‘This group is a volunteer-run, grassroots organisation of migrant domestic workers already in the UK which aims to support, uphold and campaign for the rights, welfare and dignity of migrant domestic workers. Behind the closed doors of big houses in London, there are domestic servants, slaves in fact- people whose human rights have been taken. The Guardian article below well-explains why the organisation is desperately needed by a particular group of very vulnerable domestic workers.
‘Unfortunately, the hostile environment that is the UK immigration system does not recognise risk where it exists, and many rescued domestic slaves are not accepted as people who at risk of trafficking, or modern slavery. They end up being undocumented in UK, without legitimate access to food, housing or healthcare, and for example, subjected to the ravages of covid. That is why we have joine4d the StatusNow4All campaign. These people need Indefinite Leave to Remain so that they feel they can safely make themselves known to the Home Office without fear of deportation.’
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.
The High Court has overturned a tribunal judgment that had instructed the Home Office to house refused asylum seekers until lockdown restrictions end. The decision in R (Secretary of State for the Home Department) v First-tier Tribunal (Social Entitlement Chamber) EWHC 1690 (Admin) is said to affect at least 1,000 people.
This has direct impact on time-served prisoners who are ‘released’ on immigration bail:
14 June 2021: from BID and Liberty: Our letter, signed by 42 organisations, was covered in an article below in the Guardian
The most recent Home Office bail policy sets out its plan to transition from radio frequency monitoring to GPS monitoring for people on immigration bail. Whereas radio frequency monitoring can verify whether a person is where they should be at a given time, GPS monitoring provides 24/7 real time location monitoring, tracking an individual’s every move: it tells you where someone has gone, where they have shopped, what GP’s practice they have been to, and much more. Those who are being monitored in this way do not know when the ordeal will end because there is no time limit for how long people will be tracked.
Research being launched on 8 June: Political and media discourses around immigration tend to make a sharp distinction between desirable and undesirable migrants. Some people are more welcome than others, including on the basis of factors such as income level, savings, education, employment status and area of work. Foreign nationals with low incomes, who are out of work or deemed ‘low skilled’, tend to be portrayed as abusing the system, undercutting British workers and as a burden on the taxpayer.
Less known, are the many ways in which the immigration system itself forces unemployment upon people (whilst simultaneously draining people of savings through the huge sums required for immigration applications and appeals). Many migrants, including people claiming asylum or subject to Deportation Orders, rarely have the right to work or access public funds. The few asylum seekers who do get the right to work are only eligible to work in jobs on the Shortage Occupation List, which are graduate level or above and include civil engineers, archaeologists and chemical scientists. And those who do receive any financial support, only get a fraction of mainstream benefits.
An expectant mother staying at a mother and baby unit in Glasgow spoke to The Canary about living conditions there. This mother, who wishes to remain anonymous, has been living in this unit since March 2021. She said it’s “very stressful” living in such cramped conditions where “there is no community”.
Various campaigners in Glasgow, coming together as “the Roof Coalition”, are demanding the Home Office closes this unit that accommodates over 20 women and their babies. The Roof Coalition’s #FreedomToCrawl campaign calls on the public:
Exclusive: UK government accused of ‘profound lack of transparency’ as openDemocracy wins legal victory over ‘Orwellian’ Freedom of Information unit
openDemocracy has won a significant legal victory against the UK government. The judgement forces transparency on a secretive unit accused of ‘blacklisting’ Freedom of Information requests from journalists, campaigners and others.
After a three-year battle, judge Chris Hughes found that the documents the Cabinet Office presented in court about the controversial Clearing House unit were ‘misleading’. He added that there is a “profound lack of transparency about the operation”, which might “extend to ministers”.
Among the survey findings, 80% of respondents were worried about their financial situation during the pandemic, and about being able to afford food and other items that they might need. In addition, half of all respondents said they were unable to afford hand sanitiser, face masks, soap or cleaning products.
The Building Resilience project provided spaces for migrants with limited immigration status and no recourse to public funds to discuss shared experiences throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and form networks of solidarity.
‘Networks of resilience are important and meaningful. And for as long as the UK’s hostile environment remains in place, individuals from the most marginalised and isolated communities who make up networks of resilience will be compelled to continue to find ways to release and build resiliences through which they search out pathways to status and better access to basic rights.’
Abolish Detention, which is campaigning to prevent the opening of a detention centre in Hassockfield/Medomsley, is asking for support for a campaign against the multinational Mitie which is running adverts to recruit people to run its new women only detention prison near Durham. Mitie was condemned by the prison inspectorate in 2016 which said its immigration detention centres were “dirty”, “rundown” and “insanitary. It is one of the UK’s biggest detention profiteers: it runs the two Heathrow detention centres and has a £525 million deportation “escorting” contract with an annual turnover of £2.2billion.
Please join the campaign and take action – see below for what you can do – thank you.
7 June 2021: Why do we call for StatusNow4All/Indefinite Leave to Remain: African Global Voices
I am NdabaVictor, of African Global Voices,
We at African Global Voices – UK advocate for people who have been subjected to injustices in the criminal system.
We are a small grassroots not-for-profit hands-on-the-ground organisation of people who have lived experience of being in the asylum system, and we are based in Liverpool. Our members are all over the UK due to the policies of the Home Office’s long-standing hostile environment, which is built on systematic racial prejudice and discriminatory ideology.
Our members have multiple problems due to their situations, many have no settled status, others had Refugee Leave taken from them, many have been victims of torture and some have significant medical conditions. We offer them Peer Support Mentoring, and also refer on to agencies that can help them. In addition we visit refugees and people seeking asylum who are in detention centres and prisons.