Barriers and Bridges to Wellbeing

Updated 25 February 2023: Vulnerable asylum seekers ‘prisoners in their own homes’ after fleeing war zones

As many asylum seekers say they have been placed in unsuitable properties littered with tripping hazards, an expert blamed the system which she says ‘creates a hostile environment’

Alimony Bangura, a disabled asylum seeker from Sierra Leone, is living in Manchester (

Disabled asylum seekers who fled war zones for the safety of Britain say they have been left as prisoners in their own homes.

Many claim they have been placed in unsuitable properties that are littered with tripping hazards and have broken lifts.

One disabled man told how he fell while trying to reach his upstairs bathroom.

And a blind refugee said he could only go out once a week with the aid of carers.

Their misery continues despite a 2020 court case which found the Government failed to provide disabled-friendly digs.

Campaigners say they have warned Home Secretary Suella Braverman of a string of cases across the country.

Worryingly, there is no official record of how many asylum seekers are disabled.

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ICIBI Inspection Plan 2022-23

22 February 2023: Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration – ICIBI: Inspection report published: A reinspection of family reunion applications September – October 2022

This inspection examined the Home Office’s management of family reunion applications between 1 January 2022 and 30 September 2022, focusing on progress relating to implementation of recommendations two, three and four from ICIBI’s ‘An inspection of family reunion applications (June – December 2019)’.

I welcome the publication of my reinspection report of family reunion applications. The family reunion immigration route allows close relatives of an individual who has been recognised as a refugee in the UK to obtain permission to join their family member in this country. This report follows, and builds upon, four previous inspections of this area carried out by my predecessor.

Sadly, my inspection team found that rather than building on the recommendations resulting from ICIBI’s last inspection in 2019, the Home Office’s performance has actually deteriorated. This inspection reveals a system beset with delays and a team ill-equipped to manage the complexity and volume of applications awaiting consideration. The result has been unacceptable waiting times for applicants.

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StatusNow4All Newsletter February 2023

Welcome to this edition of SNN newsletter where we are covering a number of items that will be of interest to everyone involved in migrant and refugee solidarity work.

The first article analyses the government ‘s responsibilities for the racist riot in Knowsley.

The second highlights how four reviews of the hostile environment recently published by the Home Office show that this policy is racist.

The fight for antiracist workplaces and our call for status now for all is the focus of our third article,

while the fourth article shows the strong support of the BFAWU (Bakers, Food & Allied Workers Union) to our campaign and reports an important motion approved by its executive committee. 
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Status Now Network and the fight for antiracist workplaces

20 February 2023: Status Now Network and the fight for antiracist workplaces

Status Now Network joined the Stand Up to Racism and TUC’s national conference Fighting for Anti-Racist Workplaces held at SOAS, University of London, last February 4th. The conference highlighted the role of the trade union movement to combat racism in the workplace, the hostile environment that targets migrant workers and refugees, and the various community interventions to prevent the rise of the far-right movement across the UK.

Refugees and SNN campaigners Loraine Masiya Mponela and Rogelio Braga were invited to participate in the workshop session #Stop Rwanda #Refugees welcome -don’t let scapegoating divide us , where Braga was one of the speakers. He highlighted that the plight of undocumented migrant workers should also be at the agenda of the British union movement. Undocumented migrants with their precarious migration status are subjected to exploitation, racism, and unfair labour practice with limited protection and support from institutions.

Below is Braga’s speech in the Conference.

Continue readingStatus Now Network and the fight for antiracist workplaces

Years of refugee policy failure laid the grounds for the Knowsley riot

20 February 2023: Years of refugee policy failure laid the grounds for the Knowsley riot – the government should be made to own it

The scene outside The Suites hotel in the Liverpool suburb of Knowsley earlier this month provided a powerful summary of where the politics of immigration are in the UK at this moment in time.

It is sadly a feature of anxious times that segments of the population will look to simplistic explanations for the threats to their living standards which place the blame on ‘foreigners’ and other minoritized people.

Continue readingYears of refugee policy failure laid the grounds for the Knowsley riot

Home Office review of the hostile environment concedes that it is racist

20 February 2023: The home office published a series of reviews of its hostile environment policies at the beginning of February. 

An attempt was made to rebrand the approach after the details of the Windrush scandal became public in 2017 as ‘complaint environment’ policies but the older term has remained current.

The four reviews published do far are:

Continue readingHome Office review of the hostile environment concedes that it is racist

The Bakers, Food & Allied Workers Union’s support to the call for status now for all

20 February 2023: The president of BFAWU (Bakers, Food & Allied Workers Union), Ian Hodson, was one of the participants in the Status Now Network strategy weekend (held on 27th – 29th January).

He found it to be ‘a very inspirational event meeting real leaders and fighters for justice, people who are suffering real hardship but show incredible strength and resilience’.

He wrote this contribution announcing the motion approved by the BFAWU executive committee and stressing their strong commitment to the status now for all campaign:

Having recently attended the Status Now strategy weekend, I was pleased to report back to my national executive about the positive time I spent taking part in developing how we build the campaign and solidarity. I am pleased that our executive has adopted the following motion which will now go to our conference in June this year. It reads as follows:

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Channel Crossings

See also

Updated 1 February 2023: Leadership of small boats operations returns to the Home Office

The Small Boats Operational Command (SBOC) will bring together the government’s response to small boats with 730 additional staff.

Read more:

Telegraph: Stop migrant boats or face defeat, Suella Braverman tells Tories

Home Secretary tells The Telegraph the party’s reputation for competence is ‘on the line’ and crossings must be tackled to win election

Read more:

Continue reading “Channel Crossings”