The death of Harvey Wittika, aged 37, who died after falling from the second floor of his flat building in Glasgow calls for a thorough investigation.
It is reported that Wittika, a Malawian national, moved to Glasgow after the Home Office refused to renew his application to stay in the UK. At the time of his death, Wittika had lived in the UK for 16 years.
The details of his death are scanty but the British Government’s ‘hostile environment’ has to be in this frame: we suspect an act of suicide that was caused by his suffering at the hands of the government department in charge of immigration control – the Home Office.
Wittika was stripped of his human rights by the state. He lived a miserable, intense and continuously stressful life for many years. He was not allowed to feel settled in the UK. He lived with fear of deportation hanging around him daily. Here was a man whose home was the UK, but whose right to work to earn his living was denied to him. Such a limbo life can push any person to take desperate measures.
EDM #7: That this House recognises that there are many barriers that prevent people from accessing and maintaining stable immigration status even when they were either born in the UK or have lived in the UK for many years; further recognises that the majority of undocumented migrants have lost their status through no fault of their own, including through an inability to pay application fees, lack of access to legal advice, mistakes on the part of decision-makers and complexity of immigration rules; understands that the harm done to individuals through hostile immigration policies extends to family members and the communities that they are part of; notes that the UK has one of the most complex and expensive routes to regularisation in Europe; further notes that all current routes to regularisation and settlement are far too long, complicated and inflexible, leaving people with no options but to live undocumented; understands that migrants who do not have access to the public safety net or the right to work are vulnerable to exploitation and; and calls on the Government to support recommendations made by Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants in its report, We Are Here: routes to regularisation for the UK’s undocumented population, published in April 2021 by introducing new routes to regularisation and removing barriers which cause migrants to become undocumented.
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)
“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.
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.
21 September 2021: Institute for Research into Super Diversity and Doctors of the World: Barriers to Wellbeing
Policy recommendations • Remote provision clearly does not enable contact from all migrants requiring support to access healthcare. As the UK returns to a greater degree of normality reinstating some face to face provision is important to ensure all needs are addressed.
• The increase in asylum seeker users and deterioration in general health in this group points towards potential problems with a) access to healthcare for those housed in hotels b) the health of those living in hotels. The Asylum Providers Accommodation contract should be amended so the statement of requirements includes people in initial / contingency accommodation receiving support to register with a GP following the HA Select Committee recommendation.
Once again, this time in the Nationality and Borders Bill, the Home Office seeks to oust the jurisdiction of Senior Courts from considering an appeal from a first-instance immigration tribunal decision. Its last substantial attempt to do so was the ouster clause it sought unsuccessfully to introduce to the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Bill in the 2003-2004 session of Parliament. At that time, it sought to oust statutory appeals and also the jurisdiction of the High Court on Judicial Review.
This time the effort is focused on solely on statutory appeals and is an attempt to exclude appeals to the Court of Appeal. It is still wrong. A first instance tribunal decision on a question of international protection or human rights, involving compliance with international treaty obligations, ought to be capable of appeal, as part of the standard procedure in the UK constitutional order for the rule of law. The Home Office gains nothing by this latest effort. Instead, the rule of law is damaged and the High Court is left to supervise the resulting delinquency if and when it entertains a judicial review against an immigration appeal decision impugned. To understand what is going on, one needs to look at the provision for priority removal notices in the Nationality and Borders Bill.
In this connection, we would like to bring to the attention of your Excellency’s Government information we have received concerning changes made to the Overseas Domestic Worker visa in April 2012, amendments made to the Immigration Bill which in May 2016 became the Immigration Act 2016, and the consequences of these legislative changes, which are still in effect.
Simba Mujakachi says government’s ‘hostile environment’ policies deterred him from taking medication
Simba Mujakachi, a personal trainer, was just 29 years old in June 2019 when he suffered a catastrophic stroke that left him comatose. When he awoke, he was paralysed on his left side and unable to talk or eat.
His stroke could have been prevented by relatively inexpensive medication for a blood clotting condition that, as a refused asylum seeker, he was not entitled to on the NHS.
Now Mujakachi, who has lived in the UK since he was a child, owes nearly £100,000 for the emergency treatment that saved his life, a staggering sum which he does not know how he will ever repay.
“No one can pay £100,000, who has got that? I’m looking at the bill and I’m thinking, that’s a house,” he said.
