Please note: We draw your attention to the scale of inequality that is in evidence to focus attention on what needs to change to secure equity of access and STATUSNOW4ALL. This new report https://highpaycentre.org/latest/publications/ shows that the median FTSE 100 CEO was paid £2.69 million in 2020, 86 times the median full-time worker in the UK. The figure represents a 17% fall from median CEO pay of £3.25 million recorded in 2019.
Updated 3 September 2021: The Progressive Policy Think Tank: IPPR: Locked out of a livelihood: The case for reforming ‘no recourse to public funds’
Many people in the UK immigration system are subject to the ‘no recourse to public funds’ (NRPF) condition, which means that they are unable to access mainstream welfare benefits. This includes most benefits, tax credits and housing assistance provided by the government. As a result, several cohorts within the UK population are at a serious risk of becoming destitute.
This includes people on short-term visas, those without legal permission to be in the UK, as well as those who have been in the UK for extended periods but are on long routes to settlement.
The NRPF condition has become a subject of considerable controversy in recent years. The widespread job losses since the onset of the pandemic – combined with strict social distancing rules and travel restrictions – meant that many people subject to NRPF lost their income and yet were shut out of key government support measures. The limited nature of this social safety net meant that others were left with little option but to continue working to protect their livelihoods, in spite of the risks to their health. As a result, calls to suspend or abolish the policy have intensified in the wake of the pandemic. The government now plans to extend the NRPF condition to further cohorts of people in the immigration system.
At the time of writing, the nationality and borders bill has been introduced in parliament and has completed its second reading. The bill will implement many of the measures outlined in the government’s ‘new plan for immigration’. This plan intends to apply the NRPF condition to refugees who do not come to the UK directly, as part of efforts to deter individuals from arriving through unauthorised routes (Home Office 2021a).
This briefing will provide an overview of the NRPF policy and how it impacts the everyday lives of people who are subject to immigration control. It will also explore the potential impacts of the proposed extension of the NRPF condition in the nationality and borders bill. Based on this analysis, the briefing paper will put forward a set of reforms to the current system to address some of the most adverse impacts of the current system. Our findings and recommendations are informed by secondary research, data analysis, and a policy workshop held in April 2021, which invited experts across the migrants’ rights sector and local government to discuss the impacts of NRPF and the options for reforming the policy.
Updated 1 September 2021: Sky News – Migrant crisis: How is the UK handling record numbers of migrants crossing the channel in small boats?
The number of asylum seekers crossing the English channel in small boats has been rising each year. In 2021, more than 10,000 migrants made the journey in the first six months alone.
28 August 2021: Guardian: Afghan who arrived in UK at 14 ‘left in limbo’ under Home Office policy
Block on decisions on Afghan protection claims discovered by asylum seeker’s lawyer
An Afghan man who arrived in the UK at the age of 14 after fleeing persecution has been “left in limbo” because of a Home Office policy blocking decisions on all asylum claims from Afghanistan.
The 26-year-old Afghan has launched a legal challenge against the policy.
The block on making decisions on Afghan protection claims for those currently in the UK was discovered when the man’s lawyer applied to upgrade his immigration status from the humanitarian protection he has at the moment, to refugee status.
23 August 2021: Equity: Give Ace a chance! Stop the harassment and threat of deportation facing Ace Ruele who was born in UK
We ask that the Home Office lifts the threat of deportation against Ace Ruele and undertakes an urgent review of his case. We ask that the Home Office returns to Ace his status of indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
Why is this important?: Equity member Ace Ruele, established actor and motion capture specialist, faces the threat of deportation from the UK to Jamaica, a country where he no right of residency or citizenship. His case has all the hallmarks of yet another grossly unfair, racist decision dramatically affecting the life of Windrush era family.
Ace was born in the UK and raised here, but despite having indefinite leave to remain this was revoked following a difficult, short period in Ace’s life when he was engaged in criminal activity. Since this, he has built a successful film career and strong family life and works with a number of organisations, including the Metropolitan Police, advising and guiding young people away from the risk of offending.
Ace could be deported at any minute, tearing his family apart and ruining a career he has forged following his unstable early life. His current residency status of limited leave to remain in the UK is temporary and requires renewal every 30 months at a cost of £2,389.
It is, quite simply, a gross injustice to leave Ace in this situation, and we call on the Home Office to:
1. Reverse its decision, and provide Ace with the status of indefinite leave to remain the UK. This will allow him to continue his significant, positive contribution to the UK’s cultural and creative life and raise his family, confident that his future is secure.
2. Abandon its cruel, racist policy of threatening to make UK citizens stateless, including through deportation to countries they have no right of residency or citizenship to.
3. Significantly speed-up the process of providing compensation to those eligible for payment under the Windrush Compensation Scheme. The Home Office is currently aggravating the experience of Windrush-era UK citizens by unfairly and unnecessarily delaying their lawful compensation.
You can read more about the background of Ace’s case here: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/ace-reule-home-office-deportation-b1841799.html
22 August 2021: Glasgow Live: Devastated family of man who died alone in Glasgow trying to bring his body home to Malawi
He moved to Glasgow after the Home Office refused to renew his application to stay in the UK. It’s understood that Harvey was still waiting for a decision on his application for Leave to Remain before his death and was therefore unable to work.
Harvey, 37, described as a “beautiful person who was always positive”, passed away after falling from the second floor of his flat building.
The family of a much-loved Malawian man who died alone in Glasgow is desperately fundraising to have his body returned home.
Harvey Wittika had been living in the city for around six months after leaving his home in Blantyre, Malawi in 2005.
The 37-year-old, who has been described as a ‘beautiful person who was always positive’, was rushed to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital on August 6 after falling from the second floor of his flat building. He sadly died a short time later.
Police in Glasgow were unable to track down any of Harvey’s and were forced to contact the Malawi High Commission in London who circulated his image among the community. His family was eventually made aware of his death and are now trying to get him home.
Harvey first moved to the UK to study Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire where he graduated with a master’s degree. After struggling to get work in the industry, he was employed as a chef in Wagamama’s and Nando’s in St Albans.
He moved to Glasgow after the Home Office refused to renew his application to stay in the UK.
It’s understood that Harvey was still waiting for a decision on his application for Leave to Remain before his death and was therefore unable to work.
See SNN call for an inquest here: https://statusnow4all.org/we-call-for-an-inquest-into-harvey-wittikas-death/