Detention Centres — IRCs

See also updates about the tireless campaigning of Daisy and family here: https://statusnow4all.org/enabling-nurse-daisy/

See posts regarding contingency accommodation which is sometimes quasi-detention https://statusnow4all.org/concerns-about-the-use-of-army-barracks-hotels-housing/


25 November 2022: Detention Action: Manston Detention Facility Emptied After Legal Action Against Home Secretary 

Detention Action has welcomed reports that all people held at the Manston Short-Term Holding Facility have now been moved into alternative accommodation elsewhere. The rapid emptying of the facility took place after Detention Action, PCS Union and a woman held at the facility issued the first legal action against the Home Secretary for her mistreatment of people held at the site.
On Monday 1st November, an urgent, pre-action letter was sent to the office of the Home Secretary on behalf of Detention Action and a woman held at the Manston facility. PCS Union, which represents Border Force and Home Office staff working at the facility, later joined the legal challenge.
The Home Secretary was offered a week to respond to the pre-action letter. After a week, the Home Secretary’s lawyers requested an extension of the deadline for response, which was granted by the claimants. However, no substantive response was received by the extended deadline. A written response from the Home Secretary’s lawyers was received five days after the extended deadline, only once the Manston site had been emptied. Although the site has been emptied, the Home Secretary has made no announcement to close the site.

Continue reading “Detention Centres — IRCs”

Concerns about the use of army barracks, hotels, housing

This post is being updated with reports of examples of atrocities around the army camp accommodation and hotels, and other Home Office housing

For information about Detention Centres – IRCs – Hassockfield/Derwentside please see here: https://statusnow4all.org/detention-centres-ircs/

For information about off-shoring/exporting people seeking asylum/Rwanda please see here: https://statusnow4all.org/exporting-people-seeking-asylum-rwanda/:


Updated 18 November 2022: ITV: Asylum seeker on hunger strike against ‘inhumane’ treatment at Stockport hotel

An asylum seeker has now gone fifteen days without food as part of a hunger strike against what he calls “inhumane and degrading” treatment by Home Office-contracted staff at a Stockport hotel.

Hasan, whose name we have changed, was housed in the hotel – which is run by contractor Serco – by the Home Office. He is one of over 100 asylum seekers at the hotel who are waiting for their asylum claims to be processed.

Hasan’s condition deteriorated following his hunger strike, and he was taken to hospital.Speaking for the first time, he sent ITV News a video from his hospital bed – via the Manchester charity RAPAR – where he said he felt forced to take action.”I am seeking to end, or at least reduce, the harm caused to my family by the inhumane and degrading treatment to which we and others have been subjected by Serco”, he said.

Continue reading “Concerns about the use of army barracks, hotels, housing”

Exporting people seeking asylum – Rwanda

There will be further protests about removals to Rwanda:

Protests on 5 September due to postponement of court hearing date!! following the Care4Calais & PCS Union’s legal challenge, the case will go to court again for a hearing to decide whether the Rwanda policy itself is lawful. See reports below

Updated 10 November 2022: Independent: UK human rights record and Rwanda deportation plan attacked at UN review

Treatment of asylum seekers and shredding of Human Rights Act come under fire in Geneva

The UK’s plans to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda and tear up the Human Rights Act have been fiercely criticised at a United Nations review.

Rishi Sunak’s government suffered the embarrassment of countries ranging from the United States and Germany to Angola questioning its human rights record, at the gathering in Geneva.

Washington highlighted how the UN refugee agency has raised the alarm about the intention “to send asylum seekers to third countries”, starting with Rwanda.

Continue reading “Exporting people seeking asylum – Rwanda”

Further Housing issues

Gal-dem: Revealed: ‘Shocking’ number of asylum seeker infant deaths in Home Office housing

Data obtained by gal-dem and Liberty Investigates finds seven babies born to mothers provided with Home Office accommodation have died since 2020.

Content warning: This article contains mention of sexual assault, miscarriage and infant death.

Maria Wetu was heavily pregnant when she arrived at a residence for asylum seekers in London, in spring 2020. It had been a harrowing journey.

Fleeing an abusive relationship in Angola, the 24-year-old had arrived in the UK just weeks earlier – only, she alleges, to be sexually abused by a man. She claims she escaped with the help of hospital staff who called the police, then she filed an asylum claim and was placed in state-supported housing.

On 13 April, soon after her arrival at the residence managed by Clearsprings Ready Homes, Wetu began suffering abdominal pains and asked reception staff to call an ambulance. Under their contract with the Home Office, providers of asylum accommodation are required to help residents access medical care in urgent situations. They refused to make the call, she claims.

