8 February 2021: STOP PRESS: Everyone should have access to the vaccine but this reportedVaccine ‘Amnesty’ Declaration is a Trap and Won’t Work
The virus cannot be effectively tackled and people cannot be kept safe until everyone currently in the UK has equal access to housing, healthcare, food, and any vaccine, and therefore equal status
Addressing the question of people’s Status in the UK is the primary need
Many people who are undocumented believe that they will be reported to the immigration authorities and/or subjected to the Hostile Environment if they come forward, and therefore this policy is doomed to failure
Once Government commits to Status Now 4 All, everyone currently undocumented is going to be able to come forward
This is the right time for a full regularisation – if not now – when?
RE: ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE, HOUSING AND FOOD FOR ALL
On March 27th 2020 we called upon the British and Irish States to act immediately so that all undocumented, destitute and migrant people in the legal process in both the UK and Ireland are granted Status Now, as in Leave to Remain. (Copy enclosed)
Shortly after your office’s acknowledgement of receipt we thanked you, Taoiseach. We have yet to receive acknowledgement of receipt from yourself, Prime Minister. Neither of you have actually responded directly to us but we note, and are glad for, the recent announcement regularising undocumented workers in the Republic of Ireland by the end of 2021.
We have refined our call further to specify that Indefinite Leave to Remain is what is required by the Status Now Network, a unique coalition of 120+ organisations and community action groups, alongside individuals, who are campaigning for Status Now 4 All. This coming Saturday, March 27th 2021, exactly one year since we wrote to you both, we are holding our Status Now Summit: One Year On.
“Not having my status limits my joy, my happiness, nothing makes me excited. People take advantage.
I cannot even work. The pain is terrible. Terrible. People cry at night. There are suicides.
In limbo, I cannot do anything I want to do, and I don’t know what is going to happen to me.
Locked down all the time, not just now. Let us have a chance.”
(Voices of people without status)
Who we are: The Status Now Network is a unique coalition of almost 130 organisations and community action groups, alongside individuals, who are campaigning for Status Now 4 All. Our member organisations are listed on our website: https://statusnow4all.org.
What we do: Most StatusNow4All members have worked for years ‘in the frontline’ supporting migrants living with chronic insecurity. Increasingly, we are working together. Through the Covid lockdowns, SN4A members are, and have supported, migrants with Covid or at grave risk of catching Covid – from which some have died without access to medical care. SN4A members are, and support, migrants who do not have secure employment, secure housing, access to medical care, protection from exploitation and secure immigration status. We have provided basic food, advice, friendship, help with access to services, and help in dealing with the Home Office and its sub-contractors.
Status Now Network welcomes the support of this informal coalition of MPs who stand with us in our campaign for people who are undocumented and those in the legal process to be given Indefinite Leave to Remain/settled status:
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.
Open Letter to Public Health England and other agencies:
“As PICUM (Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants)have most recently expressed:
“Any vaccination campaign, to be effective, has to cover virtually everyone. Including #undocumented people is not only humane, it’s also public health common sense. We’re all in this together, and only together can we win this battle.”
3 December 2020: Status Now Network notes that concurrent discussion about vaccines becoming available on the NHS does nothing to address any of the structural, institutional and systemic barriers to access to health for people who are undocumented and those in legal process.
We have an urgent request: the call for Status Now for All is being carried into Parliament in an Early Day Motion – EDM #658 as follows:
EDM #658 – LEAVE TO REMAIN STATUS
That this House notes that there are currently an unknown number of persons in the UK who are not citizens of the UK and who do not at present have leave to remain in this country, who lack any entitlement to support from the state and are therefore entirely without funds to feed, clothe and house themselves and their families and who are unable to comply with government guidance on self-isolation and social distancing; and considers it essential that the government takes immediate action to ensure that leave to remain in the United Kingdom is granted to all such persons who are within the UK but are not citizens, irrespective of their nationality or immigration status, so that they can access healthcare, food and housing to enable them to adhere to government advice on social distancing, and to ensure the health of themselves and their families as well as helping protect the health of all of us.
We call upon the British and Irish States to act immediately so that all undocumented, destitute and migrant people in the legal process in both the UK and Ireland are granted Status Now, as in Leave to Remain. In this way every human, irrespective of their nationality or citizenship can access healthcare, housing, food and the same sources of income from the State as everyone else.
This is the letter in fullbelow – we have not yet received an answer:
This post is being updated with reports of atrocities around the army camp accommodation, and other Home Office plans to accommodate people in new sites:
Penally camp is apparently shutting permanently, due in part to pressure from Welsh MPs. The Home Office will continue to use Napier camp for now.. You can write to your MP in support of the #CloseTheBarracks campaign.
