.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/english-channel-crossings-migrants-asylum-patel-b1851792.html

Britain’s borders: wide open to Covid, slammed shut for people in need

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