New Plan for Immigration

We will be posting various questions, thoughts, information, ideas here in the run up to 6 May 2021 when the New Immigration Plan consultation ends, see here: Government Consultation process announced – responses to be filed by 6 May 2021 11.45pm: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/new-plan-for-immigration

8 April 2021: Update: See also: https://www.quaker.org.uk/blog/how-quakers-can-respond-to-the-government-s-new-immigration-plan


3 April 2021: David Forbes looks at The Immigration Plan and the “Sovereign Borders” Bill:

We have all, individually and severally, been invited to respond to a Consultation about Priti Patel’s immigration plan over the next few weeks. But we are not invited to challenge the title  “Sovereign Borders” attached to the Bill which will emerge after the Consultation. Nor are we invited to question whether “sovereign borders” is an appropriate concept to apply to complex issues of migration and asylum which are defined in customary international law.

Continue reading “New Plan for Immigration”

Concert for Hope on Tuesday 23rd March, 19:00-20:30

UK Welcomes Refugees – the recording will be here

A special celebration of welcome and hope, featuring outstanding Syrian musicians and stories of welcome through Community Sponsorship. Join on Tuesday 23rd March for a very special celebration of Syria’s rich culture, music and people. Featuring Ahmad al-Rashid and Nour Sakr as live hosts throughout, this free online concert includes breath-taking musical performances from some of the most outstanding Syrian musicians in the UK:
Maya Youssef (qanun), Adnan Shamdin (tambur), Mariela Shaker (violin) Riyad Nicolas (piano), Osama and Hatem Kiwan (voice and keyboard), Raghad Haddad (viola) and Rihab Azar (oud).

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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.

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

Updated 15 March 2021:

New Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration appointed

David Neal to begin his appointment on Monday 22 March 2021 as Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) for a term of 3 years….

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-independent-chief-inspector-of-borders-and-immigration-appointed

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Understanding the roots of the UK’s immigration system and how to dismantle it

Starting in March, we will be running a four-part course with Woodbrooke to understand and reflect on the root causes of racism and the draconian immigration policy of the UK. The course has been developed collaboratively by Tatiana Garavito from Quaker Peace and Social Witness, Kékéli Kpognon from Quaker Council for European Affairs and Catherine Henderson from Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network.

Through four interactive sessions, this short course will discuss the narratives and social constructs that have led to the current anti-immigrant sentiment as well as the ways in which people and communities can begin to get organised to build power that achieves racial and migrant justice.

Through four interactive sessions, this short course will discuss the narratives and social constructs that have led to the current anti-immigrant sentiment as well as the ways in which people and communities can begin to get organised to build power that achieves racial and migrant justice.

We are hoping that the course will be useful to many Friends, including those who are not currently involved in Sanctuary Meetings. Please share this widely though your meeting and your networks.

The course costs £42 with live sessions are every Thursday at 19:00-21:00 between 8th March 2021 – 4th April 2021.

To read more or to book, please visit the Woodbrooke website

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.

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

Petition: housing vulnerable asylum seekers in portacabins on wasteland next to Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre

It’s the middle of a grim winter, the pandemic is fiercer than ever, and yet the Home Office wants to force hundreds of vulnerable refugees into cramped portacabins at the infamous Yarl’s Wood detention centre.

This is a cruel way to treat refugees, it’s badly planned policy and it should be stopped. One brave local resident has today launched a legal challenge to halt the Government in its tracks. It’s a cause we should all support.

Continue reading “Petition: housing vulnerable asylum seekers in portacabins on wasteland next to Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre”

Migrant Voice report launch, today

16 December 2020: Migrant Voice: As part of our International Migrants Day celebrations, we’re launching a report looking at media coverage of migrants and migration during the first Covid-19 lockdown in the UK.

The launch will take place on Zoom, Wednesday 16 December, 5.30-7pm, and all are welcome. Email info@migrantvoice.org to get the link. 

For this report, we analysed almost 900 news stories across nine of the UK’s most popular media outlets to answer these questions: Did we really see a shift to positive coverage of migrants, or just those working in the NHS? Which news outlets were best at including migrant voices in their Covid-19 coverage? Were migrants presented as heroes, threats or victims during this unprecedented time?

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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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Update from NACCCOM re: Reverse the decision to evict people with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) into homelessness

8 December 2020: Update from NACCCOM: We are writing to you as individuals or organisations that signed the joint letter to the Prime Minister against evictions from asylum accommodation which was sent in October.

Since then, a response has been received by both Chris Philp, Immigration Minister, and Kelly Tolhust, Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing. Please click on the hyperlinks to see the letters directly.

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