Concerns about the use of army barracks, hotels etc.

This post is being updated with reports of atrocities around the army camp accommodation and hotels, and other Home Office plans to accommodate people in new sites:

Updated 25 October 2021: Guardian: Asylum accommodation deaths ‘twice as high’ as Home Office admitted

Government accused of downplaying toll after information requests reveal discrepancies

“The steep rise in deaths coincides with the Home Office decision in 2020 to push thousands of asylum seekers into hotels. “

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Start with Hope, Change will follow

***Click here on our events category for more events coming up***

Start with Hope, change will follow:

Updated 23 October 2021: In London today (see below). Tomorrow is Little Amal’s 10th birthday:

11:00 & 13:00 Victoria & Albert Museum Little Amal will attend a birthday party for young friends, including cake made by Yotam Ottolenghi! Book a free museum entry ticket for 11.00 or 13.00 to join her here

16:00 Trafalgar Square All of London are invited to join Boy Blue for this spectacular celebration of Amal, dance and hip hop in the iconic setting of Trafalgar Square. Expect high energy performance, an appearance from the birthday girl and some surprises along the way. 

19:00 The Roundhouse, Camden: A one-off concert full of surprises and an extraordinary line-up will finish Amal’s birthday in epic style! Tickets available for purchase now here

Updated 22 October 2021: Big day tomorrow in London:

  • 10:00 St Paul’s Cathedral Amal arrives weary at St Paul’s Cathedral in the heart of the London. The Great West Doors, the ceremonial doors of the Cathedral, will open wide allowing children from across London, members of St Paul’s community and other faith leaders to welcome Amal to the Cathedral. An unforgettable performance combining spoken word and music, directed by Phyllida Lloyd will then unfold around Amal! This event will be held outside the Cathedral and is open to all to attend.
  • 13:00 The Globe Theatre Watch as Little Amal meets the company of Twelfth Night in this iconic performance space
  • 16:00 The Southbank Centre Little Amal will attend Welcome Wishes, a special event in the London Literature Festival. Join her for interactive storytelling, aimed at spreading the message of global community and friendship contained in Swallow’s Kiss – a new novel written by Sita Brahmachari and illustrated by Jane Ray.
  • 17:45 National Theatre Singer-songwriter Juliana Yazbeck will perform a welcoming solo that will lead into the choir performing ‘I Am My Own Way Home’ from Pericles. Watch this performance on the Terraces from below with Little Amal.
  • 19:00 Somerset House Follow Little Amal into the beautiful courtyard, and form an audience for an original contemporary dance piece. Choreographed by Ruby Portus, this troupe is composed of the National Youth Dance Co and the Sadlers Wells Company of Elders, dancing to live music from Baque Luar.
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Modern Slavery and Trafficking

Updated 12 October 2021: Guardian: Trafficking victims should be granted leave to remain in UK, high court rules

Landmark judgment will apply to thousands who may otherwise have been sent back to home countries

Thousands of victims of trafficking who have been left to languish in the immigration system for years should be granted leave to remain, the high court has said in a landmark ruling.

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This system is very cruel

11 October 2021: BBC: Are asylum suicides an unfolding national tragedy?

After fleeing his native Eritrea as a child and living for years as a refugee, Henok Zaid Gebrsslasie hoped to make a life for himself in the UK. Aged 23, he was found dead at a mental health facility in Coventry, West Midlands, and is thought to have taken his own life. His death is one of a growing number among young asylum seekers which a charity said could just be the “tip of the iceberg”.

