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No-Deportations - Residence Papers for All
Monday 30th October to Sunday 5th November 2023

HO Asylum Transformation Programme Risks Making a Bad Situation Worse

The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee on Friday published a report following an inquiry into the Home Office's transformation programme for the asylum system. As the report notes, the Home Office's asylum and protection transformation programme started in 2021, with four core objectives: improving the 'customer journey'; improving working experience; improving public and partner trust; and creating a flexible, sustainable and efficient asylum system.

The Public Accounts Committee's six key conclusions in the report are as follows:
*Despite the Home Office's confidence that it will clear the backlog of legacy asylum decisions by the end of December, it still faces a huge challenge to do so.
*The focus on streamlining decision-making may inadvertently lead to more flawed decisions, or the withdrawal of genuine asylum claims.
*The Home Office does not have a credible plan for ending the use of hotels to accommodate people waiting for a decision and the unacceptable cost this creates.
*The Home Office is failing to engage meaningfully with local authorities on decisions that affect their residents and already strained public services.
*The Home Office does not have adequate safeguards to protect against the risks of vulnerable people having to share accommodation with strangers.
*The Home Office failed to convince the Public Accounts Committee that it understands the full implications of its programme on the wider asylum system, affecting the ability of others to plan.

Read more: EIN, https://tinyurl.com/3pebx8hn

What are the 10 and 20 Year Rules on Long Residence?

The immigration rules allow people to apply to remain in the UK on the basis of long residence. Those here lawfully can apply for indefinite leave to remain following 10 years’ continuous lawful residence in the UK. Those who had periods of overstaying can apply for limited leave to remain following 20 years’ continuous residence.

What does “continuous” mean in long residence applications?
Paragraph 276B does not stand alone; other nearby paragraphs define some of the words and terms used. Paragraph 276A(a) sets out the definition of “continuous” for the purposes of paragraph 276B.

Read more: Freemovement, https://tinyurl.com/54bebszc

51% of Asylum Applicants – Unable to Find a Legal Aid Lawyer

That is the deficit between the number of new legal aid cases opened (‘matters’) and the number of new applications for asylum. This analysis comes from Freedom of Information data on immigration legal aid matter starts for the contract year 1 September 2022 to 31 August 2023.

A widening deficit - This compares with deficits of at least 25,000 people or around 43% in 2021-22 and 6,000 people in 2020-21. The real deficit will be larger than this because not every immigration legal aid matter is an asylum application. Some will be settlement applications at the end of a period of refugee leave, or one of the few other issues still in scope of legal aid.

Read more: Freemovement, https://tinyurl.com/yeyw3hcm

UNHCR Publishes Recommendations on the Illegal Migration Act

UNHCR has published their recommendations on how the Illegal Migration Act 2023 should be implemented in order to bring it “closer to conformity with the UK’s international obligations”. UNHCR is explicit that its position remains that the core provisions of the Act are inconsistent with those obligations, however notes that the government took the contrary view during the passage of the Bill, making reference to a statement given by the immigration minister on 11 July 2023.

This report really highlights the mess created by the Act. It is useful for UNHCR to publish this now, before the government takes any further concrete steps to operationalise the main parts of the Act. A recent report puts the intended start date for the duty to remove as anywhere between January 2024 and “might well not materialise”. We continue to wait to find out which of those it will be.

Read more: Freemovement, https://tinyurl.com/ydastvfe

Medico-Legal Reports: How to Instruct and Common Mistakes to Avoid

Here, we look at the practicalities involved in getting a good medico-legal report. We have previously explained what a medico-legal report is and that article should be read alongside this one. These reports can be a game changer in cases involving vulnerable clients, but in the current climate it is more important than ever that they stand up to scrutiny and are as strong as possible. This can only be done by ensuring the clinicians that you instruct have appropriate experience, relevant instructions are provided and a thorough review of the report is done. This is to ensure that not only is the report helpful for your client’s case but also that it will be considered to be independent and within the writer’s remit.

Read more: Freemovement, https://tinyurl.com/4buvrrre








When the ‘Tortured’ Become the ‘Torturers’

There is no Greater Evil in this world than when the ‘Tortured’ become the ‘Torturers’. There is no violence to which the Torturers’, will not stoop! It is the mentality of the Concentration Camps and, therein, the Gas Chambers—the ideology of the Pogrom, an organized massacre of a particular ethnic group.

John O Personal Capacity

Institute of Race Relations: Normalisation of Anti-Palestinian Racism

Racism, in essence, involves dehumanisation, the attaching of less value to certain lives. And it can also involve criminalisation, for example by turning one group into a suspect community needing control and harsher punishment. What we have witnessed here since 7 October is a transformation of a knee-jerk anti-Palestinianism into a fully-fledged anti-Palestinian racism permeating politics and British culture on a scale never witnessed before. For now the frameworks of the war on terror are superimposed on anti-Palestinianism, leading to the criminalisation of national symbols and cultural expressions in the diaspora such as the Palestinian flag or the Keffiyeh – moving the British Palestinian Committee to demand that public bodies ‘uphold their legal responsibilities to protect equal participation in democratic and civic space, by defending the rights of Palestinians in Britain and those who stand with our people in a spirit of solidarity and common humanity’.

