The United Kingdom’s asylum system has been described by the current Home Secretary as “broken”. There is some truth in that statement. In many ways, the asylum system is now in a parlous state. What the Home Secretary does not say is that it was she who broke it.
[…] The picture the data presents is of a system that has been overwhelmed. Not by new arrivals but by mismanagement. The people arriving to claim asylum are overwhelmingly refugees and they will, eventually, build new lives for themselves in this country. But they must endure bureaucratic purgatory first, seemingly to cleanse them of the supposed sin of irregular arrival. Waiting times for a decision run to years, during which time these refugees are forbidden from work, and forced to endure destitution-level support and temporary accommodation. As well as being bad for the refugees, it is causes an unnecessary charge on the public purse. And then, at the end of the process, despite all the tough posturing by the Home Secretary, almost no-one is removed anyway.
Continue reading “Alarming Rise in Asylum Backlog Despite Fall in Applications”
Sadly – expanding the detention estate:
Procurement process starts for IRC as part of New Plan for Immigration
The Home Office has announced initial plans for a new Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) in Oxfordshire.
Today (28 June 2022) the department has started the first stages of the procurement to operate a new IRC on the site of the former Campsfield House.
The new IRC, which will be a secure facility and will accommodate men only, will not be operational until at least late 2023. The Home Office will be engaging local authorities, the local MP, police and other partners as plans are developed.
Continue reading “Ending Immigration Detention”
You’ll find below information about some of the events in June 2022
Details of the coming campaign in June will be released at an online rally on 25 May 6pm , featuring a powerful lineup of speakers on the frontlines of the fight for migrant justice. Make sure to register here to receive further information about the week of action! (see below)
Here is a video of the rally:
Continue reading “Refugee Week – Events in June 2022”
The International Federation of Iraqi Refugees (IFIR) has set out a formal complaint against the actions of the UK Border Agency with regard to its treatment of asylum seekers threatened with removal to Rwanda. The Federation has asked that this matter be investigated by the European Court of Human Rights.
At the centre of the complaint is the treatment of Mr Rasti Mohammadi, a 26 year old Kurd with Iraqi nationality who had been informed that the Border Agency intended to deport him on the planned flight to Rwanda despite having made an application for protection as a refugee in the UK.
Continue reading “International Federation of Iraqi Refugees claims that man was subjected to inhumane treatment during attempted deportation to Rwanda”
Event on 20 June 2022: Status Now Refugee Week event: How do we campaign against the hostile environment?
Updated 14 July 2022: Report of Status Now Refugee Week event: The Hostile Environment – How do we hold the Government to account? Report of a roundtable discussion
Status Now Network organised a roundtable discussion event during the course of Refugee Week at the end of June. The theme of the discussion was holding the Government to account for its hostile environment policies.
Contributors to the discussion included Zoe Bantleman of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association, Julius-Cezar MacQuarie, organiser of the Night Workers Charter, Francesca Humi of Kanlungan, and Loraine Mponela, chair of Status Now.
Participants considered how the Government’s hostile environment policies continued to operate today, five years after the revelations of the Windrush generation scandal, and what campaigning work needed to be undertaken to continue to challenge their corrosive effects on the rights of migrant and refugee people.
The report of the discussion can be read here…
Report of Status Now Refugee Week event: The Hostile Environment – How do we hold the Government to account? Report of a roundtable discussion
Status Now Network (SNN) took up the invitation to organise an event during the course of this year’s Refugee Week and set up a roundtable discussion on the current state of the resistance to hostile environment immigration policies.
Continue reading “Status Now Refugee Week event”
15 June 2022: Home Affairs Committee Oral evidence: Migration and asylum, HC 197 on 8 June 2022. The witness is David Neal, ICIBI – Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration: #ICIBI
Members present: Dame Diana Johnson (Chair); Ms Diane Abbott; Paula Barker; Tim Loughton; Stuart C McDonald; Matt Vickers
Read the transcript: https://committees.parliament.uk/oralevidence/10372/html/
Watch the meeting
This interview raises many interesting issues about the relationship between ICIBI, Priti Patel and Home Office Ministers; about David Neal’s use of his role; and about the limitations of the system in keeping the system to account.
Continue reading “Home Affairs Committee interviews David Neal, ICIBI – Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration”
Met police called to help enforcement officers get past crowd of demonstrators after Nigerian man detained for overstaying visa
A man arrested for immigration offences was released on bail after protesters gathered in south-east London on Saturday for hours to block a van he was being transported in from leaving.
Video footage posted on Twitter showed a crowd of about 200 people sitting on the ground in front of the vehicle in Peckham while another clip showed members of the public standing and shouting “let him go”.
Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/jun/11/protesters-block-immigration-officers-van-during-peckham-arrest
Roza Salih has become the first refugee to be elected to Glasgow City Council.
The 33-year-old has been elected for the SNP to represent the Greater Pollok ward.
Ms Salih has campaigned for the rights of refugees since she was a teenager and with school friends formed the activism group the Glasgow Girls.
Continue reading “Some good news”
10 years of hostile environment: It’s time to change!
Continue reading “Status Now newsletter: June 2022”
Last month marked the tenth anniversary since the then home secretary, Theresa May, declared the aim of building a hostile environment for migrants in the UK.
The policies which followed have produced scandal after scandal, with the infamous undermining of the rights of people from the Windrush generation of Caribbean migrants being only the most well-known. There is scarcely any group of people who came from abroad – whether they be refugees, migrant workers, students, or the family members of people settled here who haven’t felt the harsh consequences of this set of policies.
The government made the mistake of thinking that the hostile environment would be popular with the majority of people in the UK, but that hasn’t been the case. Right from the early days of its ‘Go Home vans’ campaign, through to the refusal to provide sanctuary to asylum seekers corralled on the wrong side of the English Channel, the shocked response to what was inflicted on Windrush generation people, and taking in solidarity shown to migrant workers in the key posts that kept the country running during the worst period of the Covid pandemic, more and more people have been showing a willingness to take the side of people who are trying to settle into normal lives in the UK.
The Status Now Network grew out of this popular reaction to the hostile environment. We are working today to win greater recognition of the injustices being inflicted on people settling in the UK, and for the solidarity that will be needed to defeat the threat that the hostile environment poses to their lives. Our demands remain:
End the hostile environment!
Status Now, for all!
The Hostile Environment: How do we hold the Government to account?
The Home Office’s immigration policies have taken a battering over the course of the last few years. The public response to Go Home van campaigns and the Windrush generation scandal has shown increased awareness of the injustice being inflicted on migrant and refugee people.
Despite the mounting tide of criticism, Priti Patel and her colleagues have stuck firmly to the line of the hostile environment and are continuing to plot a new offensive against migrants and refugees that will come straight from the ‘culture wars’ playbook.
How should the grassroots migrant and refugee rights movement square up to this challenge? What sort of projects do we need to embark on that will unite the different sites of resistance to immigration policies and consolidate a united front opposition to entrenched racism in this area of policy?
The Status Now Network is working to open up a discussion about the role that a People’s Tribunal might play in indicting government policy and relating all its aspects back to a full frontal assault of all working people in the country today.