Harvey Wittika had been living and working in the UK for more than a decade before his status was revoked – he died alone in Glasgow just months later.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.
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.
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 contributeto the society especially doctors, nurses, truck drivers, farmers, who are all forbidden to work.”
Atweet 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.
On 18th September, the Justice for Simba campaign are hosting a carnival of resistance to the Hostile Environment in the NHS, taking place in Sheffield. Join us to take action in solidarity against racist immigration policies in healthcare – wherever you are!
Meet at 2pm, Devonshire Green! There will be music, dancing, speeches, and a spirit of solidarity and resistance to hostile and cruel immigration policies! We will then hand in Simba’s petition to Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
👉🏾 Here’s what you need to do! 👈🏾 ⭐️ Sign and share Simba’s petition on your social media and with your friends and colleagues – we want to hit 70,000 signatures to hand in! http://change.org/justiceforsimba ⭐️ Spread the word https://linktr.ee/JusticeForSimba ⭐️ Print and share Simba’s poster! So we can share pics on the day https://tinyurl.com/SimbaPosters
Our friend Simba has been charged over £100,000 for his life-saving treatment following a stroke — all because of his immigration status. Two years on, Simba is fighting for his recovery but Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is still chasing him for payment.
Updated 17 September 2021: Moses and Daisy invite you to join the walk: ‘It’s on, this Saturday the 18th!, another 24 mile walk in Pickering, let’s show support and zeal in stopping these deportations flights.’
“Together we stand very strong. The deportations will surely end, cracks are beginning to show up within the inner court of the Government. STOP DEPORTATIONS once and for all for the better of the country. Come to all to Pickering. Lets do the walk in our big numbers until victory is final…Alutta continua….!”
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.
See below: 29 August 2021: StatusNow4All: Living Precariously or Health and Safety for All – a call for Indefinite Leave to Remain now
Updated 4 September 2021:Worth knowing: DLA Piper are hosting a scheme supported by ILPA where over 400 volunteer lawyers are taking on pro bono cases of people needing to get out of Afghanistan. Email is email@example.com
The government’s naming of its Afghan resettlement scheme ‘Operation Warm Welcome’ is ‘cynical’ given other obstacles, organiser warns
Nearly 400 lawyers and immigration professionals have teamed up with one of the world’s biggest law firms to form a new group to help people trying to flee Afghanistan, i can reveal.
The group, which is yet to be formerly named but operates as the Afghan Immigration Group, was founded by a clutch of UK asylum lawyers in an attempt to share information and work co-operatively to assist as many people as possible left in danger since the West withdrew from Afghanistan and the Taliban seized power.
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.
Please note: We draw your attention to the scale of inequality that is in evidence to focus attention on what needs to change to secure equity of access and STATUSNOW4ALL. This new report https://highpaycentre.org/latest/publications/ shows that the median FTSE 100 CEO was paid £2.69 million in 2020, 86 times the median full-time worker in the UK. The figure represents a 17% fall from median CEO pay of £3.25 million recorded in 2019.
Many people in the UK immigration system are subject to the ‘no recourse to public funds’ (NRPF) condition, which means that they are unable to access mainstream welfare benefits. This includes most benefits, tax credits and housing assistance provided by the government. As a result, several cohorts within the UK population are at a serious risk of becoming destitute.
This includes people on short-term visas, those without legal permission to be in the UK, as well as those who have been in the UK for extended periods but are on long routes to settlement.
[There are updates with other relevant articles below]
I arrived in the UK in 2001 at the age of twenty from Malaysia, with feelings of excitement as I embarked on an Engineering Degree at the University of Wolverhampton. I went on to complete a master’s degree in Advanced Technology Management and became a member of the Institution of Engineering Technology and Institution of Mechanical Engineering. My positive experience of the UK inspired me to stay here, living and working to pursue my chartered engineer’s training. I have, however, ended up experiencing life in limbo as a stateless British Overseas Citizen, trying to resolve my status and my right to work.
24 August 2021: International Public Policy ObservatoryIPPO: Written by Mariko Hayashi, Executive Director of our signatory organisation Southeast and East Asian Centre (SEEAC), and an independent researcher on migration and human rights:
One positive outcome of the pandemic should have been a greater commitment to supporting UK communities – including my own – who have been especially vulnerable. But all that many of us feel now is consultation fatigue and growing frustration
COVID-19 has placed a harsh spotlight on the pre-existing inequalities and discrimination faced by some of the UK’s most invisible communities and groups – including those which I belong to and represent: the East and Southeast Asian (ESEA) community and migrants.
It would be heartening to think that a positive outcome of the pandemic would be a greater commitment to supporting communities including my own which have been especially vulnerable. However, with most COVID-19 related restrictions now lifted and things ‘getting back to normal’, I fear that many marginalised communities will be forgotten again.
“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.“
8 August 2021: TogetherintheUK: The essay “Invisible Heroes” by Ruth won a TogetherintheUK Special Award in the Storytelling Competition. We wanted to acknowledge the bravery of writing about the pain and difficulty of being undocumented. It is a very clear account of what it means and the difference the Right to Remain means to people’s lives.
Here we are in a country that we thought we could call home, a place to accomplish our dreams and to work to support our families back in our countries. Most of us chose to overstay after our visas expired so we could continue to work. But little did we know that doing that is the wrong decision as it only makes matters worse.