Witness(es): Rosalind Bragg, Director, Maternity Action; Ms Rivka Shaw, Policy Officer, Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit (GMIAU) – SNN signatories; Esther Muchena, Asylum Service Manager, Scottish Refugee Council
A person from RAPAR reports: I was approached by Greater Manchester Immigration Unit (GMIU) to give my experience on the Asylum system which ranges from dilapidated accommodation, NHS cost, long stay in the system etc The GMIU lady made a presentation of this issues at the Parliament- Women and Equalities committee held on the 27th April 22.
Hundreds of protesters stood united, some shouting angry chants and others in floods of tears, as an impromptu demonstation forced an apparent immigration raid to be abandoned in the centre of Edinburgh.
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.
Updated 11 November 2021: Kanlungan Filipino Consortium@kanlunganukFrom today, care home workers must prove they are double jabbed through the NHS COVID pass but for people who don’t have a GP or NHS number, this will be impossible. Our Advocacy and Campaigns Officer explains here why barriers to healthcare for migrants must be removed (South East London BBC News)
NEON@NEON_UK · : We really need to focus on making sure that health care is accessible to all in this country, especially in the pandemic. It’s just another example of how the government’s immigration policy makes no sense from a public health perspective. @FrancescaHumi on @BBCNews today.
29 August 2021: StatusNow4All: Living Precariously or Health and Safety for All – a call for Indefinite Leave to Remain now
The asylum system is broken: there is a backlog of around 70,000 asylum applications which the newly arriving current Afghan applicants are expected to join. On 16 August 2021 the Home Office suspended its decision-making processes relating to asylum applications made by people from Afghanistan by withdrawing that country’s policy and guidance. It is a gross miscarriage of natural justice to suspend legal process for those waiting for decisions or appeal hearings or in detention when a simple decision could immediately be put into effect – a grant of Indefinite Leave to Remain.
This is why StatusNow4All calls for ALL those who do not have settled status to be given Leave to Remain. It is imperative for the Government to exercise its authority immediately by granting Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and the right of access to Family Reunion as a matter of urgency to all people from Afghanistan who are currently in the UK. With political will, this can be done: nothing less than ILR will give people equitable access to healthcare, housing and food.
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.
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.