“No one should fear accessing medical advice from our superb NHS due to an immigration reason.”

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.”

Here is our letter:

Continue reading ““No one should fear accessing medical advice from our superb NHS due to an immigration reason.””

Please ask your MP to support EDM #658.

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.

Continue reading “Please ask your MP to support EDM #658.”

Status Now 4 All – this is our call

27 March 2020 An Open Letter to the Prime Minister of the UK and the Taoiseach of Ireland

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 full below – we have not yet received an answer:

Continue reading “Status Now 4 All – this is our call”

Undocumented migrants must have access to the vaccine too

Migrant Voice: While we welcome the rapid rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination programme in the UK, we are concerned that there are many UK residents who have no idea if, when or how they will have access to the vaccine: they are undocumented migrants, who live and work among the rest of us, but who don’t have the same access to healthcare and may be too afraid to seek out the chance to be vaccinated.

Continue reading “Undocumented migrants must have access to the vaccine too”

Concerns about the use of army barracks

This post is being updated with reports of atrocities around the army camp accommodation:

Updated 23 January 2021: Guardian: UK asylum seekers told claims at risk if they ‘misbehave’

Call for Home Office to act after private contractors tell people their applications will be jeopardised for speaking out, going on hunger strikes or complaining about food

People held at temporary Home Office refugee camps are being threatened that their asylum claims will be harmed if they “misbehave”, according to testimony from site residents.

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ICIBI An inspection of the Home Office’s use of sanctions and penalties

2021 Jan 14: Publishing the report, David Bolt said: For many this will seem to be a case of too little, and much too late. From ICIBI’s perspective, in 2016, and again in 2018 and 2019, a series of inspection reports recommended that the Home Office should monitor and evaluate the impact of the hostile/compliant environment. These recommendations were only “partially accepted” and never implemented. Had they been, some of the harms suffered by the Windrush generation and others may have been avoided.

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‘We are victims, not criminals’: Asylum seekers protest conditions in military camp

12 January 2021: Independent: Home Office urged to close Napier Barracks in Kent amid warnings of unsafe and overcrowded conditions 

Dozens of asylum seekers have mounted a protest over the conditions they are being held in at a former military camp in Kent, warning that being there is putting them at risk.

More than a dozen police officers responded to the peaceful protest outside Napier Barracks in Folkestone on Tuesday afternoon. Video footage shows officers lined up in front of the camp’s residents as they hold up banners warning of unsafe conditions in the camp.

Last September, the former army base was turned into accommodation for asylum-seeking men and is currently said to be housing around 400 people.

Continue reading “‘We are victims, not criminals’: Asylum seekers protest conditions in military camp”

Asylum-seekers to protest delays in processing their asylum claims by sleeping outside in freezing conditions

10 January 2021: Morning Star:

A GROUP of asylum-seekers at an ex-army camp in Kent have vowed to sleep outside in sub-zero temperatures until the Home Office moves them to more suitable accommodation.

Five residents launched the desperate action on Friday in protest against long delays in processing their asylum claims and the squalid conditions at Napier Barracks, Folkestone.

Continue reading “Asylum-seekers to protest delays in processing their asylum claims by sleeping outside in freezing conditions”

Brook House immigration detention centre closed due to Covid cases

8 January 2021 Independent: Immigration detention centre forced to close due to Covid outbreak

Ministers accused of ‘playing Russian roulette with public health’ after detainees moved between removal facilities

The UK’s largest immigration removal centre has been temporarily closed due to an outbreak of Covid-19, and detainees have been transferred to another detention facility as a result.

The Home Office has confirmed Brook House removal centre, near Gatwick airport, has shut for 10 days due to a number of positive coronavirus cases among staff. It said a “small number” of detainees had been moved 40 miles away to Colnbrook removal centre, near Heathrow.

Campaigners condemned the decision to move people between detention centres after they had been exposed to the virus, and accused ministers of “playing Russian roulette with public health” by maintaining detention during the third wave of the pandemic.

