Appalling conditions in barracks housing people seeking asylum

Status Now 4 All has a continuing deep concern about the impact on the physical and psychological well-being of people seeking asylum of being accommodated in ‘contingency units’ by the companies acting on behalf of the Home Office. The news items below amplify the voice of those with this experience.

We ask you to write to your MP calling for the use of barracks to be stopped, and for the Home Office to appropriately exercise its duty of care … and make a big noise about this desperate situation: Call for Status Now for All

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EDM (Early Day Motion)1263: Migrant Workers’ Rights

What can you do? Please ask your MP to sign EDM #1263, and to talk about it with colleagues. Thank you

Tabled on 10 December 2020: That this House would like to thank migrant workers who have been at the forefront of the UKs response to the pandemic; believes that recovery from covid-19 must level up migrant workers’ rights; further recognises that the Hostile Environment, particularly No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) and the “illegal working” offence, forces migrants to continue go into work even when it is not safe to do; is concerned that the illegal working offence pushes undocumented migrants to look for employment among exploitative employers who know they are unable report abuse in the workplace for fear of immigration enforcement; expresses further concern that the illegal working offence disincentivises employers from hiring migrant workers and creates a culture of discrimination in employment practices; notes that the exploitation of migrant workers in the labour market drives down labour standards and protections for all workers; and calls on the Government to implement the recommendations in the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants “Work It Out” campaign by scrapping NRPF and repealing the “illegal working” offence.

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Regularise online event ‘Migrant Justice and Racial Justice’ on Friday 18 December 2020

This is the recording of the event:

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Migrant Voice report: Heroes, Threats & Victims

16 December 2020: Migrant Voice:

As part of our International Migrants Day celebrations, we’re launching the first major report to analyse UK media coverage of migration during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Read the report here. https://www.migrantvoice.org/img/upload/Migrant_Voice_Media_Monitoring_Report-December_2020.pdf

For this report, we analysed almost 900 news stories across nine of the UK’s most popular media outlets to answer these questions: Did we really see a shift to positive coverage of migrants, or just those working in the NHS? Which news outlets were best at including migrant voices in their Covid-19 coverage? Were migrants presented as heroes, threats or victims during this unprecedented time?

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High Court finally calls time on asylum accommodation delays

15 December 2020: Freemovement

Everyone who works with asylum seekers knows that the Home Office system for providing accommodation is not fit for purpose. In R (DMA and Others) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWHC 3416 (Admin) the High Court has finally and emphatically recognised this. The judgment will surely have significant ramifications for how the Home Secretary discharges her duty to accommodate destitute asylum seekers.

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Revealed: shocking death toll of asylum seekers in Home Office accommodation

15 December 2020 Guardian: FoI response shows 29 people died – five times as many as lost their lives in perilous Channel crossings

Twenty-nine asylum seekers have died in Home Office accommodation so far this year – five times as many as those who have lost their lives on perilous Channel small boat crossings over the same period.

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Leicester – immigration rules – rough sleepers

11 December 2020 Leicester City Mayor@CityMayorLeic· #Leicester will not collaborate with the Government’s change to immigration rules for rough sleepers. It is unfair, discriminatory and morally wrong to deport someone simply falling on hard times and losing their home.

Danny Myers@dannytmyers·Joining @SadiqKhan and other city leaders, we in #Leicester are kicking back against this cruel policy targeting rough sleepers. @CityMayorLeic & @Leicester_News will not betray our city’s humanity and compassion.

London authorities refuse to cooperate in targeting of rough sleeping migrants

4 December 2020: Freemovement: London authorities refuse to cooperate in targeting of rough sleeping migrants

This week Immigration Rule changes targeting rough sleeping migrants came into force. The Home Office has confirmed that the new Rules will not be enforced until official guidance is published, but the changes have been met with defiance across the board. 

In particular, the Greater London Authority (GLA) has stated that it will not cooperate with the Home Office on this issue:

rather than supporting people to come off the streets, these new rules will punish rough sleepers simply for not having a home. Therefore, the GLA and its commissioned services will not collaborate with such draconian measures.

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Greater Manchester leaders “will not be complicit” in asylum seeker evictions

9 December 2020: Labour List: Greater Manchester leaders “will not be complicit” in asylum seeker evictions

Greater Manchester mayoral and local authority leaders have released a joint statement today pledging that they “will not be complicit” in the Home Office policy of enforcing asylum seeker evictions amid winter and Covid.

Andy Burnham, deputy mayors Bev Hughes and Richard Leese, and nine council leaders have written to Priti Patel to express “profound concern” over those asylum seekers who receive a negative decision soon being evicted.

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AVID: 60+ organisations join our call to close the barracks and engage with civil society

8 December 2020: AVID: Today, we sent a letter to the Immigration Minister and Shadow Home Secretary highlighting the risks of housing vulnerable asylum-seekers in crowded barracks where social distancing is impossible, and urging them to implement community-based alternatives, to avoid further harm. Our letters were co-signed by more than 60 community organisations working with people in detention or seeking asylum.

Read the letter to the Immigration Minister Chris Philp MP

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Human Rights, and Status Now for All

The 7th annual Leicester Human Rights Arts and Film Festival presents Human Rights, and Status Now for All on Thursday, 10 December 2020, 4.00pm – 6.00pm (London GMT)

The Leicester Human Rights Arts and Film Festival invites you to Human Rights, and Status Now for All.

The event marks International Human Rights Day which is observed around the world on December 10, annually. The event will appeal to people interested in community relations, migration, law and politics and those who are interested in how we build better during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Attendees will hear from a number of organisations that are part of the Status Now Network who will talk about why Britain and Ireland must give settled status or indefinite leave to remain to all who are in the UK who need such leave as well as how people in the UK and beyond can support this call.

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UK races to deport asylum seekers ahead of Brexit

6 December 2020: Guardian: UK races to deport asylum seekers ahead of Brexit

From January Britain can no longer return them to the EU, but the rush for the deadline may be denying them a proper screening

Scores of vulnerable asylum seekers, including suspected victims of trafficking, are scheduled to be deported this week as the home secretary Priti Patel ramps up removal operations ahead of Brexit.

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