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Ethical of reporting of the Afghan crisis, asylum and refugees

Organised by the national office of the National Union of Journalists [NUJ] Ethics Council – Ethical of reporting of the Afghan crisis, asylum and refugees: the NUJ ethics council would like to invite you to an online public meeting this Thursday 7 October starting at 17.00.The event is focused on the ethics of reporting on the Afghan crisis, asylum and refugees. Speakers include –

  • Farhad Mohammadi – BBC journalist in Kabul and now in the UK
  • Michelle Stanistreet – NUJ general secretary
  • Daniel Trilling – journalist and author
  • Jeremy Dear – IFJ deputy general secretary
  • Chris Frost – chair of the NUJ ethics council

To details of how to attend on the night, please contact the Manchester Branch of NUJ who are StatusNow signatories:

Intervention by the Courts

Updated 5 October 2021: Guardian: UK asylum seekers in hotels should have been given money for phone calls, judge rules and here:

Thanks to No Deportations – Residence Papers for All: Return of Ouster Clause in Nationality and Borders Bill

Once again, this time in the Nationality and Borders Bill, the Home Office seeks to oust the jurisdiction of Senior Courts from considering an appeal from a first-instance immigration tribunal decision. Its last substantial attempt to do so was the ouster clause it sought unsuccessfully to introduce to the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Bill in the 2003-2004 session of Parliament. At that time, it sought to oust statutory appeals and also the jurisdiction of the High Court on Judicial Review.

This time the effort is focused on solely on statutory appeals and is an attempt to exclude appeals to the Court of Appeal. It is still wrong. A first instance tribunal decision on a question of international protection or human rights, involving compliance with international treaty obligations, ought to be capable of appeal, as part of the standard procedure in the UK constitutional order for the rule of law. The Home Office gains nothing by this latest effort. Instead, the rule of law is damaged and the High Court is left to supervise the resulting delinquency if and when it entertains a judicial review against an immigration appeal decision impugned.  To understand what is going on, one needs to look at the provision for priority removal notices in the Nationality and Borders Bill.

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We call for an inquest into Harvey Wittika’s death

Updated 1 October 2021: Glasgow Live: Calls for inquiry into death of migrant who fell from Glasgow flat block

Harvey Wittika had been living and working in the UK for more than a decade before his status was revoked – he died alone in Glasgow just months later.

An organisation campaigning for the rights of migrants has called for an inquiry into the death of a man in Glasgow.

Harvey Wittika died after falling from the second floor of his flat building in Glasgow on August 6.

The 37-year-old from Malawi had been living in the city for around six months before his death while waiting for his Leave to Remain.

Before moving to Glasgow, he had graduated with a master’s degree in Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire. After struggling to get work in the industry, he was employed as a chef in Wagamama’s and Nando’s in St Albans before the Home Office refused to renew his application to stay in the UK.

At the time of his death, Harvey had lived in the UK for 16 years and had developed close relationships with a number of his colleagues who described him as a ‘beautiful person’.

Status Now 4 All, a coalition of over 100 organisations and community action groups campaigning for undocumented migrants and migrants in the legal process, have called for a fatal accident investigation into his death and have written to Scotland’s Procurator Fiscal.

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Spotlight on Migrants at Work

Update 29 September 2021: SNN Statement – It is time to review immigration policies

“It’s time to let all asylum seekers and undocumented migrants work and contribute to the society especially doctors, nurses, truck drivers, farmers, who are all forbidden to work.”

A tweet by member organisation Positive Housing in Action echoes sentiments expressed by many Status Now Network members keen to help the government see some sense and revisit its immigration policies. 

As the country faces shortages of lorry drivers, health workers, care workers, agricultural workers, poultry farmers (and who knows what next), Status Now Network urges the government to grant Indefinite Leave To Remain to asylum seekers, those in the legal system, and those who made the UK their home but are undocumented. This  will enable them to come forward because it removes their precarious status in the UK and gives them the right to work. It is a sensible, humane, and reasonable step for the British government to adopt. 

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A grant of Indefinite Leave to Remain to people without status would help ease labour shortages

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12 September 2021: StatusNow: A grant of Indefinite Leave to Remain to people without status would help ease labour shortages

“The Government should grant status to all those who currently reside in the UK, as well as bring forward legislation to improve workers rights on pay and end insecure employment practices such as zero hours contracts.  These are actions to address some of the reasons why employers are unable to recruit,” Ian Hodson, national president of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union (BFAWU)

Status Now urges the UK Government to offer immigration settlement status to all people who have made the UK their home.  This is one contribution to easing the current labour shortage. 

