Concerns about the use of army barracks, hotels etc.

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

Penally camp is apparently shutting permanently, due in part to pressure from Welsh MPs. The Home Office will continue to use Napier camp for now.. You can write to your MP in support of the #CloseTheBarracks campaign.


Updated 16 April 2021: Kent Online: Full report issued on failings of asylum seeker accommodation at Napier Barracks, Folkestone

Asylum seeker accommodation at a Kent barracks has been slammed in a full report of failings at the camp.

Continue reading “Concerns about the use of army barracks, hotels etc.”

UK Asylum System and Asylum Seekers’ Mental Health

The Mental Health Foundation has found that the increased vulnerability to mental health problems that refugees and asylum seekers face is linked both to their pre-migration and post-migration experiences. People who have fled persecution, violence and war hope to find safety and security in the UK. Tragically, the current UK asylum system often exacerbates their suffering, with long waits for asylum decisions, poor accommodation and a ban on working all contributing to this situation.

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Priti Patel’s detention policies found to breach human rights rules

14 April 2021: The Guardian: Priti Patel’s detention policies found to breach human rights rules

Court finds home secretary accountable for failures to ensure that deaths in immigration detention centres are investigated properly

A landmark court ruling has held the home secretary, Priti Patel, accountable for failures in ensuring that deaths in immigration detention centres are properly investigated.

Two judges in the immigration court ruled on Wednesday that three of the home secretary’s detention policies breached human rights rules and that she could not frustrate or undermine inquiries into these deaths.

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IRR: Sewell report seeks to sideline structural factors attached to racism

14 April 2021: IRR: Sewell, stigma and the policing of race

Ultimately, what we at the IRR fear is that such disaggregated, ethnic-specific data will be used to create a kind of league table of good and bad, successful and failing groups. A variation of the ‘good migrant’ ‘bad migrant’ scenario. A kind of stigmatisation via comparison. Sewell, the chair of the commission, has form here – and we already see this in his report, contrasting good parenting techniques and enterprising family structures in the Black African community with family dysfunction or breakdown in other communities, most notably the Black Caribbean.

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Impact of Covid-19 on migrants – watch our videos

Migrant Voice: Learn about the impact of Covid-19 on migrants with limited or no Leave to Remain – hear their stories.

The Building Resilience project provides spaces for migrants with limited immigration status and no recourse to public funds to discuss shared experiences throughout the pandemic and form networks of solidarity.

Responding to Covid-19: Building Resilience project, running between November 2020 and April 2021, aims to organise, empower and build networks with some of the migrant communities most marginalised by Covid-19. It is a partnership project between Migrant Voice, Kanlungan Filipino Consortium, and RAPAR (Refugee and Asylum Participatory Action Research).

Watch all the videos here

Victory! This will bring hope to others

14 APR 2021: Change.org petition: — Help keep the Saleem family in Britain where they belong!

Amanda Kennedy: After years of paperwork and waiting, every member of the Saleem family has now been granted a Visa!
So pleased for the lovely Saira Saleem and her family, who deserve to call Scotland home!
Special thanks to all who signed this petition, when I started it in 2018, I never thought we’d get as many as 144,000 signatures! An even bigger thanks to the family’s solicitor, Glasgow-based Usman Aslam who worked tirelessly on this case!

The original petition text is here: https://www.change.org/p/help-keep-the-saleem-family-in-britain-where-they-belong

Why So Many Filipino Health Workers Are Dying Of Covid-19

12 April 2021: Huffington Post: A reluctance to say no to overtime, crowded housing, and overrepresentation on the front line have left thousands at risk.

Filipino healthcare workers in the UK are disproportionately dying of Covid-19 as they are afraid to say no to extra shifts, campaigners have revealed.

At least 71 frontline health and care workers of Filipino heritage have died in the UK of coronavirus since the pandemic began, according to organisations supporting Filipino communities who have been compiling their own figures based on social media.

HuffPost UK has heard how workers fear turning down overtime could jeopardise their jobs, and many need the extra money to send to families in the Philippines who are relying on them.

“The real figure of how many Filipino health and care workers have died in the UK will undoubtedly be higher,” says Susan Cueva, a trustee at Kanlungan. The charity brings together a group of organisations working for the welfare and interests of Filipino and other British migrant communities.

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Podcast: Still We Rise: Episode 8 – Internal Borders In Britain

13 April 2021: CARAG – Coventry Asylum and Refugee Action Group: Still We Rise: Episode 8 – Internal Borders In Britain

In this week’s Podcast we speak to Dr Kathryn Medien who is a Sociology Lecturer at the Open University. We examine her research into the development and use of internal borders in Britain as a form of racialised governance. She traces numerous elements of what we now know as the Hostile Environment to key Legislative changes in the 1970’s & 80’s.

Listen here: https://www.carag.co.uk/podcast/episode/24a0af13/episode-8-internal-bordersin-britain

Link to CARAG – Coventry Asylum and Refugee Action Group

Everyone should have access to the vaccine but this reported Vaccine ‘Amnesty’ Declaration is a Trap and Won’t Work

8 February 2021:  STOP PRESS: Everyone should have access to the vaccine but this reported Vaccine ‘Amnesty’ Declaration is a Trap and Won’t Work 

#healthandsafety4all  

  • 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?
Continue reading “Everyone should have access to the vaccine but this reported Vaccine ‘Amnesty’ Declaration is a Trap and Won’t Work”

We Will Not Be Silenced – a poem by Loraine Masiya Mponela

We will not be silenced By Loraine Masiya Mponela

As we navigate a system

That is created not to care for people

A system built on racism and greed

We are told: you need to behave

Do not speak up it will affect your case

As we wait for decisions for years

A decade of anxious anticipation

Without stability and certainty of the indefinite leave to remain

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Open Letter(2) to the Prime Minister of the UK and the Taoiseach of Ireland

25th March 2021 

Dear Sirs

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

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The Status Now 4 All Calling Card for All Communities of Faith

“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.

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Human Beings, Not Commodities: Status Now 4 All Summit

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.

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In advance of the new overhaul the immigration system:

The Home Office MP Account Management Team: We are fixing a broken asylum system and creating a new one which will be fairer and firmer and compassionate towards those who need our help.

This post will be updated as reports come in about how the Government may plan to do this:

24 March: Government Consultation process announced – responses to be filed by 6 May 2021 11.45pm: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/new-plan-for-immigration

Priti Patel’s statement today: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/home-secretarys-statement-on-the-new-plan-for-immigration


Statement by Nazek Ramadan, director of StatusNow4All signatory organisation Migrant Voice

Home Secretary Priti Patel’s proposed “biggest overhaul of the UK’s asylum system in decades” is based on false premises – particularly on the actual availability of legal routes – and tears apart the principle of the right to claim asylum.

Continue reading “In advance of the new overhaul the immigration system:”