PICUM report: Navigating Irregularity:

March 2021 PICUM: The impact of growing up undocumented in Europe

Undocumented children are part of our communities and share the hopes and dreams of any other child. But their lives and the lives of their families are characterized by uncertainty and instability due to their irregular residence status. PICUM’s new report, Navigating Irregularity: The Impact of Growing up Undocumented in Europe, looks at how their residence status affects six areas of their lives: housing, access to services, income and socio-economic status, residence procedures and immigration enforcement (including detention), school life, and family life.

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ICIBI inspection of the use of hotels and barracks as contingency asylum accommodation

New Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration appointed

David Neal to begin his appointment on Monday 22 March 2021 as Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) for a term of 3 years.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has today (15 March 2021) welcomed the appointment of David Neal as the new Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration.

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Vice: Europe’s Forgotten Graveyard

8 March 2021: Today, on International Women’s Day: we remember those women bearing children in the middle of it all, and those children who lost their mothers. One is told his mother stayed in the water. That will haunt him for ever as he tries to work out what that meant …

Desperate people in desperate circumstances need a safe place to live. An estimated 19,000 people have been reported dead or missing in the Mediterranean Sea since 2014 as they attempt the treacherous boat journey from Libya to Europe, fleeing war, persecution and poverty.

It is time for people who are undocumented and those in the legal process to be given Indefinite Leave to Remain in UK. https://statusnow4all.org/edm-1442-undocumented-migrants-and-covid-19-vaccination/

They ask why there is no European Search & Rescue Area.

This is a film made in November 2020: Vice: An estimated 19,000 people have been reported dead or missing in the Mediterranean Sea since 2014 as they attempt the treacherous boat journey from Libya to Europe, fleeing war, persecution and poverty. We went on the frontline with a rescue mission trying to save as many lives as possible.

We join the ‘Open Arms’ crew as they embark on the most dangerous migrant route in the world — and one of their deadliest missions to date.

An estimated 19,000 people have been reported dead or missing in the Mediterranean Sea since 2014 as they attempt the treacherous boat journey from Libya to Europe, fleeing war, persecution and poverty.

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Stop The Deportation Of Vulnerable Autistic Man Osime Brown!

26 February 2021: The Canary: Here’s how you can support the campaign to stop the deportation of Osime Brown

Update on ideas about how to get involved here

also Change.org: Emma Dalmayne started this petition to Priti Patel and 1 other

Osime Brown is 22 years old, he is profoundly autistic and developmentally younger than his peers. Osime is also learning disabled, dyslexic and due to his time in care has since been diagnosed with PTSD, and suffers with depression.

Osime was jailed in 2018 over the theft of a phone in a street robbery, despite a witness for the defence stating Osime had not taken the phone and had in fact asked the other teens carrying out the robbery to stop. He got 5 year’s in prison under the Joint Enterprise Law, it was also ordered that upon his release he be taken to a detention centre and be deported to Jamaica. 

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PICUM: Why words matter

Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants: Calling a certain group of people ‘illegal’ denies them their humanity. There is no such thing as an ‘illegal’ person.

‘Illegality’ as a form of status has been deliberately assigned to undocumented migrants to justify a category of people who are undeserving of rights.

Language shapes people’s perceptions. Discriminatory language in reference to undocumented migrants leads to perceptions and actions which negatively impact the daily realities of undocumented migrants.

PICUM therefore uses the terms ‘undocumented’ or ‘irregular’ migrant. The term ‘illegal migrant’ should never be used because:

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Asylum Seekers of Napier barracks speak out

Following the fire at Napier camp on 29 January 2021, we have received the following letter from Napier Camp residents. Please read the letter below from 22 January 2021 also.

30 January 2021: Dear all,
As one of the residents in Napier Barracks and on behalf of so many of my friends here, I want to express my sadness and sorrow for what had happened yesterday. It was horrible to see a building burning, see the fear in everyone’s eyes and to see the staff in difficulty and pain. We want to say how sorry and disappointed we are, that this incident affected people. Especially the staff, firefighters, police and etc.

As you all know, living in a terrible condition and unsafe when it comes to Covid, affected all the residents physically and mentally. Their protests, hunger strikes and suicide attempts were all ignored from the Home Office. This incident was not something that we all wanted to happen.

People respond to anger differently. Each of us react in our own unique way when we are desperate and disappointed. Some may protest peacefully, some refuse to eat, some commit suicide and when you are even more ignored some may lose control. I want you all know that this was not something that we all can approve. The majority of us are against violence as we escaped it.

