Home Office to resume evicting some asylum seekers ‘with immediate effect’

23 April 2021: The Home Office writes:

We will be sharing details of the current number of cases for review with local authorities to assist them in planning. However I would like to emphasise that it is not possible at this stage to be definitive about the final volume of cases that will have their support discontinued. This is partly because all individuals will continue to receive a minimum of 21 calendar days notice from the decision to stop their support and have the opportunity to remain in their accommodation, supported under section 4(2) of the 1999 Act, provided that they agree to take reasonable steps to leave the UK (in practical terms by registering with the Home Office’s voluntary returns programme and leaving when a flight can be arranged for them).

From SN4A signatory: Peter Soulsby, Leicester City Mayor and Danny Myers, Assistant Mayor, Leicester City Council

‘We’ve made clear in Leicester we are opposed to the govt’s immigration policy and practice. We are deeply concerned about the consequences of this decision and even more how it’s been made. If what we know in Leicester is anything to go by this could immediately impact thousands of people across the UK.

With immediate effect’  is callous too. It offers too little warning to people in already often desperate circumstances and to local councils already dealing with unprecedented pressures on their budgets and services. ‘

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Open Letter(2) to the Prime Minister of the UK and the Taoiseach of Ireland

25th March 2021 

Dear Sirs

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

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The Status Now 4 All Calling Card for All Communities of Faith

“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.

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EDM #1442: Undocumented migrants and covid-19 vaccination

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:

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.

Brought by Claudia Webbe, MP for Leicester East

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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.

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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 *Indefinite 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.

[*The word ‘Indefinite’ was added to the call in our second letter, dated 27 March 2021: https://statusnow4all.org/open-letter2-to-the-prime-minister-of-the-uk-and-the-taoiseach-of-ireland/]

This is the letter in full below – we have not yet received an answer:

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The call for StatusNow4All is absolutely relevant in these times of injustice

This poster can be used for educational purposes. It’s message reminds us that the earth is not ours to ‘buy and sell for private gain. You poor take courage
You rich take care, This earth was made a common treasury For everyone to share
‘ (Billy Bragg: The World Turned Upside Down)

… but the UK Government is using its power to steal and entice prestigious award winners from other countries whom it deems to be useful for UK, whilst destroying lives of others who are already here, all of whom have something to offer, given the chance. The call for StatusNow4All is absolutely relevant in these times of injustice.


Evening Standard: India to take back illegal migrants in return for UK visas for young workers

The UK and India have signed an agreement for the Asian country to take back illegal migrants in return for visas for young workers.

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New Plan for Immigration ‘Consultation’ process criticised

30 April 2021: Women for Refugee Women: New Plan will harm women:

OVER 70 LEADERS WORKING WITH REFUGEE WOMEN COME TOGETHER TO HIGHLIGHT TO THE HOME SECRETARY THAT HER NEW PLAN FOR IMMIGRATION WILL HARM WOMEN

The government’s New Plan for Immigration will harm women seeking asylum. Today, 30 April 2020, more than 70 leaders of organisations and groups supporting women who have sought asylum write to the Home Secretary to express shared concerns about the New Plan.

Read the full letter below:

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Modern Slavery and Trafficking

Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner: About modern slavery: The UK is both a country of destination, with thousands of victims arriving from other countries only to be exploited by criminals; and a source country with increasing numbers of British victims identified. Slavery takes many different forms and affects adults and children, males and females.

Those who are enslaved are exploited for the financial gain of their captors. The vulnerable are made to work in cruel conditions for long hours without pay. Examples include women and girls forced into prostitution for profit, young boys made to commit criminal acts against their will and men kept in slave-like conditions in factories.

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Concerns raised over ‘cramped and stressful’ asylum unit for mothers and babies

Our signatory organisations in Scotland are very worried about accommodation in Scotland, and this was included in the debate in Westminster Hall on 27 April 2021::

Update 27 April 2021: Westminster debate: [NB: [V] denotes a Member participating virtually.] Support for Asylum Seekers

9.25amPhilip Davies (in the Chair)

9.26amNeil Coyle (Bermondsey and Old Southwark) (Lab)

I beg to move,

That this House has considered the effectiveness of asylum accommodation and the dispersal scheme in providing support for asylum seekers.

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Enforced removals to Vietnam risks re-trafficking

26 April 2021: From Mariko Hayashi, Director of SN$A signatory organisation Southeast and East Asian Centre (SEEAC): “The UK is one of the major destinations of victims of human trafficking from Vietnam, which was the third most common nationality of all referrals to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) as potential victims in 2020. The figures show that between 2018 and 2020, in only three years, 2,242 Vietnamese people have been identified as potential victims of human trafficking. I am very concerned that some of the individuals removed from the UK without proper due process could have been victims of human trafficking.

The hostile environment policies and border securitisation, which often criminalise migrants who are vulnerable to exploitation, perpetuate violation of human rights and even put these migrants at risk of being re-trafficked.”

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Increasing the immigration detention estate for women

26 April 2021: Agnes’ petition: Stop the new detention centre for women

My name is Agnes. I am a refugee, I am a woman, I am a human being. The Home Office has started building a new immigration detention centre at Hassockfield in County Durham to lock up women like me. Please join me in taking action to stop them.

Read more: https://www.change.org/p/the-home-secretary-stop-the-new-detention-centre-for-women

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Home Office sued by asylum seeker over baby’s death

Guardian: Home Office sued by asylum seeker over baby’s death

Woman claims asylum housing staff ignored pleas for help when she was in pain while 35 weeks pregnant

A woman whose baby died is suing the Home Office for negligence over claims that staff at her asylum accommodation refused to call an ambulance when she was pregnant and bleeding.

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Concerns about the use of army barracks, hotels etc.

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.


23 April 2021: Guardian: Report condemns Home Office failures at barracks used to house asylum seekers

Exclusive: documents seen by the Guardian criticises serious errors in management of Napier and Penally sitesThe full scale of Home Office failures in managing former military sites as makeshift accommodation for asylum seekers is laid bare in a raft of damning documents seen by the Guardian.

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Situation assessment of statelessness, health, and COVID-19 in Europe

21 April 2021: European Network on Statelessness: Situation assessment of statelessness, health, and COVID-19 in Europe

Prof van Hout and Charlotte Bigland from LJMU, the authors of this report, will be leading SNN International Public Health Working Group.  Prof Van Hout says:

“There is a divide between the State obligation to assure the rights of all to healthcare, including the non-discrimination provisions where no one can be excluded in the COVID-19 health response; and the real world situation for the stateless who experience significant social and structural barriers to access of healthcare, not least exacerbated by institutional fear around data sharing with immigration. This is likely to impact most now given the imperatives to scale up and include all in COVID-19 vaccination roll out. NGOs will be crucial in supporting the practicalities around logistics in vaccinations and support of those who are marginalized and hidden.”

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Covid-19 And The Surge In Domestic Abuse In The UK

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:


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.


16 April 2021: Guardian: Anger as Tory MPs vote against register for stalkers and domestic abusers

Government rejects measures despite briefing they would support them after death of Sarah Everard

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UK Asylum System and Asylum Seekers’ Mental Health

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.

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