The impact of having their lives put on hold is devastating for refugee friends
This week the Independent published a special report looking at the lives of people seeking asylum, who are forced to live in limbo. As they spend years waiting on a decision to be made on their asylum claim, they live in great uncertainty, banned from working, and at risk of exploitation and abuse. These stories echo the harrowing experiences of the friends of JRS who are battling this hostile system, which is founded on suspicion. As they desperately seek to be recognised as refugees, they struggle to survive.
Data shows over 1,200 people seeking asylum currently in the system, have waited more than five years, with 399 more than a decade.
Updated 3 August 2021: ZeroCovidNow@ZeroCovidNow1: Undocumented migrants have faced exceptionally harsh conditions throughout this pandemic while being invisible to much of the media and political class. Hear from one undocumented mother, with a young child, about the challenges of the pandemic. #ZeroCovid#StatusNow
Status Now Network welcomes the support of this informal coalition of MPs who stand with us in our campaign for people who are undocumented and those in the legal process to be given Indefinite Leave to Remain/settled status:
Motion text: That this House believes that access to essential healthcare is a universal human right; regrets the continued existence of structural, institutional and systemic barriers in accessing NHS care experienced by undocumented migrants and those awaiting determination of their asylum, visa and immigration applications; considers that an effective public health response to the covid-19 crisis requires that the most vulnerable can afford to access food, healthcare, and self-isolate where necessary; understands that some of the most vulnerable people in society will not access vaccination against the virus, since to disclose their identity to the authorities would risk their arrest, detention and deportation; fears that without urgent Government intervention this will lead to further avoidable premature deaths, especially in the African, Asian and Minority Ethnic population; and therefore calls on the Home Office to grant everyone currently in the UK at this time who are undocumented migrants and those awaiting determination of their asylum, visa and immigration applications indefinite leave to remain, and to be eligible in due course to receive the covid-19 vaccination.
Among the survey findings, 80% of respondents were worried about their financial situation during the pandemic, and about being able to afford food and other items that they might need. In addition, half of all respondents said they were unable to afford hand sanitiser, face masks, soap or cleaning products.
The Building Resilience project provided spaces for migrants with limited immigration status and no recourse to public funds to discuss shared experiences throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and form networks of solidarity.
‘Networks of resilience are important and meaningful. And for as long as the UK’s hostile environment remains in place, individuals from the most marginalised and isolated communities who make up networks of resilience will be compelled to continue to find ways to release and build resiliences through which they search out pathways to status and better access to basic rights.’
Food poverty: Food poverty is commonly defined as ‘the inability to acquire or consume an adequate or sufficient quantity of food in socially acceptable ways, or the uncertainty that one will be able to do so’.
It can have a detrimental impact on physical and psychological wellbeing so it’s important for a person to have access to and the choice of an affordable, acceptable and healthy diet throughout their life
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 call upon the British and Irish States to act immediately so that all undocumented, destitute and migrant people in the legal process in both the UK and Ireland are granted Status Now, as in *Indefinite Leave to Remain. In this way every human, irrespective of their nationality or citizenship can access healthcare, housing, food and the same sources of income from the State as everyone else.