Continue reading “Brook House immigration detention centre closed due to Covid cases”

Shrinking the space for human rights: A look back on 2020

2021 January 5: Written by: Frances Webber

A raft of new laws, Home Office measures and government proposals attempt to restrict the legal accountability of state actors, including ministers, while removing legal protections from those who need them most. In this IRR News long read, Frances Webber examines the various threats to human rights over the last year.

Continue reading “Shrinking the space for human rights: A look back on 2020”

Restaurant sends incredible Syrian-style Christmas banquet to Penally asylum camp only for security guards to confiscate it

22 December 2020@ Wales Online: Volunteers wanted to spread some Christmas cheer to the asylum seekers inside but guards ‘cruelly’ took the food away mid-way through their meal

An Aberystwyth restaurant sent a Syrian-style Christmas spread to the Penally asylum camp only for it to be confiscated by security guards (Image: Dinah Mulholland/Mark Lewis)

A celebratory spread of Syrian food was delivered to asylum seekers in the controversial  Pembrokeshire  asylum camp, only for security guards to confiscate the meal, it’s been claimed.

A group of volunteers were desperate to spread a little Christmas cheer to the men staying at the Penally asylum camp after numerous stories of the “prison-type conditions” and sub-standard food inside the camp gates.

Continue reading “Restaurant sends incredible Syrian-style Christmas banquet to Penally asylum camp only for security guards to confiscate it”

Napier camp, Folkestone is unsafe

People seeking asylum in Folkestone are protesting. They want their voices to be heard.

A resident at Napier Barracks writes: ” I can’t speak English , but I can write for you and I send good pictures for you , you can read the posters on my pic we are human. Everyone here has a mental problem because nothing is human. No body is responsible for how long we have to be here. Neither in terms of health nor food and any other help many people here do not have access to a doctor,
Many do not have warm clothes.”

Continue reading “Napier camp, Folkestone is unsafe”

Asylum right to work policy unlawfully overlooks trafficking victims

18 December 2020: Freemovement: Landmark victory for woman seeking right to work as cleaner paves way for tens of thousands

A trafficked woman who asked a judge for the right to work as a cleaner has won a landmark victory in the high court.

The ruling on Friday paves the way for tens of thousands who are denied the right to work by the Home Office to have their requests to take up jobs considered.

Asylum seekers and victims of trafficking are generally denied the right to work by the Home Office. Many wait several years for their cases to be determined. There is a record backlog of 60,548 people waiting for an initial decision on their asylum claim, with 76% of people waiting more than six months for a decision.

Read more here: https://www.freemovement.org.uk/policy-on-right-to-work-for-asylum-seekers-unlawfully-overlooks-trafficking-victims/

Migrants must be included in all COVID-19 recovery plans – UN and regional experts

18 December 2020: OHCHR International Migrants Day

GENEVA (17 December 2020) – Migrants and their families, no matter what their migration status, must be included in the national COVID-19 response and recovery plans of all countries, human rights experts* said today in a statement marking International Migrants Day. Their full statement is as follows:

“The pandemic has manifested globally the vital contributions migrant workers provide to local economies. Migrant workers form a crucial workforce in various sectors that are contributing to the delivery of essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic, including in domestic households. Among them, migrant health and care workers have been on the frontline.

On this day where we pay tribute to all migrants, in a context of a continuing global health crisis that also has a severe impact on the governance of migratory movements, we must remind States to treat all migrants with dignity and provide them with equal access to services, benefits, information, and assistance.

Continue reading “Migrants must be included in all COVID-19 recovery plans – UN and regional experts”

The State we’re in, it’s a Syn: that’s why we need Status Now 4 All

12 December 2020: RAPAR: “The syndemic[1] nature of the threat we face demands that we not only treat each affliction, but also urgently address the underlying social inequalities that shape them— poverty, housing, education, and race, which are all powerful determinants of health.”[2]
Dr. Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet (13th November 2020)

It’s Friday 13th March 2020.  I watch the woman, around 60 like me, reach for a clear plastic bag of five tomatoes.  Just moments before, my bare right hand placed it on the conveyor belt and now, her bare left hand lifts it towards the scales at her workstation. Tapping in her record of its value, she picks the bag up again, bare right hand this time, and sets it down before me. 

Continue reading “The State we’re in, it’s a Syn: that’s why we need Status Now 4 All”