Continue reading “Further Housing issues”

Briefing: ‘The Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Bill

Refugees for Justice is a StatusNow signatory organisation based in Scotland. They have brought the Briefing: ‘The Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Bill to our attention.

They would welcome the support of other organisations in pushing for basic human rights to be applied in this way, to people seeking asylum:

With the Scottish Parliament making substantial and appreciated efforts to alleviate the cost of living crisis, this briefing explores gaps in the recently passed Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Bill when it comes to asylum seekers.

As such, we urge the Scottish Government to ensure that asylum seekers enjoy the same tenants’ rights as any resident in Scotland, including entitlements under the Scottish Housing Quality Standards and the protection from eviction encapsulated by the bill.

You can access the full briefing here: https://communitypolicyforum.com/portfolio-item/briefing-cost-of-living-tenant-protection-scotland-bill/

ICIBI Inspection Plan 2022-23

19 October 2022: ICIBI – An inspection of the use of hotels for housing unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) March – May 2022

This inspection examined the use of hotels to accommodate unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, with particular reference to the Home Office’s duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children who are in the United Kingdom.

An inspection of the use of hotels for housing unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) March – May 2022

PDF, 1.15 MB, 60 pages

Details: This inspection was not included in the Chief Inspector’s original 2021–2022 Inspection Plan but is a response to concerns raised with the inspectorate by stakeholders, and from the inspectorate’s own intelligence-gathering activities.

Extract added by SNN: symptomatic of how this system runs

4.15 In all but one of the hotels, the kitchens were permanently closed, and food had to be provided from another location. All the young people had every meal served in take-away containers as the use of plates was, according to contractor staff, not included in the contracts. The food was of mixed quality and the way in which it was provided missed an opportunity to create a more child-centred environment.

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StatusNow4All newsletter July 2022

Welcome to this edition of SNN Newsletter!
We are covering a number of items in this issue that will be of interest to everyone involved in migrant and refugee solidarity work.

First up is the report on our campaign for better asylum seeker accommodation. Our SNN colleagues in the North West are particularly active in this area and after a first online event during Refugee Week are now planning new initiatives to fight for better provision of safe and decent homes for people in the asylum system.

The second article is dedicated to the campaign “Our place is here” developed by Kanlungan together with other organizations in defense of the rights of domestic workers.

The third item reports on the SNN event organised during Refugee Week which assembled a roundtable of activists to discuss where we have got to with the campaign against the hostile environment and the steps that need to be taken for this to go forward.  The key idea is the project underway to organise a People’s Tribunal on Migration Justice over the course of the next 12 months which will draw on the evidence of violation of the rights of migrant people to indict Government policies and help forge the sort of alliances we will need to bring about change.

The appalling news about the deaths of at least 37 people at the border between the Spanish enclave of Melilla and Morocco is the subject of our fourth feature. In response to this massacre at the hands of the Spanish civil guard and the Moroccan police authorities the Transnational Migrant Platform has launched an appeal for solidarity and action to force an inquiry into how the tragedy happened. 

Finally, our fifth article focuses on the important role assumed by the Union, particularly by the Public Services and Commercial Union (PCS), in the fight against the Rwanda offshore plan and stresses the need to fight all together for the rights of migrant and native workers in the UK.

In addition to these items we also have information on the call for a public demonstration outside the Royal Courts of Justice on 19 July to coincide with the opening of the judicial review hearing on the legality of the Home Office’s Rwanda refugee removal plan.  Do join us at this protest if you can. 
Continue reading “StatusNow4All newsletter July 2022”

Refugee Week – Events in June 2022

You’ll find below information about some of the events in June 2022

Refugee Week: https://refugeeweek.org.uk/


25 May 2022: Migrants Organise ONLINE RALLY: End The Hostile Environment! #10YearsTooLong #SolidarityKnowsNoBorders :

Details of the coming campaign in June will be released at an online rally on 25 May 6pm , featuring a powerful lineup of speakers on the frontlines of the fight for migrant justice. Make sure to register here to receive further information about the week of action! (see below)

Here is a video of the rally:

Continue reading “Refugee Week – Events in June 2022”

Status Now Refugee Week event

Event on 20 June 2022: Status Now Refugee Week event: How do we campaign against the hostile environment?

Updated 14 July 2022: Report of Status Now Refugee Week event: The Hostile Environment – How do we hold the Government to account? Report of a roundtable discussion

Status Now Network organised a roundtable discussion event during the course of Refugee Week at the end of June.  The theme of the discussion was holding the Government to account for its hostile environment policies.

