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.
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:
EDM #658 – LEAVE TO REMAIN STATUS
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:
Please will you contact your own MP, and to inform your networks about this EDM, asking them to bring it to their MP’s attention and inviting them to sign it, or if they are not able to sign by virtue of their position in Parliament, then to verbally support it in conversation with their colleagues.
24 June 2020: BBC: Danny Vincent Coronavirus: Undocumented workers an ‘invisible public health risk’ https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-52919418 There are an estimated one million undocumented workers in the UK. The coronavirus pandemic has presented them with a new set of challenges and fears over how to maintain an income, remain healthy or even stay alive. …
The Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland welcomes the inclusion of ending the abhorrent system of Direct Provision in the negotiated programme for government. For the first time since the system of Direct Provision was introduced 20 years ago, there is acceptance that it cannot go on any longer. MASI commends the Green Party for their insistence that ending Direct Provision must be included in the programme for government. The recognition that capital investment will be required in order to move to a more humane asylum reception process and an end to the profiteering racket that is Direct Provision is welcomed as a point of departure.
This letter comes to you from our Status Now Network signatory, the Kanlungan Filipino Consortium and their partner, the Filipino Domestic Workers Association.
“We salute the invisible workforce of domestic workers and celebrate their contribution to society on this International Domestic Workers day, 16 June 2020.
Yet many domestic workers in the UK, and indeed all over the world, are migrants. They are extremely vulnerable because their visas often tie them to an individual employer. This gives the employer enormous power over them and can expose these workers to violence and sexual abuse. Many of our undocumented workers work in almost slave-like conditions.
At the height of the corona virus pandemic, many domestic workers lost their jobs because their employers were afraid they might “carry” the virus. Many of them who were “live in” were evicted rendered homeless. They were pushed into overcrowded accommodation with friends and relatives. Some contracted the virus and some died. Many of those who kept their jobs were confined with their employers in the lockdown and ended up having to serve their employers day and night.
But also many thousands of these domestic workers, also carers for isolated elderly people, have provided them with vital care during the pandemic thus far. These workers were shown to be literally “lifesavers” for many vulnerable people in our communities: