Home Office’s institutional problems require urgent reform

Ekklesia: Home Office’s institutional problems require urgent reform

DEEP-ROOTED institutional and cultural problems undermine the UK Home Office’s performance and approach to crime, immigration, and asylum seekers – and are neglected by ministers at their peril, warns a new Institute for Government (IFG) report.

The report, Home truths: Cultural and institutional problems at the Home Office says that Suella Braverman is wrong to have watered down the Home Office’s commitment to reforms set out in Wendy Williams’ Windrush scandal lessons learned review.

The new IfG report calls on:

  • The home secretary to publicly re-commit to the Windrush reforms in full – five years on from the Windrush scandal – with a new departmental improvement plan, to mark June’s 75th anniversary of the Empire Windrush’s arrival in the UK.
  • Rishi Sunak to commission a long-term review of the government’s home affairs systems and services which identifies the best structure and governance through which to manage migration, integration, border, crime and security policy.

The new IfG paper assesses the Home Office’s size, budget and morale – with the Home Office’s staff engagement the second lowest of any core Whitehall department – and examines policy problems, from small boats to Windrush schemes. It also explores the cultural and institutional problems which repeatedly undermine the department’s performance.

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It’s called scapegoating and it’s as old as divide and rule

Transforming Society: It’s called scapegoating and it’s as old as divide and rule

The UK government is actively compounding the human suffering that intrinsically racist immigration laws inflict on people seeking asylum.

In fact, our participatory action research over the last 15 months about what is happening to the displaced people who have been placed in ‘contingency hotels’ simply reinforces our certainty that, from the government’s perspective, the more demonising and suffering inflicted on people seeking refuge here, the more the public hears about that suffering, and the more that government’s contractual cronies, such as Migrant Help, get away with not only doing nothing to stop it but actually heaping injury on top, the better.

It is essential, in fact, that the demonising – and coverage of it – continues.

Read more: https://www.transformingsociety.co.uk/2023/05/19/its-called-scapegoating-and-its-as-old-as-divide-and-rule/

Where does the buck stop? UK Home Office and other statutory body responses to allegations of human rights violations in two Serco-run hotels housing people seeking asylum by Rhetta Ann Moran and Gráinne McMahon for the Journal of Poverty and Social Justice is available on the Bristol University Press website here.

Illegal Immigration Bill

[Just a reminder that it is within international law to seek asylum]

17 May 2023: Guardian: Asylum seekers in England and Wales to lose basic protections in move to cut hotel use

Exclusive: ministers plan to exempt asylum seekers’ landlords from rules including minimum room sizes

Ministers are removing basic housing protections from asylum seekers under new rules designed to move tens of thousands out of hotels and into the private rented sector.

The changes would exempt landlords from regulations governing everything from electrical safety to minimum room sizes, leading campaigners to warn that the government is preparing to cram people into small spaces in an effort to alleviate the crisis in asylum seeker accommodation.

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Illegal Migration Bill: EDM (Early Day Motion) 1147

9 May 2023: Parliament: Illegal Migration Bill: EDM (Early Day Motion) 1147

Motion text: That this House believes the proposals in the Illegal Migration Bill contravene international law, including the Refugee Convention, the European Convention on Human Rights, the European Convention on Action Against Trafficking and the Convention on the Rights of the Child; considers that the Bill will effectively close the UK’s asylum system and undermine the ability of trafficking victims to access protection; regrets the rushed timetable for the Bill’s passage through the House, including the lack of a bill committee, and the short committee stage; regrets the failure of the Government to allow proper scrutiny of its policies, including by failing to publish its impact assessment; notes that there was no mention of any proposals resembling those found in the Bill in the general election manifesto of any party represented in the House; and in light of the grave consequences of the Bill and the failure of scrutiny by this House, calls on Members of the House of Lords to vote against the Bill.


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 

Re: children: https://statusnow4all.org/article-39-seeks-legal-protection-for-highly-vulnerable-children-housed-in-home-office-hotels/

Updated 2 May 2023: SNN signatory organisation Jesuit Refugee Service launches their report: Napier Barracks: the inhumane reality

an in-depth report of the experiences of men held in quasi-detention at Napier Barracks

The Jesuit Refugee Service UK (JRS UK)’s report ‘Napier Barracks: the inhumane reality shines a light onto the experiences of people placed in the asylum camp at the disused Napier Barracks in Kent.

JRS UK ran an outreach service to Napier for two years from October 2020. What we saw on the ground was deeply troubling: the site was bleak and rundown, the setting was securitised, the accommodation was crowded. This all took a serious toll on mental health. The report draws from the accounts of 17 forcibly displaced people supported by JRS UK held in Napier Barracks between July and November 2022.

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