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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A Letter to the People of the UK

16 March 2021: Hasting Community of Sanctuary: Speaking from the Heart about Napier Barracks

Erfan – a former resident held in Napier Barracks for nearly 6 months, and who was one of the nearly 200 people who contracted Covid in the massive outbreak in the barracks in January has written a powerful letter to the People of the UK. We are honoured to share it here.

The letter can also be found here: Help Refugees: https://helprefugees.org/news/a-letter-to-the-people-of-the-uk-from-a-former-resident-of-napier-barracks/

A Letter to the People of the UK

Dear People of the UK,

You may know me from the letters which were written on behalf of the Napier barracks residents. I am now outside of the camp and cannot talk on behalf of my other friends. However, I personally would like to say a few important things about what I have seen and learnt during my stay at Napier Barracks and the United Kingdom.

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Waiting for Nothing

17 March 2021 StatusNow4All: Waiting for years – then told we must reply in 10 days!

People are telling us that they have recently received letters asking them to resubmit their original application for asylum or Further Leave to Remain and any updating evidence, within 10 days, or their case will be determined on the basis of documents already in the Home Office. The Home Office has told another person’s solicitor that they have lost the casefile.

We raise the following points:

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The problem with “credibility” as a concept in asylum cases

17 March 2021 Freemovement: Colin Yeo: Whether or not a person is telling the truth about past events often becomes the central issue in many asylum claims. Sometimes this is appropriate. The question of whether an asylum seeker will face a real risk of being persecuted in future does in some cases turn on the truth or otherwise of key elements of the asylum seeker’s account of past events. If an asylum seeker is lying about being a political activist, for example, but claims future risk of being persecuted because of their past and perhaps future political activities, it will usually (but not always) be necessary to consider whether the asylum seeker is telling the truth about their past history.

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Appointment process for the role of Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration

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.From:Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration and Home OfficePublished:15 March 2021

Home Secretary Priti Patel has today (15 March 2021) welcomed the appointment of David Neal as the new Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration.

The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration is an independent monitoring body sponsored by the Home Office that reports on the efficiency and effectiveness of the immigration, asylum, nationality and customs functions carried out by the Home Secretary, officials and others on her behalf.

Mr Neal takes up the role having formerly served as head of the Royal Military Police and Commander of the 1st Military Police Brigade.

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Vice: Europe’s Forgotten Graveyard

Desperate people in desperate circumstances need a safe place to live. An estimated 19,000 people have been reported dead or missing in the Mediterranean Sea since 2014 as they attempt the treacherous boat journey from Libya to Europe, fleeing war, persecution and poverty.

It is time for people who are undocumented and those in the legal process to be given Indefinite Leave to Remain in UK. https://statusnow4all.org/edm-1442-undocumented-migrants-and-covid-19-vaccination/

They ask why there is no European Search & Rescue Area.

This is a film made in November 2020: Vice: An estimated 19,000 people have been reported dead or missing in the Mediterranean Sea since 2014 as they attempt the treacherous boat journey from Libya to Europe, fleeing war, persecution and poverty. We went on the frontline with a rescue mission trying to save as many lives as possible.

We join the ‘Open Arms’ crew as they embark on the most dangerous migrant route in the world — and one of their deadliest missions to date.

An estimated 19,000 people have been reported dead or missing in the Mediterranean Sea since 2014 as they attempt the treacherous boat journey from Libya to Europe, fleeing war, persecution and poverty.

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Study of children joining family in England under the Dublin III Regulation

November 2020: IFF Research on behalf of Dept of Education:

Conclusions
This study has attempted to fill the evidence gap about what happens to Dublin III and Calais Camp Clearance children and young people, their support needs, and the experiences of the local authorities they move into, from the perspectives of staff within local authorities and the children/ young people and their families. It has found a mixed picture in terms of outcomes for children and young people, with the majority of those covered by the available data having become a looked after child at some point.

Family living arrangements broke down in around one-third of cases. Upfront assessments are sometimes squeezed by time or information and local authorities would feel more confident making recommendations if they could do a more in-depth, holistic assessment, which they felt would also help to identify potential issues that might affect the sustainability of the arrangement in the longer-term. This is important as the survey identified that relationship issues were the biggest factor in the breakdown of an arrangement. Assessments therefore need to look beyond finances and housing to consider wider issues such as how it will impact on the dynamics of wider family (which would involve a more in-depth assessment). Local authorities also emphasised the need to make very clear to families that no extra substantive financial support or housing support will be on offer, to manage their expectations.

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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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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.