Words cannot express our shame and sadness, our solidarity with the ones who are affected by it.

I also want to ask the Home Office and other authorities to take action against violence and also make sure that Napier Barracks will be closed as it is no longer safe and secure. It is mandatory to see the people in camps as human beings and desperate people. We are all the same, thus we all express our emotions differently when we are under pressure.
Last but not least, we all want to thank the police and firefighters who helped everyone to be safe and fine.

Asylum seekers of Napier Barracks

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Shrinking the space for human rights: A look back on 2020

2021 January 5: Written by: Frances Webber

A raft of new laws, Home Office measures and government proposals attempt to restrict the legal accountability of state actors, including ministers, while removing legal protections from those who need them most. In this IRR News long read, Frances Webber examines the various threats to human rights over the last year.

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Napier camp, Folkestone is unsafe

People seeking asylum in Folkestone are protesting. They want their voices to be heard.

A resident at Napier Barracks writes: ” I can’t speak English , but I can write for you and I send good pictures for you , you can read the posters on my pic we are human. Everyone here has a mental problem because nothing is human. No body is responsible for how long we have to be here. Neither in terms of health nor food and any other help many people here do not have access to a doctor,
Many do not have warm clothes.”

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Migrants must be included in all COVID-19 recovery plans – UN and regional experts

18 December 2020: OHCHR International Migrants Day

GENEVA (17 December 2020) – Migrants and their families, no matter what their migration status, must be included in the national COVID-19 response and recovery plans of all countries, human rights experts* said today in a statement marking International Migrants Day. Their full statement is as follows:

“The pandemic has manifested globally the vital contributions migrant workers provide to local economies. Migrant workers form a crucial workforce in various sectors that are contributing to the delivery of essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic, including in domestic households. Among them, migrant health and care workers have been on the frontline.

On this day where we pay tribute to all migrants, in a context of a continuing global health crisis that also has a severe impact on the governance of migratory movements, we must remind States to treat all migrants with dignity and provide them with equal access to services, benefits, information, and assistance.

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Revealed: shocking death toll of asylum seekers in Home Office accommodation

15 December 2020 Guardian: FoI response shows 29 people died – five times as many as lost their lives in perilous Channel crossings

Twenty-nine asylum seekers have died in Home Office accommodation so far this year – five times as many as those who have lost their lives on perilous Channel small boat crossings over the same period.

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AVID: 60+ organisations join our call to close the barracks and engage with civil society

8 December 2020: AVID: Today, we sent a letter to the Immigration Minister and Shadow Home Secretary highlighting the risks of housing vulnerable asylum-seekers in crowded barracks where social distancing is impossible, and urging them to implement community-based alternatives, to avoid further harm. Our letters were co-signed by more than 60 community organisations working with people in detention or seeking asylum.

Read the letter to the Immigration Minister Chris Philp MP

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We Belong: Mental Health check

The young migrant folk at We Belong recently published this report that looks at mental health and the precariousness of growing up on LLR:

“We Belong’s Mental Health Check is not an easy read – but it is an essential one. It is a clarion call for change. Our report catalogues the terrible toll that the immigration system in general – and the 10-year Limited Leave to Remain route in particular – is taking on young people’s mental and physical health.

Our country cannot afford to go on like this: too many young lives are being damaged and distorted; too much harm is being inflicted; too much ambition and talent is being hobbled – or even extinguished.

Here, we repeat the call of our 2019 report, ‘Normality is a Luxury: How Limited Leave to Remain is blighting young lives’, for a shorter, more affordable and humane path to citizenship for those of us who are proud to call the UK our home (see page 30-31)”

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Alarming Rise in Asylum Backlog Despite Fall in Applications

30 November 2020: The backlog of asylum cases has reached alarming new heights, with over 46,000 people now waiting more than six months for an initial decision on their asylum application. The figures as of 30 September 2020, which were released today, show a 19% increase from three months earlier and a 76% rise since September 2019. he Home Office has used the backlog as a pretext to accommodate asylum seekers in converted military barracks in Wales and Kent. But the backlog is not an unforeseeable pandemic-induced crisis: it had been rising for several years, at a faster rate than the increase in asylum applications over the same period. Applications did rise by around a third between 2017 and 2019, but the backlog doubled.

The pandemic has made a bad situation worse.

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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/]

You can sign up to this Charter