Would Little Amal go to Rwanda this year?

Quakers in Britain: Fred Ashmore discusses the harshening hostile environment for refugees and asylum seekers and shares what a response rooted in love and justice could look like.

Last year, many British Quakers took part in or witnessed a series of events throughout Britain in which a 3m tall puppet, Little Amal, journeyed from the Syrian border via Dover to Manchester, joining in events and rallies during her journey. Amal symbolised the search for a new life of thousands of migrants and asylum seekers. The events were inspiring and full of hope.

Little Amal’s journey ended in late 2021. Since then, the UK government has passed the Nationality and Borders Act – legislation which changes the potential outcomes for those who come here full of hope. This year, 2022, Amal would be identified as a criminal because she didn’t travel by one of the government’s approved routes. A real life Amal could well be rejected from applying for asylum in the UK and could even be deported to Rwanda under the government’s scheme.

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Stop the deportations

See this post: Public Order Bill is a Threat: https://qarn.org.uk/public-order-bill-is-a-threat/

A reminder about vaccinations for people threatened with removal from UK, using Rwanda as an example: Malaria is endemic in Rwanda.  Up to 20% of children die of it before age five.  Those who remain are mostly immune.  However new arrivals who have not previously suffered it are likely to get it, unless they are protected.  Among the many legal challenges to the government’s policy of sending people to Ruanda will be one concerning malaria protection.  This danger is worth mentioning to anyone in immigration removal centres.


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New Plan for Immigration – Nationality & Borders legislation 2022

When the will is there, it can be done – that is our point:  there is hope yet … We will collate reports and legal challenges to the Nationality and Borders legislation here.

Updated 25 May 2022: Thank you Freemovement: When Does the Nationality and Borders Act 2022 Come Into Force?


The Nationality and Borders Act 2022 was signed into law on 28 April 2022. But there is a difference between a law being “on the statute books” after being passed by Parliament and it actually being “in force”. Most of the 2022 Act is not yet in force and will be phased in over time.

The commencement provisions are found in section 87 of the Act.
Section 87 provides that a handful of provisions came into force straight away, on 28 April: Some other sections of the Act also came into force on the day it became law, insofar as they allow the Secretary of the State to make or consult on regulations:
Then there are a bunch of provisions which, by virtue of section 87(5), come into force at a known date in the future. This is after “two months beginning with the day on which this Act is passed” — so 28 June 2022.
The rest of the Act will only come into force once a commencement order is made. In practice, there are likely to be multiple commencement orders bringing different sections into force at different times. 

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Rwanda: “A serpent in place of a piece of fish”

UK’S UNGODLY ACTION

The UK’s forcible transportation to Rwanda of asylum seekers declared “inadmissible” because they have entered without a visa has rightly been deemed “ungodly” by Justin Welby. It is a basic infringement of the Golden rule of love of God and love of neighbour. Today, we often prefer other less theological language notably “concern”, “care”, “protection from harm” language which has become enshrined in the general notion of “human rights”. Nevertheless examples from Jesus’s parables such as  the neighbourliness of the Good Samaritan, the father’s unconditional love and care for his Prodigal Son survive in the public consciousness.

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Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration – David Neal

New Inspections scheduled for 2021-22 include:

  • ‘An inspection of Border Force assurance’
  • ‘An inspection of Intelligence’
  • ‘An inspection of a small airport’
  • ‘An inspection of a small seaport’
  • ‘An inspection of the removal of Foreign National Offenders (FNOs)’

Published 23 July 2021

ICIBI Inspection Plan 2021-22
a. Completed inspections – reports awaiting publication:
 ‘An inspection of ePassport gates (June 2020-January 2021)’. Submitted 17
June 2021
 ‘Second annual inspection of “Adults at Risk in immigration detention” (July
2020-March 2021)’. Submitted 30 June 2021
 ‘A further inspection of the EU Settlement Scheme (3) (July 2020-March
2021)’. Submitted 15 July 2021
 ‘An inspection of asylum casework (August 2020-April 2021)’. Submitted 23
July 2021

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Secret deal to remove Zimbabweans from UK

StatusNow4All network members are picking up intelligence about people being summarily snatched when reporting or at home. We are seeking further information.

This post is being continually updated here: https://statusnow4all.org/secret-deal-to-remove-zimbabweans-from-uk/

The deportation flight left, and many people who were scheduled to be on the flight did not go for example due to Covid, or paperwork errors. For these people the struggle to remain in UK continues. The Courts have enables others to remain in UK due to acceptance that they have a personal risk on return. The resistance to the principle of returning people to Zimbabwe needs to be heard loudly.

22 July 2021: Legal bids mean UK deportation flight to Zimbabwe takes off just one-third full

Multiple challenges, as well as Covid self-isolation, result in only 14 of people being on board, it is believed

A controversial Home Office deportation charter flight to Zimbabwe took off at about 10.30pm on Wednesday evening with only around one-third of the passengers on board that officials had hoped to remove.

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Suggested letter to MPs – New Plan for Immigration

Dear  Friends

If you have not already signed one of the many template letters opposing the Bill, which are being circulated by the Refugee Council, Detention Action and others,  you might like to crib from this letter which I have sent to my MP.

It identifies our Quaker position and refers to the New Plan for Immigration which took up so much of our time earlier this year.   It does not cover everything of concern.

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UK: ‘Reckless’ new plan on immigration sees major decline in processing asylum claims

27 May 2021: Amnesty International: UK: ‘Reckless’ new plan on immigration sees major decline in processing asylum claims

Quarterly immigration statistics published by Home Office today: Long outstanding asylum claims 50% higher than a year ago

‘The Home Office’s new asylum rules are reckless and impractical’ – Steve Valdez-Symonds

New statistics published today by the Home Office show that immigration rules introduced by the Home Secretary last December have led to more than 1,500 people who have sought asylum in the UK being warned the Home Office is looking to send them to other countries. Although there are no agreements in place for those countries to accept responsibility for their asylum claims. To date, none of these people have been removed from the UK.

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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