Exporting people seeking asylum – Rwanda

27 January 2024: Guardian: Revealed: UK granted asylum to Rwandan refugees while arguing country was safe

Home Office said refugees’ fear of persecution was ‘well-founded’, undermining Rishi Sunak’s claims about East African country

Four Rwandans were granted refugee status in the UK over “well-founded” fears of persecution at the same time as the government was arguing in court and parliament that the east African country was a safe place to send asylum seekers.

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Detention Centres — IRCs

See also updates about the tireless campaigning of Daisy and family here: https://statusnow4all.org/enabling-nurse-daisy/

See posts regarding contingency accommodation which is sometimes quasi-detention


19 September 2023: Guardian: I warned ministers about our disgraceful UK detention centres. Their solution? Stop the inspections….

David Neal

The report on Brook House mirrors concerns I raised as chief inspector, but Suella Braverman’s Home Office lacks the will to address them

  • David Neal is the independent chief inspector of borders and immigration

Read More: https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/sep/19/ministers-detention-centres-inspections-brook-house-suella-braverman-home-office


The Home Office and Government must be held accountable for this, and for all the work that is carried out in its name:

Brook House Inquiry: The Brook House Inquiry Report

On 19 September 2023, Kate Eves, the Chair of The Brook House Inquiry, published her report into the mistreatment of individuals who were detained at Brook House Immigration Removal Centre. You can download the Report or view it online on the website.

Inquiry’s report reveals “toxic” culture at Brook House IRC
The Brook House Inquiry, established to investigate the mistreatment of individuals detained at Brook House Immigration Removal Centre (IRC), published its report on the 19 September 2023. The Chair, Kate Eves, makes 33 important recommendations which she said, “need to be implemented to ensure that other detained people do not suffer in the same way as those at Brook House did.”

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Barriers and Bridges to Wellbeing

Updated 25 February 2023: Vulnerable asylum seekers ‘prisoners in their own homes’ after fleeing war zones

As many asylum seekers say they have been placed in unsuitable properties littered with tripping hazards, an expert blamed the system which she says ‘creates a hostile environment’

Alimony Bangura, a disabled asylum seeker from Sierra Leone, is living in Manchester (

Disabled asylum seekers who fled war zones for the safety of Britain say they have been left as prisoners in their own homes.

Many claim they have been placed in unsuitable properties that are littered with tripping hazards and have broken lifts.

One disabled man told how he fell while trying to reach his upstairs bathroom.

And a blind refugee said he could only go out once a week with the aid of carers.

Their misery continues despite a 2020 court case which found the Government failed to provide disabled-friendly digs.

Campaigners say they have warned Home Secretary Suella Braverman of a string of cases across the country.

Worryingly, there is no official record of how many asylum seekers are disabled.

Continue reading “Barriers and Bridges to Wellbeing”

Channel Crossings

See also https://statusnow4all.org/concerns-about-the-use-of-army-barracks/


Updated 1 February 2023: Gov.uk: Leadership of small boats operations returns to the Home Office

The Small Boats Operational Command (SBOC) will bring together the government’s response to small boats with 730 additional staff.

Read more: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/leadership-of-small-boats-operations-returns-to-the-home-office

Telegraph: Stop migrant boats or face defeat, Suella Braverman tells Tories

Home Secretary tells The Telegraph the party’s reputation for competence is ‘on the line’ and crossings must be tackled to win election

Read more: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2023/01/30/suella-braverman-tories-wont-forgiven-fail-stop-channel-migrant/

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Concerns about the use of army barracks, hotels, housing

This post is being updated with reports of examples of atrocities around the army camp accommodation and hotels, and other Home Office housing

For information about Detention Centres – IRCs – Hassockfield/Derwentside please see here: https://statusnow4all.org/detention-centres-ircs/

For information about off-shoring/exporting people seeking asylum/Rwanda please see here: https://statusnow4all.org/exporting-people-seeking-asylum-rwanda/:


Update 16 December 2022: from our signatory organisation RAPAR:

PRESS RELEASE from @raparuk 16th Dec. 2022: Whistleblower speaks out about safeguarding, racism and scabies at Serco’s asylum “hotel” in Warrington

https://buff.ly/3hygtgQ

and:

Please help raise money for Shay Babagar and @RAPARUK to build on Shay’s 35-day hunger strike to challenge Serco’s treatment of ‘hotel’ residents seeking asylum.
Justgiving: https://buff.ly/3BDx5dO

Campaign flyer: https://buff.ly/3j4CG6D
About campaign: https://buff.ly/3VYnZ3B


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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.

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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”

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”

Justice Secretary’s ‘open-mind’ suggestion needs Activation and Expansion

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3 October 2021: The flyer below was distributed outside the Conservative Party conference in Manchester by members of Status Now

2 October 2021: Justice Secretary’s ‘open-mind’ suggestion needs Activation and Expansion

The Justice Secretary’s ‘open-mind’ about allowing asylum seekers to work while their claims are being processed needs activation and expansion. Dominic Raab, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, reportedly said that allowing asylum seekers to work would assist with integration and contribute to resolving the country’s labour shortages. His remarks are supported by some senior Tories which may indicate a growing recognition that the current law, banning people who seek asylum from being contracted in paid work while they wait for a Home Office decision, is morally and practically wrong. It is irrational that we have tens of thousands of residents in this country who can contribute to alleviating the current labour crisis but are denied the right to work and forced into years of unemployment and poverty while employers are desperate to fill job vacancies.

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Racial Justice and Migrant Rights

27 September 2021: Here is the Motion submitted by Sevenoaks Constituency Labour Party [CLP] to the Labour Party Conference taking place right now. The Motion did not make it onto the list for discussion because there were other issues that people prioritised. It is however heartening to see that our concern is shared in that forum and we encourage Party members to use the motion in their own CLPs, Trades Unions etc for discussion:

The Motion reads: Racial Justice and Migrant Rights

This CLP notes:

  • Structural racism exists.

This CLP believes:

  • The Labour Party must seek to dismantle structural racism and campaign for racial justice in the UK and around the world.
  • The more unequal a society, the greater the reliance on a carceral system.
  • Successive governments have exploited the labour of migrants while failing to acknowledge the contribution of migration to our economy, culture, and society.

This CLP resolves that the Labour Party must:

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Access to healthcare at the point of need?

Updated 24 September 2021: Bare Life films: NHS Borderlands – An investigative documentary into the human cost of charging migrants for accessing the NHS

After fleeing persecution in Zimbabwe in fear for her life, Angela sought asylum in the UK where she has lived with her husband for 20 years. Following a vital hysterectomy operation Angela is – without warning – issued a bill for £8,000 by the NHS, jeopardizing her life in the UK forever. Angela’s story exposes the real cost of the recent introduction of NHS charges for migrants, where discrimination undermines our society’s commitment to universal healthcare. The most vulnerable are left unable to pay and scared to seek care. There are many stories like Angela’s, most untold and undocumented. This film documents how healthcare workers and campaigners are fighting alongside Angela to keep the border out of hospitals.

Contact Bare Life films for more information:

About Bare Life films:

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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.

Continue reading “There’s No Turning Back”

Statements on Afghanistan

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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 projecta@dlapiper.com

i : Hundreds of lawyers team up to help Afghans flee Taliban – and navigate complex refugee systems in the West

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.

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