On 18th September, the Justice for Simba campaign are hosting a carnival of resistance to the Hostile Environment in the NHS, taking place in Sheffield. Join us to take action in solidarity against racist immigration policies in healthcare – wherever you are!
Meet at 2pm, Devonshire Green! There will be music, dancing, speeches, and a spirit of solidarity and resistance to hostile and cruel immigration policies! We will then hand in Simba’s petition to Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
👉🏾 Here’s what you need to do! 👈🏾 ⭐️ Sign and share Simba’s petition on your social media and with your friends and colleagues – we want to hit 70,000 signatures to hand in! http://change.org/justiceforsimba ⭐️ Spread the word https://linktr.ee/JusticeForSimba ⭐️ Print and share Simba’s poster! So we can share pics on the day https://tinyurl.com/SimbaPosters
Our friend Simba has been charged over £100,000 for his life-saving treatment following a stroke — all because of his immigration status. Two years on, Simba is fighting for his recovery but Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is still chasing him for payment.
Updated 17 September 2021: Moses and Daisy invite you to join the walk: ‘It’s on, this Saturday the 18th!, another 24 mile walk in Pickering, let’s show support and zeal in stopping these deportations flights.’
“Together we stand very strong. The deportations will surely end, cracks are beginning to show up within the inner court of the Government. STOP DEPORTATIONS once and for all for the better of the country. Come to all to Pickering. Lets do the walk in our big numbers until victory is final…Alutta continua….!”
We long for the day when creating awards to highlight anti slavery work are completely consigned to the past…. Until then … our signatory Migrants At Work is in this frame and it’s founder and leader Ake says:
I had a dream
When I was working in the cocoa plantation; one day, my brother explained why we had hectares of plantations but struggled to feed ourselves. He also explained what a diplomat was and supposed to do to protect our interest overseas. After listening to him, I say I will become an Ambassador to end child labourer.
We are writing to you on behalf of NWTUC Black Members Committee and Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit to invite you to an online meeting to coordinate the widest possible opposition from both trade unions & community and voluntary sector organisations to this brutal & racist bill. The Bill is designed to tear up the protections offered by the Refugee Convention. The proposals are particularly aimed at people seeking asylum who arrive in the UK ‘illegally’, conflating asylum seeking with criminality, when the government well knows that there is, in practical terms, no way of entering the UK to seek asylum ‘safely and legally’.
I was delighted to watch Emma Raducanu reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon. The hope of success for the nation at the grand slam rested on the migrant teenager after Sir Andy Murray crashed out.
At the age of 18 and waiting for her A-level results, Emma Raducanu became the youngest British woman to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon in the Open era. The sheer frenzy Raducanu sent to the nation was ecstatic to behold.
As a migrant in the UK, I was quick to note that Raducanu was born in Canada to a Romanian father and a Chinese mother. Her family moved to London when she was two years old. Crucially, Raducanu was able to represent the nation at Wimbledon because of her British nationality. The UK would not have been such a great nation without the huge contributions of the migrant community.
Raducanu has become a huge inspiration for our sport mad three boys. The eldest is an aspiring footballer for Manchester United and the England national team! However, unlike the tennis ace, our boys who were born in the UK are not British nationals. And they are completely unaware of their predicament. Their precarious immigration status is a consequence of the barriers created by immigration rules.
12 September 2021: StatusNow: A grant of Indefinite Leave to Remain to people without status would help ease labour shortages
“The Government should grant status to all those who currently reside in the UK, as well as bring forward legislation to improve workers rights on pay and end insecure employment practices such as zero hours contracts. These are actions to address some of the reasons why employers are unable to recruit,” Ian Hodson, national president of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union (BFAWU)
Status Now urges the UK Government to offer immigration settlement status to all people who have made the UK their home. This is one contribution to easing the current labour shortage.
12 September 2021: Lucky Khambule from StatusNow4All signatory organisation MASI – Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland:
“MASI welcomes the decision by the minister to offer once in a generation Amnesty for 17000 undocumented migrants. This comes a relief to many people mostly health care workers who have contributed immensely in this country under precarious conditions, mostly living under the cloud of deportations.
However MASI hoped that the would be extended to those who also have spend more than five years in this country with their applications still in the limbo.
We congratulate the work done by MRCI and JFU Justice for the Undocumented for this achievement.“