If you can, please write to your MP and point out that pushbacks are dangerous and unworkable.

Dear Friends,

You may have seen that the government has released its statement on the Afghan resettlement scheme.

There is no deviation from its exclusionary and unlawful policy (under the Refugee Convention) of preventing people claiming asylum except in the smallest of circumstances:

“The details set out above constitute the UK’s comprehensive immigrationresponse to the unique and exceptional circumstances of the evacuation andchange of situation in Afghanistan. There is no change to our longstanding policythat a person can only claim asylum from within the UK. We will not acceptasylum claims at our Embassies, High Commissions or VACs overseas orotherwise; whether by online application or through other correspondence. “

Continue reading “If you can, please write to your MP and point out that pushbacks are dangerous and unworkable.”

Bishops hit out at ‘criminalisation of Good Samaritan’ over Channel crossings

Barbara Forbes has drawn our attention to yesterday’s letter from twelve Anglican  Bishops.  They describe the Nationality and Borders Bill as ‘an affront to justice’.   

The signatories are listed at the foot of the letter. If you live in the diocese of any of these bishops you might like to write and thank them. If they sit in the Lords you could ask them  to work against the Bill when it reaches the House of Lords. If you are in a diocese that is not represented in the list you might write in terms that would encourage them to join the protests.   

12 September 2021: Guardian: Bishops hit out at ‘criminalisation of Good Samaritan’ over Channel crossings

Letter from 12 C of E bishops says nationality bill is ‘affront to justice’ by penalising the saving of a life

Twelve Church of England bishops have accused the government of criminalising “Good Samaritans” who seek to save the lives of migrants crossing the Channel in small boats.

The bishops, who speak on asylum and refugee issues within the church, said the nationality and borders bill before parliament is an “affront to justice” by putting the saving of life under a legal penalty.

Continue reading “Bishops hit out at ‘criminalisation of Good Samaritan’ over Channel crossings”

New Plan for Immigration

We will collate reports of the Nationality & Borders Bill which has come out of the recent ‘New Plan for Immigration’.


Updated 2 September 2021: Evening Standard: Public’s ‘positive’ response to Afghan refugees impresses UK charities

Reminder that when you get past the fear-mongering, scapegoating & misinformation, there’s a wealth of goodwill, energy & capacity for welcoming people & respecting their human rights & dignity. How sad some prefer to stir former rather than tap latter.” – Steve Valdez-Symonds https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/charities-people-taliban-uk-government-walsall-b953311.html

Continue reading “New Plan for Immigration”

Responding to the urgency of the situation in Afghanistan

20 August 2021: From a number of members of the QARN Steering Group:

We understand the urgency of the situation for those fleeing Afghanistan, and also those already in UK who are in the asylum process, or living in the hidden economy without papers at this time.

The situation also provokes us to act, and thoughts in Meetings are turning to offering sponsorship to those who will be brought to UK having been assessed as very vulnerable under the scheme put in place by the UK Government.

These schemes appear attractive to people wanting to do something. They can also bring a range of difficulties to the people offered support, and those offering to help.

People must make their own decisions and there will be others with experience amongst members of the QARN network.

Continue reading “Responding to the urgency of the situation in Afghanistan”

Stop the deportations

Updated 3 September 2021: Guardian: Home Office spent almost £9m on deportation charter flights in 2020

The Home Office spent almost £9m on deportation charter flights last year, the Guardian has learned, including more than £500,000 for planes that never left the tarmac.

At least 828 people were removed by air, more than double the 410 removed on similar charters in 2019. The department spent £8.2m on 47 charters to 24 countries in 2020, with 18 of those countries in Europe.

The Home Office no longer provides specific figures when there are fewer than 10 people on a flight. Eleven of the flights had fewer than 10 people on board, meaning the exact number is unclear.

Ministers also paid £575,748 for five flights that never took off – two to Spain, two to Pakistan and one to Somalia. Officials say that they paid less than the usual cancellation costs on these flights as some flights could be rebooked or rescheduled.

Continue reading “Stop the deportations”

“Shocking conditions” found in Kent holding facilities for asylum seekers: also RNLI

29 July 2021: Guardian: MPs decry ‘shocking conditions’ at facilities for asylum seekers

Yvette Cooper, chair of home affairs committee, wrote to Priti Patel after visiting Kent sites on Tuesday

MPs have raised serious concerns about the “shocking conditions” they found in Kent holding facilities for asylum seekers, including an unaccompanied child housed in an office space for 10 days, and a girl forced to sleep on a sofa for days on end.

Yvette Cooper, chair of the home affairs select committee, has written to the home secretary following a committee visit on Tuesday when MPs saw asylum seekers held in cramped, unsafe and “completely inappropriate” facilities.

Continue reading ““Shocking conditions” found in Kent holding facilities for asylum seekers: also RNLI”

QARN next meetings

Next QARN meeting: 16 October 2021

QARN’s quarterly meetings usually run from 11am – 4pm but while we are on Zoom we keep them shorter.

Plans for where and how we hold our Meetings depend on the progress of measures being put in place in relation to Coronavirus. We currently meet using Zoom https://zoom.us/ and Quakers are welcome. We plan to start at 10.30am to manage the technical aspects of a Zoom meeting, falling quiet at around 10.45am, and beginning business at 11am. The meeting link will  be available to those who receive our emails, but for other people, please contact us via info@qarn.org.uk giving your name, and the Quaker Meeting to which you are attached. Thank you.

Our next planned meeting dates: Saturdays: 16 October 2021, and 22 January 2022 – on Zoom while the pandemic roams. All those interested who are attached to Quaker meetings are welcome – if you are not on our mailing list please email:  info:qarn.org.uk for the Zoom link

If you are not already receiving our emails on the QARN network and want to join the network, or just this Meeting, please email info@qarn.org.uk  including your name and the Quaker Meeting you are attached to. There is no cost involved.

ICIBI inspection of the use of hotels and barracks as contingency asylum accommodation

Updated 23 July 2021: An inspection of contingency asylum accommodation:
HMIP report on Penally Camp and Napier Barracks (November 2020 – March 2021)

Details

The inspectors conducted visits to both sites, Penally Camp on 16 and 17 February and Napier Barracks on 17 and 18 February. The ICIBI also returned for a further visit to Napier Barracks on 4 March.

On 8 March 2021 the then Chief Inspector, David Bolt, published interim high-level findings. This report is the fuller final report that was sent to the Home Office. It reflects the department’s factual accuracy checks, and includes forewords from David Bolt, the previous Chief Inspector, and David Neal, the current Chief Inspector.

There is also a copy of a letter sent in March from David Bolt to the Director General of Asylum and Protection.


This link contains

Summary of findings for Napier Barracks and Penally Camp
Leadership and management
S1 Penally Camp and Napier Barracks were opened as contingency asylum accommodation in September 2020. The Home Office contracted Clearsprings Ready Homes (CRH) to manage the accommodation. CRH sub-contracted to other companies to provide services, and they in turn sub-contracted to other providers. Managers at both sites lacked the experience and skills to run large-scale communal accommodation.

Continue reading “ICIBI inspection of the use of hotels and barracks as contingency asylum accommodation”

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.

Continue reading “Suggested letter to MPs – New Plan for Immigration”