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No-Deportations - Residence Papers for All
Monday 31st July to Sunday 6th August 2023

Continuing Conflicts That Create Refugees - August 2023

Deteriorated Situations
Kenya, Niger, Ecuador, Guatemala, Ukraine

* The Colombian government’s June ceasefire agreement with the National Liberation Army (ELN) is set to take full effect in August and will last for 180 days, making it the longest bilateral ceasefire ever concluded with the guerrilla group.

* In Niger, presidential guards seized power from President Bazoum, extending the coup belt spanning the Sahel and deepening instability in the region.

* A crackdown on anti-government protests in Kenya left over 20 people dead as tensions spiked over tax hikes and the rising cost of living.

* In a major blow to Ukraine’s economy and global food security, Moscow withdrew from the Black Sea Grain Initiative before launching a flurry of attacks on the country’s ports and grain facilities.

* Judicial and other interference in Guatemala’s presidential poll sparked a political crisis and protests as external actors decried manoeuvres to alter the country’s electoral process.

* President Lasso imposed emergency measures in Ecuador following the assassination of a local mayor and a fresh spate of prison violence, prompting a violent backlash from criminal groups.
* Aside from the scores of conflict situations we usually cover, we tracked significant developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Moldova, Nile Waters, Peru and Senegal.

Outlook for August 2023
Improved Situations: None
Conflict Risk Alerts: None
Resolution Opportunities: Colombia

Source: International Crisis Group

UK to be Stopped From Spending Aid Budget on Arriving Refugees

The U.K. will be prevented from diverting billions from its aid budget to pay the domestic costs of asylum-seekers because of a new law cracking down on new arrivals, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, or OECD, has indicated.

In 2022, the country spent £3.7 billion — making up 29% of its overseas development assistance budget — domestically, exploiting OECD rules that allow the allocation of refugees’ hotel and other bills as ODA for 12 months. This triggered fierce criticism from aid groups and experts. But a new Illegal Migration Act passed earlier in July, bans anyone arriving without permission from applying for asylum, allowing them to be detained and deported instead.

Now, the OECD has told Devex it believes the legislation breaks the rules for what can be considered ODA. OECD rules state that costs after claims are rejected “are not reportable as ODA, as the individual no longer fits within the definition of a refugee” — meaning the aid budget cannot be spent on them.

Read more: Freemovement, https://tinyurl.com/mry6vnch

Digital technology plays a central role in the ongoing reform of British borders after Brexit, and the 2019 launch of the EU Settlement Scheme was a pivotal moment in this transformation. The EUSS introduced an online-by-default process to apply for immigration status and, crucially, an online-only process to evidence it. The decision letter is not an immigration document. Instead, successful applicants need to go online each time they want to view or prove their status. Last year, the “view and prove” service implemented as part of the EUSS was expanded to other immigration routes. This year, the Home Office confirmed it intends to phase out immigration documents altogether and replace them with online checks by the end of 2024.

These technical changes represent a substantive reform of the immigration system. Previously, status holders got to keep a token of their leave to remain, such as a permanent residence card, a biometric residence permit, and so on. Currently, they get no token and their immigration status is not so much retrieved as generated during online transactions conducted through the gov.uk platform.

Read more: Freemovement, https://tinyurl.com/2njv7svh

Home Office Ordered to Change Rules That Restrict Help for Trafficking Victims

Court rules all potential victims must be assessed for support, after policy disqualified people with criminal convictions
A high court judge has ordered the home secretary to change a key part of a trafficking policy introduced just months ago. In an urgent hearing on Wednesday 26/07/2923, lawyers representing trafficking victims said they were at risk of human rights violations such as slavery, servitude and forced labour if the policy continued. In January the government introduced new rules restricting protection and support for victims of modern slavery.

One of the changes is that potential trafficking victims who have a criminal conviction are no longer automatically assessed for the support trafficking victims can access. This support may include accommodation, counselling and financial assistance. Human rights and anti-trafficking campaigners argue that this exclusion could force some victims back into the hands of their traffickers. They include people forced to cultivate cannabis and convicted in connection with this, people forced into sex work and county lines victims.