Over the last two weeks, alongside our regular Calendar of Racism and Resistance, IRR staff have trawled through both the mainstream press and NGO, human rights and civil liberty advocacy alerts, in the UK and Europe, to collate the cases that expose ever more fault lines in the fight against racism. The facts that we have documented in our special Calendar on ‘Anti-Palestinianism, Suspect Communities and the Racist Backlash’ demonstrate the normalisation of anti-Palestinian racism. It starts in law and governance, spreads to cultural institutions and the media. The latter, far from following journalistic codes of impartiality are now complicit in the dehumanisation of those of Palestinian descent who, like Liberal Democrat British-Palestinian MP Layla Moran or the Palestinian ambassador to the UK Husam Zomlot, are expected collectively to account for the actions of Hamas. 

But media coverage, deplorable as it is, has been little more than a reflection of the anti-Palestinian instincts of the government, already embodied within counter-terrorism policing. A counter-terrorism policing document, it was reported in 2020, listed the Palestine Solidarity Campaign as an extremist organisation. (This classification is all the more obtuse given the green light to Palestinian solidarity implicit in the scores of UN resolutions condemning Israel for illegal occupation of Palestinian land and the illegal building of civilian settlements on land taken by force.) 

But what is different today is that the criminalisation of solidarity with Palestine and the dehumanisation of Palestinians are now being reinforced by a Labour shadow cabinet that seems to have lost its moral compass when it comes to defending international law in the Occupied Territories. Cultural centres not just in the UK but across Europe, which are cancelling Palestinian artists, are also complicit, as are universities, now suspending students and silencing dissenting Jewish academics who call for an end to ‘ethnic cleansing’ and ‘genocide’ in Gaza. Sport has not been exempt from the political current, with pro-Palestinian footballers and swimmer Abdelrahman Sameh, particularly vulnerable to disciplinary action or other punishment, and in the case of Sameh, death threats.

Thus, a third element is highlighted in our special Calendar on war and suspect communities, and that is the racist backlash in the Islamophobic and antisemitic incidents that have taken place in Europe. There has been a huge increase in referrals of both antisemitic and anti-Islamic ‘hate crimes’ in London since the start of October (218 this year as opposed to 15 last year and 103 as opposed to 42, respectively). Jewish and Muslim communities feel threatened and in need of extra protection for their institutions. And here again we see the same pattern, where collective blame is placed on Jews for the actions of the Israeli government, or Muslims for the actions of Hamas. We cannot stand by when synagogues or Jewish schools are targets for arson attacks or vandalism, or when staff at a Palestinian takeaway report being too frightened to turn up to work because of daily death threats.

And in all this it is impossible to ignore the global situation – for global racism, that situates the West as ‘collectively superior’ to the fanatical and irrational Orient, is now so imbricated in domestic racism as to make it impossible to unpick underlay from overlay. Tragically, as history teaches us, in times of war, it is innocent civilians who suffer the most, whether it be the secular peaceniks of Be’eri Kibbutz, the 224 hostages seized by Hamas and held captive, the perennially displaced of Jabalia camp or those sheltering in the al-Ahli Arab hospital compound. But this does not mean that we cannot think beyond the current situation, or take the long view. This is not just an asymmetrical war militarily but also an asymmetrical media-complicit propaganda war which systematically obfuscates the roots of the conflict in dispossession, occupation, human rights violations and the breaking of international agreements and laws. We refer IRR News readers to our journal Race & Class that has, since 1976, under the guidance of Eqbal Ahmad, Edward Said and Ibrahim Abu-Lughod tried to rebalance the narrative – revealing, for example, the way Britain’s Balfour Declaration paved the way for Palestinian dispossession and how Hamas, now denounced by Israel for its ISIS-style barbarism, was originally encouraged by the Israeli government so as to undermine the power of the PLO. 

The lesson for anti-racists is that when you dehumanise a whole people, it has a profound effect on the culture and politics of society as a whole. And this is what makes it our duty to push back before it sets a new standard and norm.

Anti-Palestinianism, Suspect Communities, and the Racist Backlash – Time to Take a Stand

Institute of Race Relations - Informing the Struggle for Racial Justice







Thanks to Positive Action in Housing for Supporting the Work of No Deportation's

Positive Action in Housing - Working Together to Rebuild Lives

An independent, Anti-Racist Homelessness and Human Rghts Charity Dedicated to

Supoorting Refugees and Migrants to Rebuild Their Lives.


Opinions Regarding Immigration Bail

36 Deaths Across the UK Detention Estate

UK Human Rights and Democracy 2020

Hunger Strikes in Immigration Detention

Charter Flights January 2016 Through December 2020

A History of

Immigration Solicitors

Judicial Review

Villainous Mr O