Reckless ‘Nationality & Borders’ legislation

We continue to campaign for those who have precarious status to be granted Indefinite Leave to Remain and for there to be discussions about how to move forward with the banners of #StatusNow4All and #HealthAndSafety4All.

When the will is there, it can be done – that is our point:  there is hope yet … We will collate reports and legal challenges here.

ILPA: Illegal Migration Bill, House of Commons, Second Reading

Executive Summary
The Illegal Migration Bill represents an assault on the rights of migrants and on the rule of law.
The Bill starts with a statement under section 19(1)(b) of the Human Rights Act 1998 that the Home Secretary Suella Braverman is unable to say that its provisions are compatible with the rights to be found in the European Convention on Human Rights (‘ECHR’). The Home Secretary’s admission on the face of the bill of potential incompatibility with the European Convention on Human Rights (‘ECHR’) is an express acknowledgment that the Bill is likely to lead the UK to be in breach of its international obligations under the ECHR.

Continue reading “Reckless ‘Nationality & Borders’ legislation”

Concerns about the use of army barracks, hotels, offshoring etc etc. continued 2023

This post follows on from the initial post which became very long, but can be found here Here we update the post with reports of atrocities around the army camp accommodation and hotels, and other Home Office plans to accommodate people in new sites.

See also posts regarding ‘Detention Centres‘ such as such as Hassockfield/Derwentside, and also the post regarding plans to export people seeking asylum to Rwanda 

Updated 20 March 2023: BBC: Private firms profiting from asylum hotels

Private firms are making increased profits as the government pays millions of pounds a day to put up asylum seekers in the UK, the BBC has learned.

BBC News has been told 395 hotels are being used to house asylum seekers, as arrivals to the UK rose last year.

Documents show one booking agency used by the Home Office trebled its pre-tax profits from £2.1m to £6.3m in the 12 months up to February 2022.

The Home Office says the asylum system is under “incredible strain”.

The government has never publicly confirmed the number of hotels involved, but a government source told BBC News it is now using 395 to accommodate more than 51,000 asylum seekers, at a cost of more than £6m a day.

Of those hotels, 363 are in England, 20 in Northern Ireland, 10 in Scotland and two in Wales.

Continue reading “Concerns about the use of army barracks, hotels, offshoring etc etc. continued 2023”

Support all Asylum Seekers/Migrants: Resist Racism March and Rally London 18th March

Updated 19 March 2023 with photos from the day:

Guardian: Protests against illegal migration bill held in London, Glasgow and Cardiff

Thousands attended march through capital to condemn home secretary’s legislation, say organisers

Protesters have marched against the government’s illegal migration bill in cities across the UK on Saturday, with organisers claiming thousands had attended.

Demonstrators carried signs and banners, some reading “no human is illegal”, as they matched towards Downing Street in central London.

Organisers Stand Up To Racism and the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) also held protests in Glasgow and Cardiff against racism, Islamophobia, antisemitism, fascism and the far right.

The legislation introduced by the home secretary, Suella Braverman, means that refugees who arrive in the UK through unauthorised means, such as crossing the Channel in a boat, will have their asylum claims deemed inadmissible.

Read more:

Continue reading “Support all Asylum Seekers/Migrants: Resist Racism March and Rally London 18th March”

Exporting people seeking asylum – Rwanda

There will be further protests about removals to Rwanda: See reports below

Updated 14 March 2023: Guardian: Asylum seekers win permission to challenge UK’s Rwanda policy

Ten people from conflict zones threatened with removal to Africa claim there has been a failure to consider risks of deportation

A court of appeal judge has ruled that a group of asylum seekers can bring a legal challenge against the Home Office for what they claim has been a failure to consider the dangers and risks of deporting them to Rwanda.

Lord Justice Underhill, the vice-president of the court of appeal’s civil division, has granted permission for the group to appeal against the government’s controversial policy on some grounds.

Ten asylum seekers from a range of conflict zones including Iran, Iraq and Syria are involved in the legal challenge. They have all been threatened with removal to Rwanda.

[…] A full appeal hearing about the lawfulness of the Rwanda policy will take place from 24-27 April.

