UK Asylum System and Asylum Seekers’ Mental Health

The Mental Health Foundation has found that the increased vulnerability to mental health problems that refugees and asylum seekers face is linked both to their pre-migration and post-migration experiences. People who have fled persecution, violence and war hope to find safety and security in the UK. Tragically, the current UK asylum system often exacerbates their suffering, with long waits for asylum decisions, poor accommodation and a ban on working all contributing to this situation.

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The Right to Food: Liverpool and Manchester

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

Public Health Scotland http://www.healthscotland.scot/health-inequalities/fundamental-causes/poverty/food-poverty

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Is personal data of those seeking access to NHS services shared with immigration enforcement authorities.

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 15th February 2021.

Claudia Webbe Labour, Leicester East: To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the personal data of those seeking access to NHS services is shared with immigration enforcement authorities.

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EDM #1442: Undocumented migrants and covid-19 vaccination

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:

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.

Brought by Claudia Webbe, MP for Leicester East

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EDM (Early Day Motion)1263: Migrant Workers’ Rights

What can you do? Please ask your MP to sign EDM #1263, and to talk about it with colleagues. Thank you

Tabled on 10 December 2020: That this House would like to thank migrant workers who have been at the forefront of the UKs response to the pandemic; believes that recovery from covid-19 must level up migrant workers’ rights; further recognises that the Hostile Environment, particularly No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) and the “illegal working” offence, forces migrants to continue go into work even when it is not safe to do; is concerned that the illegal working offence pushes undocumented migrants to look for employment among exploitative employers who know they are unable report abuse in the workplace for fear of immigration enforcement; expresses further concern that the illegal working offence disincentivises employers from hiring migrant workers and creates a culture of discrimination in employment practices; notes that the exploitation of migrant workers in the labour market drives down labour standards and protections for all workers; and calls on the Government to implement the recommendations in the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants “Work It Out” campaign by scrapping NRPF and repealing the “illegal working” offence.

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‘We are only as safe as the most vulnerable in our society’

19 November 2020: During this pandemic, the government has handed out £18 billion to private companies, many of which had little or no experience in public health and whose only qualification seem to be a close personal relationship with a member of the government. This is a government that is frivolous when it comes to handing public money out to Tory donors or private companies, but penny pinching when it comes to bailing out communities across the country.

Status, Safety and Solidarity event 22 September 2020

[Updated 22.9.2020] Many thanks to everyone who attended or took part in this energising event.

You can watch the Zoom meeting here:

Status, Safety and Solidarity Now 4 All on Tuesday 22nd September with participation from MPs, trade unions, campaigners and those with lived experience, the focus being:

  • Building solidarity and dismantling the false divide between all workers, undocumented workers and the Trade Unions movement. 
  • Valuing the lives and livelihoods of all undocumented migrants and people with insecure status, as migrant rights are human rights.
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Claudia Webbe: I stand in full solidarity with all those exercising their legal right to claim asylum

25 August 2020: “The attacks on asylum seekers at the Bromsgrove Hotel are disgraceful, and I stand in full solidarity with all those who are exercising their legal right to claim asylum.

“Britain First and other hate groups represent the very worst of our country. They must be not be given any platform to legitimise their vile anti-migrant discourse.

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Claudia Webbe MP calls for end to NRPF status

12 August 2020 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Claudia Webbe MP calls for end to NRPF status

Claudia Webbe, Member of Parliament for Leicester East, has today written to Priti Patel, Secretary of State for Home Affairs, urging the government, as the UK faces the greatest ever recession, to end the No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) immigration status.

The letter (attached) draws attention to the fact that recent Home Office statistics show that the number of migrants with NRPF applying for destitution funds dramatically increased by 572% during the coronavirus crisis.

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SNN: Launch event 11 July 2020

The Status Now Network held a webinar event on Saturday 11th July 2020, 4pm to 6pm, to launch the national Status Now Network and the #statusnow4all campaign. There is a recording of the event below, and also videos that were shown at the event

At the end of March the Network called on the British Prime Minister and Irish Taoiseach to grant leave to remain, Status Now, to all undocumented, destitute and migrant people in the legal process in both the UK and Ireland, to ensure their and others’ safety during the Covid-19 pandemic. The open letter to the heads of states has received over 65 organisational signatories, the online petition has gained over 3,700 signatories and counting, and an EDM #658 (early day motion) calling for Leave to Remain has been put down in the UK Parliament.

This launch celebrated the newly-formed Status Now Network with cultural events, and included discussions from people with lived experience of being undocumented, MPs and some of our signatories, conversation and sharing of ideas.

Here are the recordings of the event:

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Please ask your MP to support EDM #658.

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.

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