We continue to campaign for those who have precarious status to be granted Indefinite Leave to Remain and for there to be discussions about how to move forward with the banners of #StatusNow4All and #HealthAndSafety4All.
When the will is there, it can be done – that is our point: there is hope yet … We will collate reports and legal challenges here.
Dubs, who fled what was then Czechoslovakia unaccompanied in 1939 and came to the UK aged six as part of the Kindertransport system, condemned the home secretary for using language that painted those also fleeing persecution as “hostile people”.
Dubs’ comments, made in a new podcast series presented by the Lord Speaker, John McFall, follow criticism of Braverman by another survivor of the Holocaust last month.
In comments made in October, shortly after she was reappointed by Rishi Sunak, Braverman said in the Commons that refugees and migrants crossing the Channel in small boats were “the invasion on our southern coast”.
Updated 2 February 2023: RAPAR: @raparuk We have just found out that Kouame is not being removed tomorrow. Praise all our gods. It is not over yet – and we will keep working tooth and nail for Kouame’s safety – but we can breathe for now.
Updated 21 January 2023: Another beautiful day as we stand in solidarity with the women incarcerated at the Derwentside IRC aka Hassockfield detention centre.
We were joined by students from Durham university – this tells us our call to shut down this centre is gaining momentum. We had senior member from Durham and a politician that spoke strongly against this establishment. It was peaceful and the police were there but did not have work very hard.
Welcome to this edition of SNN newsletter where we are covering a number of items that will be of interest to everyone involved in migrant and refugee solidarity work.
The first article analyses the renewed government attacks on the rights of migrants and invites all movements for migrant justice to come together and intensify our campaigns to defeat them. The second article reports the launch of the antiracist network promoted by the Trade Union Congress. A call for the rights of domestic workers by our signatory Waling Waling is the topic of our third article, while a contribution by our signatory Migrant Voice denounces the horrible conditions experienced by asylum seekers in London hotels. Finally we welcome our new signatory Migrant Democracy Project.
Migrant Voice have been engaging with asylum seekers accommodated in hotels across London, to learn about their conditions and experiences.
We are currently conducting a survey and we will be launching a report on the conditions and experiences of asylum seekers as part of a campaign to give them a voice and improve their situation.
The campaign came about from hearing from a number of asylum seekers in hotels and organisations supporting them. We learnt that some of the hotels are overcrowded, with some having up to ten people in one room and one toilet for the whole floor. We’ve heard complaints about the quality of the food, the lack of support, the mistreatment from some staff, lengthy waiting times in hotels which can exceed a year and a half, and lack of communication from the Home Office.
Among the asylum seekers are families, children and women, some of whom pregnant, who did not receive proper care. We are aware of women who have not been moved out of the hotel, even after giving birth.
The inaugural meeting of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) anti racist network took place in London last November.
It was attended by about 50 people, The overwhelming majority of them were migrant and migrant advocate organisations’ members.
The discussion stressed the importance that all workers, whatever their immigration status is, get organised to stop exploitation, and showed a general wish to see a permanent network created and coordinated by the TUC.
A number of thought provoking speakers were heard (including Emmanuelle Andrews, Liberty; Fizza Qureshi, Migrants Rights Network; Gargi Bhattacharyya, TUC Race Relations Committee; Liam Shrivastava, Institute of Race Relations; Sereena Abbassi, gal-dem; Sophie Chauhan, Dalston Superstore). The Government’s anti migrant and racist legislation was condemned and it was evident that the TUC and individual Unions accepted that they must do much more, both in challenging racism and organising precarious workers.
Waling Waling: In 1997/98 the then Labour government accepted that domestic work in the private household would be recognised as work in employment legislation.
This followed a ten-year long campaign organised by Kalayaan, Waling Waling, the Commission for Filipino Migrant Workers (CFMW) and fully supported by the Transport & General Workers Union, now Unite. Other organisations and individuals including parliamentarians in both Houses and in the European Parliament supported the campaign over the years. Disgracefully, in 2012 the then Home Secretary in the coalition government, Teresa May abolished the domestic worker visa with rights and protections, saying that future domestic workers would be protected under the Modern Slavery Act, thereby reducing workers with legal rights and protections to victims with the promise of protection. This system simply doesn’t work.
To mark International Migrants’ Day 2022, Mariko Hayashi and Luisa Pineda from the Southeast and East Asian Centre (SEEAC) highlight the barriers and risks faced by migrant workers from their community, sharing first-hand experiences of exploitation and calling for workers to be better protected in this guest blog.
Are you in the UK without immigration status (a visa)? Getting regular status can be difficult, and there is lots of advice out there. Some of this advice is not up-to-date, and people may ask for lots of money for legal advice, even if they are not qualified to give it.
This page contains information about some of the ways that people without status can apply for a visa. This page was written in September 2022 and will be updated regularly.
This page has information on the different routes people can use to apply for status, and what kind of status people get if they are successful.
If you are in the UK without immigration status, you can call our helpline and get advice from an immigration lawyer for free. The helpline is open on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10:00 and 13:00. You can call 020 7553 7470 to speak to somebody.
You can also contact your local Law Centre to ask for some advice. You can find your local Law Centre here.
This page contains advice on (click on the links):
Stronger Action Needed to End ‘Legal Limbo’ of Statelessness Statelessness is “a pervasive and grave human rights violation”, “Deprived of the fundamental right to a nationality, those who have been born or left stateless face a devastating legal limbo. They are prevented from accessing their basic human rights and from fully participating in society. Their lives are marked by exclusion, deprivation, and marginalization.”
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi made the appeal as Friday marked the eighth anniversary of #IBelong, a campaign launched by the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, aimed at ending stateless within a decade, or by 2024.
The report shows how the cost of visas puts a strain on the lives of innumerable migrants and their families.
A migrant on a route to settlement pays at least £2,593 every 2.5 years for a visa application and NHS surcharge. Many face additional costs, including legal fees. All this comes on top of the taxes and bills they pay along with everyone else. Many are not entitled to access public funds, such as housing benefits.
And it doesn’t end here: in some cases, migrants are being charged more than seven times the administrative cost of their visa.
Based on the experiences of more than 100 migrants, some of the key findings from our report are:
People who have been to StatusNow events will most likely know that one of our CoChairs, Loraine Masiya Mponela is an amazing poet who bring to life the experiences of people living without status through her words.
We congratulate Loraine, and welcome the publication of her first book of poetry:
“I Was Not Born a Sad Poet”
You can read more about the book, Loraine, and her poetry on her website here
Pictures showed scores of people taking to the city centre as part of the campaign’s day of national action
Thousands of people gathered in Manchester city centre this afternoon to protest against soaring energy prices and the cost of living crisis as part of a day of national action for an anti-poverty campaign.
Enough is Enough, a national campaign created by trade unions and community organisations to help battle the cost of living crisis, launched in Manchester at an event in the Cathedral on August 30, where organisers say over 5,000 people attended to hear from mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and RMT member Eddie Dempsey.
The event officially launched the campaign in the city region, with over 500,000 people across the country signed up to support the organisation’s five demands within the first month. The group is pushing for: a real pay rise, lower energy bills, an end to food poverty, decent homes for everyone, and more taxation on the top five per cent of earners and big businesses.
Whilst some of the group’s demands have been partially met, including a reversal of the recent National Insurance payment increase from 12 per cent up to 13.5 per cent and a temporary cap to energy bill prices, a national day of action today, Saturday, October 1, saw demonstrations held in dozens of cities across the UK, including London, Liverpool, Glasgow, and Birmingham.