Continue reading “Exporting people seeking asylum – Rwanda”

Modern Slavery and Trafficking

Updated 13 March 2023: Justice Gap: Home Office fails to appoint Anti-slavery Commissioner, as new bill criticised for not protecting victims of modern slavery

The Home Office has not filled the role of the independent Anti-slavery Commissioner in the 10 months since the former Commissioner resigned last April. Whilst the position has been left empty, the number of potential victims of modern slavery recorded in 2022 reached a record high.

Despite it being a legal requirement under the Modern Slavery Act 2015, the Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, has failed to fill the Commissioner’s post since Dame Sara Thornton resigned on April 30 2022. The Act tasks the Commissioner with encouraging ‘good practice in the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of slavery and human trafficking offences’. With this role unfilled there is no independent watchdog assessing the Government’s approach to issues of modern slavery.

Continue reading “Modern Slavery and Trafficking”

UN Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

UN Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: Building the United International Resistance

Online: Tue, 21 March 2023, 19:00 – 21:30 GMT

RACISM and inequality have never been starker in Britain and abroad.

Government hostile environment policies continue to scapegoat migrants, refugees, and the Muslim community.

The Liberation Movement (TLM) believes the fightback must be led by people of colour, who are at the sharp end of such hatred.

Unity with allies in organisations, including trade unions, community, and faith groups, is essential.

Continue reading “UN Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination”

StatusNow4All Newsletter March 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 comments Sunak’s ‘stop small boats’ plan with the ‘illegal migration bill’.

The second highlights how the government’s aim is not to ‘stop the small boats’, but to stop people asking for refugee status in the UK and invite the workers’ and antiracist movements to further mobilize together against the government’s cruel antirefugee policy.

Our third article reports the result of a recent research that shows how the 10-year route is a ‘punishing process’ that reduces immigrants in misery.

Children and the hostile environment is the topic of our fourth article that invite to a webinar organized by our signatory Social Scientists Against the Hostile Environment.

Finally, we publish a call from our signatory Migrant Voice to contribute to their forthcoming report on the conditions of asylum seekers in London hotels
Continue reading “StatusNow4All Newsletter March 2023”

British unions call for the rights of migrants and refugees

12 March 2023: As the British economy crashes the government looks for people to blame and refugees pay the price.

Last November PCS and Care4Calais launched a proposal for a Safe Passage for Refugees. Since then, they asked for a meeting with the Home Office to discuss it, but they never received any reply.

Differently to the government’s plans, this proposal would drastically reduce the number of people forced to make the dangerous journey in small boats, break the people smugglers’ business model, and address the UK humanitarian obligations treating refugees with the dignity and respect that they deserve.

Continue reading “British unions call for the rights of migrants and refugees”

Sunak’s ‘stop small boats’ plan is a desperate gamble he seems unlikely to win

12 March 2023: The “illegal migration bill” places a legal duty on the home secretary to remove anyone who arrives on a small boat, either to Rwanda or another “safe third country”, “as soon as reasonably practicable”.

StatusNow Logo for posts
StatusNow logo

For this plan to work it will be necessary to detain each and every person arriving in a small boat until their removal can be affected. The logistical problems here are immense. Last year the total entering by this route was 45,756.  The figure for the current year is likely to be as high, with over 3,000 arriving since January.

According to the Oxford University Migration Observatory the immigration removal centre estate has a capacity for detaining people in the region of 2,500 places. A further 500 people have been detained in regular prison establishments but the scope for making greater use of these facilities is limited. The statistics provided for the UK in the World Prison Brief shows the prison system already in an overcrowded state, with more than 83.000 people being held across an estate with an official capacity of just over 77,000.  

Continue reading “Sunak’s ‘stop small boats’ plan is a desperate gamble he seems unlikely to win”

New report condemns 10-year route as ‘a punishing process’

12 March 2023: The Institute for Public Policy Research, together with the Manchester Immigration Aid Unit and Praxis, has published a report on the workings of the home office’s 10-year route to settlement.

Around 170,000 people currently have leave to remain in the UK under the provisions of this route at the present time.  In the main it covers the position of people to whom the home office must grant a residence status of some form in order to comply with obligations under international human rights law. A typical 10-year route residence permit holder would be the parent of a British citizen child, or a child who has lived for more than seven years in the UK.