Contributors to the discussion included Zoe Bantleman of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association, Julius-Cezar MacQuarie, organiser of the Night Workers Charter, Francesca Humi of Kanlungan, and Loraine Mponela, chair of Status Now.
Participants considered how the Government’s hostile environment policies continued to operate today, five years after the revelations of the Windrush generation scandal, and what campaigning work needed to be undertaken to continue to challenge their corrosive effects on the rights of migrant and refugee people.


The report of the discussion can be read here…

Report of Status Now Refugee Week event: The Hostile Environment – How do we hold the Government to account? Report of a roundtable discussion

Status Now Network (SNN) took up the invitation to organise an event during the course of this year’s Refugee Week and set up a roundtable discussion on the current state of the resistance to hostile environment immigration policies.

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Status Now newsletter: June 2022

10 years of hostile environment: It’s time to change!

Last month marked the tenth anniversary since the then home secretary, Theresa May, declared the aim of building a hostile environment for migrants in the UK.

The policies which followed have produced scandal after scandal, with the infamous undermining of the rights of people from the Windrush generation of Caribbean migrants being only the most well-known.  There is scarcely any group of people who came from abroad – whether they be refugees, migrant workers, students, or the family members of people settled here who haven’t felt the harsh consequences of this set of policies.

The government made the mistake of thinking that the hostile environment would be popular with the majority of people in the UK, but that hasn’t been the case.  Right from the early days of its ‘Go Home vans’ campaign, through to the refusal to provide sanctuary to asylum seekers corralled on the wrong side of the English Channel, the shocked response to what was inflicted on Windrush generation people, and taking in solidarity shown to migrant workers in the key posts that kept the country running during the worst period of the Covid pandemic, more and more people have been showing a willingness to take the side of people who are trying to settle into normal lives in the UK.

The Status Now Network grew out of this popular reaction to the hostile environment.  We are working today to win greater recognition of the injustices being inflicted on people settling in the UK, and for the solidarity that will be needed to defeat the threat that the hostile environment poses to their lives.  Our demands remain:
End the hostile environment!
Status Now, for all!
 
The Hostile Environment: How do we hold the Government to account?
 
The Home Office’s immigration policies have taken a battering over the course of the last few years. The public response to Go Home van campaigns and the Windrush generation scandal has shown increased awareness of the injustice being inflicted on migrant and refugee people.

Despite the mounting tide of criticism, Priti Patel and her colleagues have stuck firmly to the line of the hostile environment and are continuing to plot a new offensive against migrants and refugees that will come straight from the ‘culture wars’ playbook.
How should the grassroots migrant and refugee rights movement square up to this challenge? What sort of projects do we need to embark on that will unite the different sites of resistance to immigration policies and consolidate a united front opposition to entrenched racism in this area of policy?

The Status Now Network is working to open up a discussion about the role that a People’s Tribunal might play in indicting government policy and relating all its aspects back to a full frontal assault of all working people in the country today.

Continue reading “Status Now newsletter: June 2022”

EDM #1442: Undocumented migrants and covid-19 vaccination

Early Day Motion 1442 tabled on 3 February 2021: Undocumented migrants and covid-19 vaccination

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.

Continue reading “EDM #1442: Undocumented migrants and covid-19 vaccination”

The immigration detention estate for women

Updated 23 November 2021: Re: Hassockfield/Consett/Derwentside immigration detention centre to house women will open by the end of 2021!

iNews: As migrant channel crossings hit a new record, insiders says centres like Yarl’s Wood can never be humane

For 20 years, Yarl’s Wood has been holding asylum seekers without time limits. Now a controversial new centre is replacing it to hold women. Is it time to call an end to detention?

Agnes Tanoh still remembers the fear of being taken into Yarl’s Wood, nearly a decade on. “You walk through the gates,” says the 65-year-old Ivorian refugee, “and the tunnel you take to reach the first office destroys your mind. I thought, ‘I am going somewhere I may never leave.’”

It was March 2012 when Tanoh was arrested and taken to the notorious immigration detention centre in Bedfordshire. After the disturbing ordeal of fleeing her home country the previous year, with her life at risk, she was incarcerated indefinitely as she awaited news of her fate.

“You haven’t defended yourself at trial,” she explains. “Being taken to a detention centre is being given a sentence without a time limit. It can be one week, three months, one year – you don’t know. Detention breaks families and causes distress and trauma.”

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COVID-19 has also laid bare existing fault lines within society and has exacerbated inequalities.

Updated 11 November 2021: Kanlungan Filipino Consortium@kanlunganuk From 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.

Continue reading “COVID-19 has also laid bare existing fault lines within society and has exacerbated inequalities.”