Only seven people were deported to Jamaica on a Home Office charter plane in the early hours of Wednesday morning at an estimated cost of £43,000 a person, despite 90 being earmarked originally for the flight.
Concerns were raised about the UK’s decision to go ahead with the flight due to opposition from the Jamaican government because of Covid worries. Fears were also expressed about the vulnerability of some of those due to fly because of trafficking indicators and mental health problems.
A series of urgent high court injunction applications seeking to block some of the deportations continued almost until the flight took off at 1am on Wednesday morning.
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.
The impact of having their lives put on hold is devastating for refugee friends
This week the Independent published a special report looking at the lives of people seeking asylum, who are forced to live in limbo. As they spend years waiting on a decision to be made on their asylum claim, they live in great uncertainty, banned from working, and at risk of exploitation and abuse. These stories echo the harrowing experiences of the friends of JRS who are battling this hostile system, which is founded on suspicion. As they desperately seek to be recognised as refugees, they struggle to survive.
Data shows over 1,200 people seeking asylum currently in the system, have waited more than five years, with 399 more than a decade.
StatusNow4All network members picked up intelligence about people being summarily snatched when reporting or at home – you will find below a series of updates since then.
Below you will find a petition, a suggested letter for your MP, information about demonstrations, letter from APPG Zimbabwe asking the Government to take note of the dangerous situation and halt the removal of people to that country,
We are reminded that UK Governments over many years have often acted in their own interests, and have broken agreements or made deals with the Zimbabwean Government, regardless of the impact on Zimbabwean people.
Updated 3 August 2021: ZeroCovidNow@ZeroCovidNow1: Undocumented migrants have faced exceptionally harsh conditions throughout this pandemic while being invisible to much of the media and political class. Hear from one undocumented mother, with a young child, about the challenges of the pandemic. #ZeroCovid#StatusNow
The Home Office appears to be in breach of the Brexit withdrawal agreement, says legal charity
European citizens who have applied for settled status are being detained and threatened with deportation, a development that contradicts assurances from ministers and appears to contravene the Brexit withdrawal agreement.
The Home Office has served EU nationals with removal directions even though they could prove they had applied for settled status, which should protect their rights to remain in the UK.
30 July 2021: Guardian: Home Office failed to put in place system to protect detainees with HIV
High court judge issues ruling after man was denied antiretroviral medication for four days
The Home Office failed to put in place systems to protect detainees with HIV, a high court judge has ruled, after a man was denied lifesaving medication for four days.
The landmark ruling found that in failing to adequately care for people with HIV the Home Office breached article 3 of the European convention of human rights, which protects against inhuman and degrading treatment.
28 July 2021: Nazek Ramadan, Director of Migrant Voice, said: “The 70th anniversary of the Refugee Convention comes as the UK government is introducing its new Nationality and Borders Bill which, if passed, would completely undermine the vital human rights protections for refugees and asylum seekers in this Convention.
The inspectors conducted visits to both sites, Penally Camp on 16 and 17 February and Napier Barracks on 17 and 18 February. The ICIBI also returned for a further visit to Napier Barracks on 4 March.
On 8 March 2021 the then Chief Inspector, David Bolt, published interim high-level findings. This report is the fuller final report that was sent to the Home Office. It reflects the department’s factual accuracy checks, and includes forewords from David Bolt, the previous Chief Inspector, and David Neal, the current Chief Inspector.
There is also a copy of a letter sent in March from David Bolt to the Director General of Asylum and Protection.
This link contains
a foreword from the new ICIBI Dave Neal
letter from the previous ICIBI David Bolt to the Home Office, dated 21 March 2021
20 July 2021: European Network on Statelessness: Childhood statelessness in the UK is not currently adequately understood by government officials, legal practitioners, judges, politicians, policy advocates, frontline service providers, local authority staff, and others.
The European Network on Statelessness has been working with its UK members to better understand the causes of childhood statelessness, the children affected, the consequences for them and their families, and what action could be taken to help prevent and reduce childhood statelessness in the UK.
Updated 19 July 2021: On 19 July 2021 the following petition https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/567681 calling for people without settled status to be granted citizenship came to Parliament. The petition gathered more than 100,000 signatures and so will be debated. See below for a link to the Youtube video of the debate, and transcript of the debate itself.
Demonstrations have been held around the country in support of the essence of this petition . StatusNow4All is live-streamed here on our Facebook page : https://fb.watch/v/aq9tSGxAj/, and see photos below.
On 19th July the Status Now Network and Partner Organisations are Planning National Protest Actions to Coincide with the Amnesty Debate at Westminster Hall in London
***Below you will find details of the concern, events where you can protest in London and Coventry + a suggested letter to send to your MP + two leaflets to print off, a googledoc of social media suggestions, and an appeal for stewards.***
Status Now Network will join other organisations in a nationwide protest action while Westminster debates about providing ‘amnesty’ to undocumented migrants.
Status Now Network calls for Indefinite Leave to Remain for all undocumented migrants and those in the legal process living in Britain today. While SNN does not use the word ‘amnesty’ – because of its implication of wrongdoing – we nevertheless support all protest actions which aim to raise awareness of all the debates about routes to regularisation.
The Festival of Ideas will explore our individual and collective visions and plans for strong communities in London.
About this event
Many Londoners are undocumented but rarely have the opportunity to share their experiences. This event will feature art, music, and poetry by people who are undocumented and living in London, reflecting on their experiences and sharing their hope and dreams. You will also have the chance to hear from several Londoners who are undocumented for an in-depth live moderated conversation during the session.