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Priti Patel breaks rules again after secret meeting with billionaire and British Airways

What is the relevance to StatusNow4All? See the link below to a quote from BA who published a statement stating that ‘under the Immigration Act 1971, the company is legally required to assist the Home Office in forced deportations’. We must be concerned about what is happening behind closed doors in breach of the Ministerial code.

Updated 18 September 2021: i News: Home Office deportation charter flights from UK increased as commercial planes were grounded by Covid

‘The Government has shown contempt towards the countries they send these charter flights to – countries like Jamaica where hospitals are close to breaking point dealing with Covid’

More than 1,100 people have been removed from the UK on controversial Home Office charter flights since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, it can be revealed. 

The flights are controversial because little is known about their operation and passengers can be handcuffed or fitted with leg and waist restraints. 

There were 54 flights in 2020/21, up from just 12 in the previous year. Seven flights also took off in the first four weeks of the current financial year.

Read more here:

11 September 2021: Mirror: Priti Patel breaks rules again after secret meeting with billionaire and British Airways

Home Secretary Prite Patel held a secret meeting with a billionaire and British Airways – Labour is demanding a probe as she is accused of a second breach of the ministerial code

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There’s No Turning Back

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9 September 2021: Solidarity in action – is the solution to dissolve the racist xenophobia[1] underpinning all, including the latest, refugee-rejection manoeuvre by the UK Government[2]: this time declaring that they will command workers to turn back boats carrying refugee people; it’s always, and only, about dividing – and thereby ruling – everyone on this side of the English Channel. 

Claudia Webbe MP, at the forefront of Early Day Motions[3] that call for Status Now 4 All describes this latest move as “Abhorrent”, going on to explain:

“This is yet another example of the Conservatives putting their political agenda – of the ‘hostile environment’ and stoking up division – ahead of human life and decency.

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Migrant Voice: My future’s back: international students fight injustice with legal victories

 Migrant Voice - My future’s back: international students fight injustice with legal victories
Image caption: Wahidur Rahman, who recently won his case against the Home Office.

Migrant Voice’s “My Future Back” campaign has helped three more South Asian students clear their names from Home Office accusations of cheating in an English-language test.

They have been fighting for justice for seven years since the government responded to a TV programme about cheating in the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) by suddenly terminating the visas of 34,000 overseas students, making their presence here illegal overnight. A further 22,000 were told that their test results were “questionable”. More than 2,400 students were deported.

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Scottish Government Act – Stand against the New Immigration Bill: 2 September 2021

Peaceful demonstration: Scottish Government Act – Stand against the New Immigration Bill: 2 September 2021

StatusNow4All Scotland

See the videos of the livestreams here: and here:

The National: Holyrood demo over Patel’s Nationality Bill

MEMBERS of a group campaigning to end evictions in Scotland have mounted a demonstration in Edinburgh over the UK Government’s Nationality and Borders Bill, claiming it would see the criminalisation of asylum seekers.

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We Need Practical Resources that Enable Positive Acts of Compassion with Everyone who Needs Them

The support that is being offered to Afghans highlights the lack of help and resource being given to people fleeing similar threat and oppression elsewhere.
Sir Peter Soulsby, City Mayor for Leicester

The plight of the Afghan people who are now fleeing from their homes is prompting positive and compassionate responses from a wide range of bodies and groupings across the UK. Councils such as Abergavenny, and conurbations such as Greater Manchester and Liverpool are receiving some additional monies via the Home Office to house people. However, as Sir Peter Soulsby, City Mayor for Leicester, an organisational signatory to the Status Now Network has observed to us this morning:

As we have always done, Leicester will welcome those seeking refuge from conflict and oppression. We will be taking the opportunity to participate in the resettlement scheme announced today as a response to the truly awful situation in Afghanistan. We expect that resources will be provided to local councils so that we can provide and co-ordinate the support that will be needed. Leicester will proudly offer sanctuary and a new home to Afghans fleeing the Taliban. The support that is being offered to Afghans highlights the lack of help and resource being given to people fleeing similar threat and oppression elsewhere. These people too are welcome in Leicester and deserve better from the government.

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