|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.
International Federation of Iraqi Refugees claims that man was subjected to inhumane treatment during attempted deportation to Rwanda
The International Federation of Iraqi Refugees (IFIR) has set out a formal complaint against the actions of the UK Border Agency with regard to its treatment of asylum seekers threatened with removal to Rwanda. The Federation has asked that this matter be investigated by the European Court of Human Rights.
At the centre of the complaint is the treatment of Mr Rasti Mohammadi, a 26 year old Kurd with Iraqi nationality who had been informed that the Border Agency intended to deport him on the planned flight to Rwanda despite having made an application for protection as a refugee in the UK.Continue reading “International Federation of Iraqi Refugees claims that man was subjected to inhumane treatment during attempted deportation to Rwanda”
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.Continue reading “Status Now Refugee Week event”
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.
Status Now campaign : EDM (Early Day Motion)1098
EDM #1098 Tabled by Claudia Webbe MP for Leicester East, on 21 March 2022
Motion text: That this House recognises the important campaigning work of the Status Now network on their two year anniversary; notes that there are currently an unknown number of persons in the UK who are not citizens 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; 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, housing and other essential human rights; notes that asylum support allowance is a mere £39.63 per week which is a miserly and inadequate amount on which to be able to survive; laments the prohibition on asylum seekers being able to work while their claim is being processed, which leads to further impoverishment; welcomes the recent progress made in Ireland through the regularisation scheme for long-term undocumented people, launched in January 2022, which will offer an amnesty for 17,000 undocumented migrants; and calls on the Government to follow suit and ensure that all undocumented, destitute and migrant people in the legal process be granted status now, or indefinite leave to remain, to guarantee that every human being, irrespective of their nationality or citizenship can access the essentials to live.
We thank Claudia Webbe MP for her continuing support for the StatusNow4All campaign
Please ask your MP to sign this EDM. If they do not sign EDMs then you can ask them to talk with others about concerns raised above.Continue reading “Status Now campaign : EDM (Early Day Motion)1098”
StatusNow4All event: 26 March 2022
Event: A Date for Your Diary
StatusNow4All will soon be 2 years old! Please protect your time on Saturday 26 March 2022, from 2pm to 4.30pm so that we can come together.
Updated 26 March 2022:
Watch the video of the Summt:Continue reading “StatusNow4All event: 26 March 2022”
Deportation in this cruel hostile environment
StatusNow4All: This cruel hostile environment has given rise to yet another Home Office plan to deport people to Zimbabwe on 2 March 2022. StatusNow4All abhors this decision made in the name of the Home Secretary, Priti Patel.
It is immoral:
These are just some of the factors of note in relation to those who are being rounded up for deportation right now:
· Some have been here a long time, as many as twenty years;
· Some will have had Refugee Leave, such was the compelling case they presented on arrival in UK, but the law allows the Home Office to strip them of this due to a conviction for particular offending behaviours [para 339 Immigration Rules].
· Deportation Orders are automatically made against people without British or Irish citizenship who have been given a prison sentence of more than a year
· Some of these people will have served their time in prison and on license like any other person with a conviction, and have subsequently lived in the community for years without re-offendingContinue reading “Deportation in this cruel hostile environment”
What The Nationality and Borders Bill Really Means
9 February 2022: A STATUS NOW NETWORK BRIEFING
This Status Now Network briefing is from the standpoint of migrant communities across the UK who live with precarious residence status: a legacy of the hostile environment.
Why is the government proposing this bill?
This Bill is intended for purely political purposes. It amounts to an attempt to recoup ground lost to hostile environment policies through negative public perception about Government action in both the Windrush scandals and other revelations of injustice in immigration policy that have emerged in recent years.
During the Covid-19 period, as migrant people have been profiled as key workers in health and social care, transport and supply chains, providing the wider population with vital goods and services, public perception of immigration has undergone changes. The measures set out in the Borders and Nationality and Borders Bill are intended to disrupt this growing solidarity and identification with hard pressed migrant communities. It consists of talking up an existential threat via small boat arrivals and types of British citizens who are not considered worthy of that status when no threat of this nature exists. Refugee and asylum procedures for routes of entry without grave risk to life are completely achievable. Criminal law exists to address criminal activity by any British citizen without any distinctions that rely on ethnic or immigrant origin.Continue reading “What The Nationality and Borders Bill Really Means”
Individual control over our own bodies is a precondition for the individual exercise of rights and responsibilities.
We don’t need a consultation. The current Human Rights Act – albeit imperfect – is based on the European Convention for Human Rights. We need to continue adhering to this, not tinker unilaterally and in the process erode rights.
There is nothing to prevent the Government from adding protective laws.
