8 February 2021: STOP PRESS: Everyone should have access to the vaccine but this reportedVaccine ‘Amnesty’ Declaration is a Trap and Won’t Work
The virus cannot be effectively tackled and people cannot be kept safe until everyone currently in the UK has equal access to housing, healthcare, food, and any vaccine, and therefore equal status
Addressing the question of people’s Status in the UK is the primary need
Many people who are undocumented believe that they will be reported to the immigration authorities and/or subjected to the Hostile Environment if they come forward, and therefore this policy is doomed to failure
Once Government commits to Status Now 4 All, everyone currently undocumented is going to be able to come forward
This is the right time for a full regularisation – if not now – when?
RE: ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE, HOUSING AND FOOD FOR ALL
On March 27th 2020 we called upon the British and Irish States to act immediately so that all undocumented, destitute and migrant people in the legal process in both the UK and Ireland are granted Status Now, as in Leave to Remain. (Copy enclosed)
Shortly after your office’s acknowledgement of receipt we thanked you, Taoiseach. We have yet to receive acknowledgement of receipt from yourself, Prime Minister. Neither of you have actually responded directly to us but we note, and are glad for, the recent announcement regularising undocumented workers in the Republic of Ireland by the end of 2021.
We have refined our call further to specify that Indefinite Leave to Remain is what is required by the Status Now Network, a unique coalition of 120+ organisations and community action groups, alongside individuals, who are campaigning for Status Now 4 All. This coming Saturday, March 27th 2021, exactly one year since we wrote to you both, we are holding our Status Now Summit: One Year On.
“Not having my status limits my joy, my happiness, nothing makes me excited. People take advantage.
I cannot even work. The pain is terrible. Terrible. People cry at night. There are suicides.
In limbo, I cannot do anything I want to do, and I don’t know what is going to happen to me.
Locked down all the time, not just now. Let us have a chance.”
(Voices of people without status)
Who we are: The Status Now Network is a unique coalition of almost 130 organisations and community action groups, alongside individuals, who are campaigning for Status Now 4 All. Our member organisations are listed on our website: https://statusnow4all.org.
What we do: Most StatusNow4All members have worked for years ‘in the frontline’ supporting migrants living with chronic insecurity. Increasingly, we are working together. Through the Covid lockdowns, SN4A members are, and have supported, migrants with Covid or at grave risk of catching Covid – from which some have died without access to medical care. SN4A members are, and support, migrants who do not have secure employment, secure housing, access to medical care, protection from exploitation and secure immigration status. We have provided basic food, advice, friendship, help with access to services, and help in dealing with the Home Office and its sub-contractors.
25 March 2021: People seeking asylum should be treated like human beings, says a major organisation supporting migrants.
Responding to Home Secretary Priti Patel’s ‘biggest overhaul of the UK’s asylum system in decades’, Nazek Ramadan, the Executive Director of Migrant Voice who will be chairing the Status Now 4All Summit: One YearOn (https://statusnow4all.org/status-now-summit-one-year-on/) this Saturday, said:
“It is based on false premises – particularly on the actual availability of legal routes – and tears apart the principle of the right to claim asylum.
The UK Immigration System becomes increasingly complicated and unfit for purpose. In the 1970’s, when they began, the Immigration Rules covered 20 pages and now number 1100. As the rules elongate so do the number of legal terms introduced by the Home Office.
Immigration terms can be confusing and imprecise. In addition, very often, both politicians and media outlets use incorrect terminology.
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:
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.
Open Letter to Public Health England and other agencies:
“As PICUM (Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants)have most recently expressed:
“Any vaccination campaign, to be effective, has to cover virtually everyone. Including #undocumented people is not only humane, it’s also public health common sense. We’re all in this together, and only together can we win this battle.”
3 December 2020: Status Now Network notes that concurrent discussion about vaccines becoming available on the NHS does nothing to address any of the structural, institutional and systemic barriers to access to health for people who are undocumented and those in legal process.
27 October 2020: Once again, people travelling in desperation have died in the Channel trying to find a safe place to live because there is no legal way to come here, while members of the UK Government talk of creating wave machines, and employing people to send the boats back, and make no secret of the crass, racist, hostile and heartless policies that they have put in place.
Why people are left to die in this way?
SNN member organisation RAPAR delivered a letter to the UK Government in 2015 on behalf of leaders in the Calais ‘Jungle’, offering the chance to listen to the people directly affected if they really wanted to do something humane, and that offer is still on the table. The Government had this opportunity five years ago and did not take it – how many lives have been lost in the interim? Read the report here: http://www.salfordnow.co.uk/2016/04/28/manchester-letter-calais-jungle/
It is outrageous, and terribly sad that we as a relatively comfortable country think it OK to treat others this way.
The Status Now Network urges the UK Government to honour our moral commitment by creating safe pathways to enable people who are forced into migration to seek asylum in UK without putting their lives in the hands of human traffickers, or taking other life-threatening risks.
In addition, we call for these who are already here, who are undocumented or in the legal process, to be given the right to remain in UK so that we can achieve #HealthAndSafetyForAll.
20 October 2020: Risk assessing hotels and barracks housing displaced people in the UK: Statement from StatusNow4All
We note that the role of the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration is to help improve the efficiency, effectiveness and consistency of the Home Office’s border and immigration functions through unfettered, impartial and evidence-based inspection.
We note, in contrast, that the Home Office is attempting to side step this transparent system by hiring a private risk management company, Human Applications (https://ergonomics.org.uk/humanapplications) to provide a ‘rapid review of initial accommodation for single adult asylum seekers, including hotels and former military barracks, and provide assurance of compliance with public health guidelines to prevent the transmission of Covid 19.’ Hastily arranged with minimal, non-transparent and selective third sector involvement, the Home Office have stated that they do not intend to make this report public.
Living conditions have the potential to compromise the physical and psychological health of people. Those displaced people currently accommodated by the Home Office in hotels and barracks around the UK are not being offered thorough assessment, especially in relation to the safeguarding concerns that arise from the Covid-19 pandemic. The Home Office is failing to demonstrate either an appropriate duty of care, or any transparent process. Similarly, the meaningful exercise of duty of care cannot be realised until there is a comprehensive test- track- trace and quarantine system that enables EVERYONE to participate, with confidence, throughout the UK.
Alongside our call for StatusNow4All https://statusnow4all.org/about-status-now/ to enable everyone to share equal access to healthcare, housing and food, we call for the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration to conduct an immediate and independent inspection that ‘provides assurance of compliance with public health guidelines to prevent the transmission of Covid 19’.
18th September 2020 PRESS RELEASE: STATUS NOW 4 ALL BACKS PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATIONS CALLING FOR LEAVE TO REMAIN FOR UNDOCUMENTED MIGRANTS IN THE UK
A national Day of Action is being held this weekend to call for an end to the Government’s Hostile Environment policy and for Leave to Remain to be given to all undocumented migrants in the UK.
Regularise, one of Status Now Network’s signatories, is organising a peaceful demonstration for the rights of undocumented migrants on Saturday, 19th September. It will be held from 1pm-4pm outside 10 Downing Street to ensure the Prime Minister Boris Johnson hears our call for Status Now.