====Status Now 4 All Newsletter===
++++++ December 2023 ++++++
As we get to the close of a very eventful year for supporters of migrant and refugee rights, we thank you for all the time and energy that you have given to working for changes that would offer settled status for all. We hope that the New Year will give you the chance to renew your campaigning energies ready for the challenges coming in 2024 to further this campaign for Status Now 4 All!
Celebrating International Migrants Day (18 December) in London
Status Now 4 All plans to mark IMD this year with a gathering Monday 18th at the London headquarter office of Unite the Union (128 Theobald’s Road, Holborn, WC1X 8TN). The event will run from 5 – 9pm.
We will use the event for socialising with fellow migrant and refugee rights campaigners but also to share news about plans for work in 2024. Next year we will be facing a challenging general election campaign in which the mainstream parties will be setting out their intentions with regard to immigration policy.
We will be particularly welcoming friends active in trade unions to discussion. The Migrant Workers Pledge initiated by JCWI has provided hopeful signs of the growing involvement of trade unions in the fight for migrant and refugee rights and we hope our conversations on International Migrants Day will help take this forward.
If you would like to join us on the 18th please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will provide further details.
Here are some recent news items covered on the Status Now 4 All website
1. Rwanda plan deemed unlawful by the Supreme Court
The biggest news last month was the judgment of the Supreme Court on the government’s Rwanda plan. This is our comment on the decision when the ruling became public.
2. Report condemns Home Office for prioritising immigration control over workers’ rights
The Works Rights Centre published a report which described how the scheme introduced to replace free movement rights for EU nationals after Brexit has prioritised immigration control over workers’ rights. According to the report, entitled ‘Systematic Drivers of Migrant Worker Exploitation in the UK’, 321,000 work visas were granted, a 45% increase on the previous year.
The new scheme opened the door to abusive practices which led to scamming by agents who charged thousands of pounds to facilitate the issue of visas. In some instances the jobs promised failed to materialise, leaving people stranded in the UK and with outstanding debts. A report in the Guardian, drawing on the Works Rights Centre study, gave the example of an Indian nurse who, on arrival was told by her sponsoring employer that there was no work for her. Unless she can find another sponsor employer within 60 days she and her family will be deported with debts to pay off for the loan they paid to cover the cost of the visa.
More on this is available here.
3. “We are living a nightmare”: Refugees report dire threat of homelessness as a result of the Home Office ‘moving on’ policy
Big Issue magazine reported that a new crisis of homelessness was looming for refugees in the UK as they were ‘moved on’ from accommodation by the Home Office from accommodation provided during the period when their claims for asylum were being considered. On being recognised as refugees many people were being given just seven days to find alternative places to stay. The chronic shortage of affordable housing was giving rise to an increase in rough sleeping in public spaces just as the winter months were drawing in.
The report states that an additional 6,900 refugees would be added to the homelessness before the end of the year. The crisis would be greatest in big cities, such as London, where local authorities were already struggling to find appropriate accommodation for people in need. Read more on this issue here.
4. Media Training for Friends of Status Now 4 All Campaign takes place in Birmingham
A group of people who are still fighting for their stay in this country (called Friends of Status Now) living in the West Midlands underwent media training on Monday 4th December 2023.
Status Now 4 All Campaign organised the training to help the group members to sharpen their skills on how to tell their story to the media.
One of the Co-chairs for Status Now 4 All Campaign ( https://www.statusnow4all.org ) Mariam Yusuf said “The training was useful for people with lived experience. They will be equipped with skills on how to share their stories with confidence and are comfortable to engage in speaking out”
The charity Migrant Voice (https://www.migrantvoice.org) provided the media training which took place in Birmingham.
Read more here
Status Now 4 All’s Renewing Our Call statement
Have you been able to read our ‘Renewing Our Call’ statement? It sets out our view on the challenging facing migrant and refugee rights campaigners at the present moment and what needs to be done to answer them.