The Mental Health Foundation has found that the increased vulnerability to mental health problems that refugees and asylum seekers face is linked both to their pre-migration and post-migration experiences. People who have fled persecution, violence and war hope to find safety and security in the UK. Tragically, the current UK asylum system often exacerbates their suffering, with long waits for asylum decisions, poor accommodation and a ban on working all contributing to this situation.
People who are undocumented are at real risk of being sucked into abusive relationships in order to survive, and once there, it is very very difficult to leave.
Women’s Aid:Domestic abuse can include, but is not limited to, the following:
Coercive control (a pattern of intimidation, degradation, isolation* and control with the use or threat of physical or sexual violence) *including persuading you not to trust people who normally support you
At this time of Covid-19, people subjected to domestic abuse are very isolated, and have fewer chances to leave the house, for example children are not at school, shopping is kept to a minimum; and tensions indoors mount.
We know that people subjected to such abuse are often frequently lied to about being believed, or they are told their children will be removed, that their whereabouts will be reported to the Home Office which will potentially lead to the risk of immigration detention and removal from UK in this hostile environment, and they now are fearful of breaking Covid lockdown rules.
The impact of the ‘toxic trio’ of drug abuse, mental health issues and alcohol is well-known to raise concerns about risk of domestic abuse. When undocumented status is added to this toxic mix, the potential for ongoing serious risk of harm is massively increased.
Court finds home secretary accountable for failures to ensure that deaths in immigration detention centres are investigated properly
A landmark court ruling has held the home secretary, Priti Patel, accountable for failures in ensuring that deaths in immigration detention centres are properly investigated.
Two judges in the immigration court ruled on Wednesday that three of the home secretary’s detention policies breached human rights rules and that she could not frustrate or undermine inquiries into these deaths.
Ultimately, what we at the IRR fear is that such disaggregated, ethnic-specific data will be used to create a kind of league table of good and bad, successful and failing groups. A variation of the ‘good migrant’ ‘bad migrant’ scenario. A kind of stigmatisation via comparison. Sewell, the chair of the commission, has form here – and we already see this in his report, contrasting good parenting techniques and enterprising family structures in the Black African community with family dysfunction or breakdown in other communities, most notably the Black Caribbean.
The Building Resilience project provides spaces for migrants with limited immigration status and no recourse to public funds to discuss shared experiences throughout the pandemic and form networks of solidarity.
Responding to Covid-19: Building Resilience project, running between November 2020 and April 2021, aims to organise, empower and build networks with some of the migrant communities most marginalised by Covid-19. It is a partnership project between Migrant Voice, Kanlungan Filipino Consortium, and RAPAR (Refugee and Asylum Participatory Action Research).
Amanda Kennedy: After years of paperwork and waiting, every member of the Saleem family has now been granted a Visa! So pleased for the lovely Saira Saleem and her family, who deserve to call Scotland home! Special thanks to all who signed this petition, when I started it in 2018, I never thought we’d get as many as 144,000 signatures! An even bigger thanks to the family’s solicitor, Glasgow-based Usman Aslam who worked tirelessly on this case!
Filipino healthcare workers in the UK are disproportionately dying of Covid-19 as they are afraid to say no to extra shifts, campaigners have revealed.
At least 71 frontline health and care workers of Filipino heritage have died in the UK of coronavirus since the pandemic began, according to organisations supporting Filipino communities who have been compiling their own figures based on social media.
HuffPost UK has heard how workers fear turning down overtime could jeopardise their jobs, and many need the extra money to send to families in the Philippines who are relying on them.
“The real figure of how many Filipino health and care workers have died in the UK will undoubtedly be higher,” says Susan Cueva, a trustee at Kanlungan. The charity brings together a group of organisations working for the welfare and interests of Filipino and other British migrant communities.
In this week’s Podcast we speak to Dr Kathryn Medien who is a Sociology Lecturer at the Open University. We examine her research into the development and use of internal borders in Britain as a form of racialised governance. She traces numerous elements of what we now know as the Hostile Environment to key Legislative changes in the 1970’s & 80’s.
A data analytics team close to the heart of government has collected data on more than 650 million people, including children under the age of 13, according to newly unearthed documents.
The Data Services & Analytics unit is described as “one of the most advanced data analytics centres in government” and forms part of the Home Office’s Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) department. It builds decision-making tools and provides data-driven insights to the rest of the Home Office – although details of exactly what it does remain tightly guarded.
Money does not necessarily bring happiness, but it does give you a roof over your head, a toilet, and a cup of tea, which our friend Elizabeth who came from Rwanda always says are the basics. We add our campaign for settled status, healthcare, food and the same income as everyone else to that list.
Forbes World’s Billionaires List: The Richest in 2021: It’s been a year like no other, and we aren’t talking about the pandemic. There were rapid-fire public offerings, surging cryptocurrencies and skyrocketing stock prices. The number of billionaires on Forbes’ 35th annual list of the world’s wealthiest exploded to an unprecedented 2,755–660 more than a year ago.