Fair Immigration Reform Movement

For your consideration: The Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) unites a call for humane immigration and inclusion policies that can truly reflect our society’s democratic values, and that draws on a distinguished history in Britain of standing for the dignity and justice of all.

The Charter emerged as a result of conversations with those who face the sharp end of current policies: with their family and friends, campaigners, politicians, journalists, case workers, volunteers, and many others who support everyone who has been affected by the increasingly brutal immigration policies in Britain.

[Read more: https://firmcharter.org.uk/]

12 Oct 2020 Vigil – lives destroyed by the hostile environment

2020 October 10: There was a Vigil this evening commemorating lives destroyed by the hostile environment, and remembering the death ten years ago of Jimmy Mubenga at the hands of G4S guards as he was being removed from UK; and others who have died due to this hostile environment … #SolidarityKnowsNoBorders

From the event:

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Home Office outsourcing asylum interviews to private contractors is irresponsible and callous. We have a better alternative.

28.9.2020: The UK Government’s Home Office are planning to outsource asylum interviews to private contractors. They claim that the move is intended to deal with a backlog of over 40,000 cases. The move has sent chills amongst some people seeking asylum, and wider communities with experience of outsourced state services, and especially amongst those who have endured an  interview process that was already dysfunctional before the COVID-19 pandemic and crisis.

Outsourcing the interviews would mean that whichever company gets the contract – G4S, Capita, Mitie, Sopra Steria or Serco – would be able to access highly sensitive and confidential information that could put peoples’ lives at risk. Could any of these private companies be trusted with access to sensitive information? Could they be trusted to employ case workers who are capable of creating safe spaces for people to tell their harrowing stories? Could they ask the right questions in the right ways and not intimidate people? 

Continue reading “Home Office outsourcing asylum interviews to private contractors is irresponsible and callous. We have a better alternative.”

Divisive spin and scandalous neglect: this government’s approach to refugees

We welcome this statement from Leicester City Mayor & Executive:

23.9.2020: Divisive spin and scandalous neglect: this government’s approach to refugees

Leicester is a city that has been shaped by our recent history of providing refuge for people fleeing from war, conflict and oppression. Our city comprises many, many thousands and many generations for whom this plight and flight was a real, lived trauma. People who had to flee immediate jeopardy and make sudden, rapid life changing acts of survival. People who sought refuge and found a home in Leicester.

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Live on zoom! September 21, 2020 – 7:00pm to 9:00pm (GMT)
Reserve your spot now—space is limited!
To join us contact booking by email: booking.greenkordofan@gmail.com
Never to be forgotten we are honouring all victims of:
War; Terrorism; Religious extremism; Political violence; Police brutality; Ethnic violence; Gender-based violence; Climate and resource conflict; Organised crime; Slavery & human trafficking; Gang violence
This event particular is dedicated to the support of children,women and vulnerable people in Yida camp, South Sudan who have experienced and are still dealing with the aftermath of the above while dealing now with the impact of a global pandemic.


What Happens To Precarious Migrants And Asylum Seekers During This Pandemic?

Furaha Asani : A few days ago, journalists from the BBC and Sky News attempted to obtain live interviews with migrants making their way across the English Channel in dhingies. The journalists, safe aboard their own boats, extended microphones over the edge of their boats in the direction of the dhingies. Social media fired up, with many voices speaking both for and against migrants alighting on the British shore. Poll results released around the same time in the United Kingdom showed that nearly half of the respondents had little to no sympathy for migrants who were crossing the channel from France to England.

Mere months ago there was global panic, clearing out shop aisles of food and toiletries and indulging in war rhetoric all in a bid to stay safe and healthy. Covid-19 and its ensuing lockdown gave everyone a taste of instability. Yet the conversation around migration shows reserved empathy with migrants fleeing whatever instability they have left behind.

In this pandemic, for those who have access to healthcare services—and importantly the funds for these services where they are not free—there at least exists the assurance that support is on hand should it be needed. Amongst various marginalized and vulnerable groups, those with immigration hardship often have limited healthcare access for reasons ranging from no funds, to language barriers, and fear of being detained and deported. In the words of Professor Raj Bhopal of the University of Edinburgh, undocumented migrants often live “in the shadows of society, fearful of authority, and with little access to services, which are mostly provided by the voluntary sector.” 

Precarious and undocumented migrants and asylum seekers are therefore multiply marginalized within this pandemic: they likely live with trauma from situations they fled from, they face the virus (just like everyone else), they face instability on the shores they land on, and potential anti-immigrant (and in many cases outright racist) sentiments within those lands.

[Read more here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/furahaasani/2020/08/23/what-happens-to-precarious-migrants-and-asylum-seekers-during-this-pandemic/ ]

Home Office to stop using racist visa algorithm

JCWI: 4 August 2020 We won! Home Office to stop using racist visa algorithm

We are delighted to announce that the Home Office has agreed to scrap its ‘visa streaming’ algorithm, in response to legal action we launched with tech-justice group Foxglove.

From Friday, 7 August, Home Secretary Priti Patel will suspend the “visa streaming” algorithm “pending a redesign of the process,” which will consider “issues around unconscious bias and the use of nationality” in automated visa applications.

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Residents of Cahersiveen direct provision centre on hunger strike

Residents are demanding to be moved to other direct provision centres
Residents are demanding to be moved to other direct provision centres

29 July 2020: RTÉ: Around 30 residents of a controversial direct provision centre at Cahersiveen in Co Kerry, say they have begun refusing food, describing their living conditions as inhumane.

They are demanding to be moved to other direct provision centres elsewhere in the country.

The centre is located at the former Skellig Star boutique hotel and was opened in mid-March, when over 100 residents were moved there.

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Please ask your MP to support EDM #658.

We have an urgent request: the call for Status Now for All is being carried into Parliament in an Early Day Motion – EDM #658 as follows:


​That this House notes that there are currently an unknown number of persons in the UK who are not citizens of the UK and who do not at present have leave to remain in this country, who lack any entitlement to support from the state and are therefore entirely without funds to feed, clothe and house themselves and their families and who are unable to comply with government guidance on self-isolation and social distancing; and considers it essential that the government takes immediate action to ensure that leave to remain in the United Kingdom is granted to all such persons who are within the UK but are not citizens, irrespective of their nationality or immigration status, so that they can access healthcare, food and housing to enable them to adhere to government advice on social distancing, and to ensure the health of themselves and their families as well as helping protect the health of all of us.

We are grateful to Claudia Webbe MP, Leicester East for agreeing to table the motion with support from a group of MPs:  https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/57173/leave-to-remain-status

Continue reading “Please ask your MP to support EDM #658.”