In the meantime, there is no personal responsibility – or individual rights – without everyone of us being able to exercise personal control over what happens to our own bodies and the bodies of those who we care for where no harm is done . No rights or responsibilities are meaningful without the power to exercise this most fundamental control – over our own bodies
See also: https://statusnow4all.org/plan-to-reform-the-human-rights-act/
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”
Status Now newsletter December 2021
SNN Editorial WE know that the Emperor has no clothes 2021’s end of year ‘holiday’ period has to be the strangest ever. In the UK and Ireland an unknown number of people are entering this period of the COVID19 syndemic without one or more of these fundamentals: safe roofs over our heads, heat and food to warm and fuel our bodies, and internet connected devices that maintain our abilities to communicate beyond our physical placement. The Status Now Network(SNN) remains acutely conscious that – whether we do or we don’t have precarious immigration status – many people are being denied fundamental human needs. Read more: https://statusnow4all.org/statusnow-editorial-we-know-that-the-emperor-has-no-clothes/Continue reading “Status Now newsletter December 2021”
StatusNow editorial: WE know that the Emperor has no clothes
WE know that the Emperor has no clothes
2021’s end of year ‘holiday’ period has to be the strangest ever. In the UK and Ireland an unknown number of people are entering this period of the COVID19 syndemic without one or more of these fundamentals: safe rooves over our heads, heat and food to warm and fuel our bodies, and internet connected devices that maintain our abilities to communicate beyond our physical placement. The Status Now Network(SNN) remains acutely conscious that – whether we do or we don’t have precarious immigration status – many people are being denied fundamental human needs.
This fact, that people in the here and now are being denied access to fundamental human needs, is not new. The fact that we in SNN and so very many who are around and about us care deeply about that denial, and the fact that we trust in our abilities to expose and resist all attempts to grind away, and thereby blunt, our commitment to achieve StatusNow4All: they aren’t new either.Continue reading “StatusNow editorial: WE know that the Emperor has no clothes”
AT and WITHIN the UK’s Borders: StatusNow4All identifies with everyone in transit and everyone who has died in transit
Update 18 December 2021: See here for depth information about home office border security plan: https://corporatewatch.org/home-office-set-to-advertise-385-million-private-border-security-contracts/
Status Now Statement: AT and WITHIN the UK’s Borders: StatusNow4All identifies with everyone in transit and everyone who has died in transit.
People have moved around the world for many reasons through time, and they still do. In their attempts to reach what they perceived to be a toehold where they and their families might begin to become safe, consider how many of these people have died because obstacles have been put in their way on land or in the water. We don’t know the numbers.
We do know that the overt and systematic militarisation of the European Union borders began in 2004 when Frontex (funded through the European Commission) were contracted.
In July 2021 a condemnation of Frontex’s actions failing to protect asylum seekers rights was published.
Now, in the wake of the most recent drownings in the English Channel, networks up and down Britain are mobilising to communicate their complete condemnation of the Government’s immigration control systems, AT and WITHIN the UK’s borders. Every time people plan and work together through such mobilisations, we strengthen the bonds committed to transforming the way the migration system works and stopping the deaths and the suffering.Continue reading “AT and WITHIN the UK’s Borders: StatusNow4All identifies with everyone in transit and everyone who has died in transit”
EDITORIAL: An exponential expansion of the number of people in the UK with precarious status: one potential implication of Clause 9 of the current Nationality and Borders Bill
9th December 2021
An exponential expansion of the number of people in the UK with precarious status: one potential implication of Clause 9 of the current Nationality and Borders Bill
‘“It’s a horrible Clause”. Frances Webber, Institute of Race Relations, London.
The idea that ‘an uncommunicated decision can bind an individual’ is ‘an astonishing proposition’.
In August of this year Sky News published analysis of the last three years of ‘complete’ Home Office data relating to migration. Demonstrating that the people who arrive in the UK in small boats and who generally claim asylum are only a small fraction of the number of migrants arriving in the UK each year, it admitted that ‘These numbers are based on estimates. The real number of unauthorised people in the UK is not known as official figures cannot capture the true reality.’ Sky News then fell back onto the much-cited Pew Research figure dating from 2019 that describes there being between 0.8-1.2 million migrant people in the UK who are ‘unauthorised’. The Status Now Network favours the term ‘precarious’ to describe everyone in the UK without secure status.
On 11th November 2021, a number of media outlets carried the Institute of Race Relations exposure of ‘the dangers posed by a clause inserted quietly into the Nationality and Borders Bill, which will allow some British citizens (mainly dual nationals) to lose their citizenship without being notified in a wide range of circumstances, which could put them at grave risk.’ As of 6th December this Clause, number 9, is one of several that make up an additional 88 pages of amendments that have been tabled as the Bill passes through its procedural stages.
Here, IRR’s Frances Webber explains more of the history of Clause 9:Continue reading “EDITORIAL: An exponential expansion of the number of people in the UK with precarious status: one potential implication of Clause 9 of the current Nationality and Borders Bill”
Status Now Newsletter November 2021
by Loraine Masiya Mponela
I have been exposed to the love
of strangers, seen smiles directed at me
and the smiling eyes with mouths covered
It has been eye opening to know
that so much love exists, that a homeless girl
can share a life and be provided with a home
away from home
It has been mind blowing
and humbling to experience greatness alongside
great leaders, campaigning shoulder to shoulder
I have seen the better side of humanity
love instead of hate. It warms my heart that
humanity is in a better place
in its care for other humans.
Note: Loraine is a member of CARAG, a SNN signatory