Home Office to stop using racist visa algorithm

JCWI: 4 August 2020 We won! Home Office to stop using racist visa algorithm

We are delighted to announce that the Home Office has agreed to scrap its ‘visa streaming’ algorithm, in response to legal action we launched with tech-justice group Foxglove.

From Friday, 7 August, Home Secretary Priti Patel will suspend the “visa streaming” algorithm “pending a redesign of the process,” which will consider “issues around unconscious bias and the use of nationality” in automated visa applications.

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We have a struggle to win and a life to live.

4.8.2020: Inquirer: Filipino playwright seeks asylum, receives prestigious UK theater grant

In his London flat, Rogelio Braga was busy typing on his laptop, in between answering emails, queries, and interviews from his caseworker. Rogelio was writing a play entitled Miss Philippines. No, it is not about statuesque beauties whose feet barely touched the earth. It is about real women, lesbian, and transgender women, barely surviving the life in the slums under Duterte’s war on drugs.

It is the same play he submitted to the Yellow Earth Theater earlier in 2020 and has been awarded £2000 seed commissions to develop new plays as part of the Professional Writers Programme 2020-22.

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FammzTV: call for amnesty for undocumented people

There are a number of calls for Leave to Remain in relation to people who are undocumented and in UK.

As a reminder, Status Now 4 All calls for Leave to Remain to be given to all undocumented migrants and those in the legal process.

This person has written to Boris Johnson and others, and will be outside 10 Downing Street on Saturday 8 August 2020 to press his point. He invites others to join him https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZNE-eoem6E. See his call, and the Government response to his petition below:

Fammztv@FAMMZTV Gathering at Number 10 Downing street London on Saturday 8th August 2020 13.00 to 15.00…. https://youtu.be/-_80_KPw_Pg | Hindi/Urdu | FAMMZ TV

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Asylum seekers remain at heightened risk of contracting Covid without stronger action from the Home Office

28 July 2020: Home Affairs Committee publishes a report on Home Office preparedness for Covid-19: institutional accommodation

[Comment: so many issues of concern, for example: the use of immigration detention – renewed call for 28 day limit; strong criticism on many levels of decisions made by housing providers to move people into ‘hotel’ accommodation and take away their personal allowance; the need for proper safeguarding, risk assessment, and impact on mental health in relation to people in multi-occupation accommodation; difficulties experienced in remaining safe in multi-occupation units for people themselves and in relation to others around them – and strong criticism of putting two strangers in one room; lack of provision of internet to enable people to access information, consult GPs etc.; lack of provision of sanitising and other products or increase in allowance to enable people to buy these themselves.]

Please read the summary and conclusions/recommendations below to get some idea of what people in the asylum system have been experiencing.


Status Now for All #healthandsafetyforall … The coronavirus is with us for the long term. If Leave to Remain were given to all undocumented people and those in the legal process, provision would be made to enable them to able to access the services they need, and these problems would not continue going forward.

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Residents of Cahersiveen direct provision centre on hunger strike

Residents are demanding to be moved to other direct provision centres
Residents are demanding to be moved to other direct provision centres

29 July 2020: RTÉ: Around 30 residents of a controversial direct provision centre at Cahersiveen in Co Kerry, say they have begun refusing food, describing their living conditions as inhumane.

They are demanding to be moved to other direct provision centres elsewhere in the country.

The centre is located at the former Skellig Star boutique hotel and was opened in mid-March, when over 100 residents were moved there.

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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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PAIH: Deadly accommodation crisis for Glasgow’s hotel asylum seekers & Refugees for Justice Manifesto

From one of our co-signatories: DEADLY ACCOMMODATION CRISIS FOR GLASGOW’S HOTEL ASYLUM SEEKERS – WE DEMAND A PUBLIC INQUIRY

In his response  yesterday to an urgent question from Alison Thewliss MP about support for asylum seekers, Chris Philip MP, Home Office Minister stated that

“among those people accommodated in hotels there has not been a single confirmed case of coronavirus and therefore the steps taken to to safeguard the public and safeguard the asylum seekers in particular, have been successful.”

Mr Philps failed to mention that no-one had been tested, or acknowledge that asylum seekers in the hotels had complained of being denied medical attention and being confined to their rooms. He also failed to acknowledge that the mentally ill asylum seeker who attacked six people including a police officer in the Park Inn Hotel in Glasgow was reported to be isolating from suspected Covid 19 and had been confined for 20 days in one of the hotels.   

Mr Philp’s argument seemed to be ” it turned out good so we must have done something right”.

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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.

We are grateful to Claudia Webbe MP, Leicester East for agreeing to table the motion with support from a group of MPs: 

https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/57173/leave-to-remain-status

Please will you contact your own MP, and to inform your networks about this EDM, asking them to bring it to their MP’s attention and inviting them to sign it, or if they are not able to sign by virtue of their position in Parliament, then to verbally support it in conversation with their colleagues. 

You can find your MP’s contact details here using your postcode: https://members.parliament.uk/FindYourMP

A suggested letter that could be sent to MPs is attached and here:

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Homelessness returning: SNN restates our call for housing, healthcare and food for all:

Housing: As the Government announces further lockdown relaxation measures, SNN is receiving reports from the length and breadth of the UK which are indicating that the State intends – it may have already begun – to evict people previously homeless, or in short term NASS accommodation, back into destitution.  SNN condemns any such intention or action and restates our call for housing healthcare and food for all:  only collective action, based in reality rather than ideology, may enable rational planning for effective pandemic management in the future.

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