StatusNow4All Newsletter February 2023

Welcome to this edition of SNN newsletter where we are covering a number of items that will be of interest to everyone involved in migrant and refugee solidarity work.

The first article analyses the government ‘s responsibilities for the racist riot in Knowsley.

The second highlights how four reviews of the hostile environment recently published by the Home Office show that this policy is racist.

The fight for antiracist workplaces and our call for status now for all is the focus of our third article,

while the fourth article shows the strong support of the BFAWU (Bakers, Food & Allied Workers Union) to our campaign and reports an important motion approved by its executive committee. 

Years of refugee policy failure laid the grounds for the Knowsley riot – the government should be made to own it

The scene outside The Suites hotel in the Liverpool suburb of Knowsley earlier this month provided a powerful summary of where the politics of immigration are in the UK at this moment in time.
It is sadly a feature of anxious times that segments of the population will look to simplistic explanations for the threats to their living standards which place the blame on ‘foreigners’ and other minoritized people.
Crafty politicians will have no objection to this tendency, particularly if it helps get them off the hook when it is their policies which have plunged people into hard times.  Prime minister Rishi Sunak gave us an example of this when he included a pledge on stopping refugees entering the country via the ‘small boat’ route in a five point plan outlined as the basis of his government’s programme in January. 
His home secretary, Suella Braverman, has also worked hard to project the refugee issue as something which has to be placed on the same level as double-digit inflation and a stagnating economy in accounting for the woes of the nation.  Her description of refugee arrivals as ‘an invasion’ in a speech in the House of Commons last year has been one of the low points of the British political scene in recent times.
Continue reading “Years of refugee policy failure laid the grounds for the Knowsley riot” 
Home Office review of the hostile environment concedes that it is racist

The home office published a series of reviews of its hostile environment policies at the beginning of February.  An attempt was made to rebrand the approach after the details of the Windrush scandal became public in 2017 as ‘complaint environment’ policies but the older term has remained current.

The four reviews published so far are:
1. Developing an evaluation strategy for the compliant environment: review of internal data and processes
2. Compliant environment: overarching equality impact assessment1.
3. A review of external evidence of the compliant environment: Literature synthesis of external evidence and best use of international examples
4. Right to rent scheme: phase two evaluation 

Continue reading “Home Office review of the hostile environment concedes that it is racist” 
Status Now Network and the fight for antiracist workplaces

Status Now Network joined the Stand Up to Racism and TUC’s national conference Fighting for Anti-Racist Workplaces held at SOAS, University of London, last February 4th. The conference highlighted the role of the trade union movement to combat racism in the workplace, the hostile environment that targets migrant workers and refugees, and the various community interventions to prevent the rise of the far-right movement across the UK.
Refugees and SNN campaigners Loraine Masiya Mponela and Rogelio Braga were invited to participate in the workshop session #Stop Rwanda #Refugees welcome -don’t let scapegoating divide us , where Braga was one of the speakers. He highlighted that the plight of undocumented migrant workers should also be at the agenda of the British union movement. Undocumented migrants with their precarious migration status are subjected to exploitation, racism, and unfair labour practice with limited protection and support from institutions.
Below is Braga’s speech in the Conference.

Continue reading “Status Now Network and the fight for antiracist workplaces” 
The Bakers, Food & Allied Workers Union’s support to the call for status now for all
The president of BFAWU (Bakers, Food & Allied Workers Union), Ian Hodson, was one of the participants in the Status Now Network strategy weekend (held on 27th – 29th January). He found it to be ‘a very inspirational event meeting real leaders and fighters for justice, people who are suffering real hardship but show incredible strength and resilience’.
He wrote this contribution announcing the motion approved by the BFAWU executive committee and stressing their strong commitment to the status now for all campaign:
Having recently attended the Status Now strategy weekend, I was pleased to report back to my national executive about the positive time I spent taking part in developing how we build the campaign and solidarity. I am pleased that our executive has adopted the following motion which will now go to our conference in June this year. It reads as follows:
Continue reading “The Bakers, Food & Allied Workers Union’s support to the call for status now for all” 

Join Status Now Network: We are looking for volunteers to help develop our work on social media

Fight the anti-refugee laws and stop deportation to Rwanda: Sign and publicise the pledge to defend the rights of asylum seekers to find sanctuary in the UK. Hundreds of organisations (including Status Now) and numerous MPs have already signed it but we need to be more! 

Upcoming events
9th March 9am – 5pm, Science Gallery London, Great Maze Pond, London SE1 9GU and online
Immigration after Brexit: where are we going? The conference, jointly organised by UK in a Changing Europe and the Migration Observatory at Oxford University, will look at the current state of the migration system, the issues facing policymakers, and the future trends likely to emerge

16th March 3pm – 7.30pm: Migrant Voice, VAI, 200A Pentonville Road, London N1 9JP
Media Lab: Training sessions organised by our signatory Migrant Voice. Learn how to use social media to tell your story and raise awareness

18th March 2023: Resist Racism – national protest on the UN Anti Racism Day Join the demonstration in LondonCardiff, and Glasgow