Continue reading “New report condemns 10-year route as ‘a punishing process’”

Children and the Hostile Environment

12 March 2023: Webinar on Monday 17th April from 17:00 to 18:30: Children and the Hostile Environment

Social Scientists Against The Hostile Environment (SSAHE) is a project of the Special Interest Group (SIG) on Refugees, Migration, and Settlement established by some Fellows of the Academy of Social Sciences (AcSS). As social scientists based in universities and the third sector, SSAHE’s work focuses on issues of racism and migration in the UK and globally. SSAHE believes in a duty as social scientists to use research to inform political debates and to challenge the ‘Hostile Environment’ for migrants produced by current government policy.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, SSAHE began to run a monthly ‘webinar’ where SSAHE members and colleagues in the academy and community organisations came together to present, explore and discuss issues of racism, migration, and migration policy in the UK and globally, in relation to the pandemic and in broader terms. These webinars continue, bi-monthly, now, and frequently attract an audience of up to 100 people. 

Continue reading “Children and the Hostile Environment”

‘A punishing process’: Experiences of people on the 10-year route to settlement

2 March 2023: Guardian: Half of people trying to get permanent UK residency by 10-year route struggle to afford food

Effects of ‘devastating and punishing’ Home Office system introduced in 2012 now being felt, experts say

More than half the people trying to secure permanent residency in the UK through the Home Office’s “devastating and punishing” 10-year route struggle to afford food and pay bills, a survey has indicated.

The 10-year route to settling permanently in the UK was one of a series of deliberately tough measures introduced in 2012 by Theresa May when she was home secretary, as part of drive to cut net migration. Researchers say the full effects of the policy are only now starting to be felt.

Continue reading “‘A punishing process’: Experiences of people on the 10-year route to settlement”

Article 39 seeks legal protection for highly vulnerable children housed in Home Office hotels 

7 March 2023: Article 39: Article 39 seeks legal protection for highly vulnerable children housed in Home Office hotels 

Article 39 children’s rights charity has threatened legal action against the Home Office and the Department for Education if they do not stop housing unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in Home Office-run hotels. Children are being kept outside the child welfare system, they are denied fundamental protections, and there is no independent scrutiny of each child’s welfare and treatment. The Children Act 1989 places responsibility on local authorities to look after children in their area who are without parental or family care and have nowhere to live. 

The charity has also taken the exceptional measure of commencing wardship applications to the Family Division of the High Court in respect of the 76 children who remain missing from a Home Office-run hotel in Brighton and Hove. We do not know how old the children were when they went missing, and how old they are now. If this application succeeds, the court will consider appointing a children’s guardian to each child and the court would then supervise action taken by government and others to protect them. As with all decision-making in the family court, the child’s best interests would be paramount. 

Continue reading “Article 39 seeks legal protection for highly vulnerable children housed in Home Office hotels “

Trade unions unite in solidarity with refugees

The Fire Brigades Union is proud to have coordinated the following statement, which was passed as a resolution at our Executive Council last week:

Migrant boat sea

In recent weeks, we have seen an alarming rise in violence and intimidation organised by the far right against refugees and refugee accommodation.

The government is complicit in these attacks. The Rwanda policy does not make sense as a means of stopping small boat crossings – and it is failing on its own terms – but it fits with a long-running campaign of rhetoric and demonisation.

Anti-migrant politics are an attempt to divide working class people against each other. In the past decade, the UK has suffered a crisis of living standards – with wages falling and public services left to rot. The people to blame for this are politicians, billionaires and big corporations, not migrant workers or refugees forced to live in temporary accommodation. The anti-refugee campaign offers no solutions to the real problems faced by the deprived communities they are often targeting. The answer is solidarity, not scapegoating.  

As trade unionists, we know whose side we are on when we see far right mobs attacking refugees and politicians playing the mood music. We send our solidarity to Care4Calais and all groups fighting for refugee rights, and we support the call for safe and legal routes into the UK. We call on workers and trade union members to show their solidarity and to mobilise against the far right.


Continue reading “Trade unions unite in solidarity with refugees”