Read more Dianne Taylor, Guardian, https://tinyurl.com/2m62hmyb






Which Family Relationships Should Be Recognised?

Heads up for those interested in policy questions I’ve started a series on family immigration, trying to think about some of the fundamentals rather than just the details. Limits can be ‘hard’ and obvious, as with the imposition of a cap or quota.

Or limits can be ‘soft’ and more subtle. The range of recognised family relationships might be limited. Family separation could be justified on public policy grounds in a wide range of situations. Informal controls such as delays, fees and complexity can be deployed. And so on. These indirect controls on numbers may not impose a hard cap or quota but they do render entry and residence very hard or even impossible for many families and thus reduce the number of family members who can actually enter.

Read more: Freemovement, https://tinyurl.com/2nymm9j7

The Home Office is increasingly treating asylum claims as being withdrawn. This seems to be a new policy intended to reduce the asylum backlog. The number of asylum decisions made by the Home Office at first glance appears to be increasing. When we look at the detail of the figures, though, we can see that a growing number of those “decisions” are actually decisions to treat asylum claims as withdrawn.

Worryingly, the immigration rules have also now been amended to widen the circumstances in which officials can consider asylum claims to be withdrawn. The previous version of the rule on treating asylum claims as withdrawn provides that an asylum claim will be treated as ‘implicitly’ withdrawn if the applicant leaves the UK without authorisation, fails to complete an asylum questionnaire, or fails to attend an interview (unless this was due to circumstances outside their control).

The new version adds two additional grounds: Failure to maintain contact with the Home Office or to provide up-to-date contact details; and Failure to attend reporting events unless due to circumstances outside the applicant’s control.

Read more: Freemovement, https://tinyurl.com/mux9usn2 

High Court Provides Vital Guidance After Finding Widespread Failures In Asylum Support System

Mr Justice Swift found that the Home Secretary had breached her duty to provide financial support and adequate housing to prevent asylum seekers from becoming destitute. The judgment also found that the Home Secretary had unlawfully withheld some payments to pregnant women and children under 3 years old.

John Crowley, an Associate Solicitor at Leigh Day, said: "The court has found in no uncertain terms that the Home Office's current system for supporting asylum seekers is unlawful. It is unacceptable that my clients, and so many others like them, had to go months and months without any form of support, forcing them into desperate and horrifying situations. It cannot be right that people legitimately seeking asylum are made to suffer such degrading treatment."

The Home Office will now need to make changes to the asylum support system.

Read more: EIN, https://tinyurl.com/3hnrmah3

Immigration Detention - Permission Granted in Medical Justice Judicial Review

Yesterday at an oral hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice, the charity Medical Justice was granted permission to argue its case at a full hearing later this year, in its challenge to Home Office guidance providing for the Home Office to seek second opinion medical reports for people in immigration detention.

Mrs Justice Heather Williams DBE also granted Medical Justice’s application for a Costs Capping Order protecting the charity against the risk of adverse costs it cannot afford.

The case concerns the Home Office’s Adults at Risk policy, which is a key safeguard intended to ensure that the detention of people who are vulnerable to harm in immigration detention is kept to a minimum. The policy was introduced following Stephen Shaw’s review, which found that vulnerable people were being detained too often and for too long.

The government recently passed legislation (the Illegal Migration Act 2023) which expands its immigration detention powers and makes it harder for people to challenge their detention court. The Adults at Risk policy will be an even more important safeguard once this legislation is operationalised.

Read more: Doughty Street Chambers, https://tinyurl.com/u5cdwvvy

Another Canadian Province to End Immigration Detention in Jails

Ontario’s government is terminating its immigration detention contract with the federal government, the latest in a slew of provinces to put an end to the abusive practice. This welcome news comes as Quebec and New Brunswick also confirmed they are terminating immigration detention contracts with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). This follows cancellations by Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.

Since the launch of the #WelcomeToCanada campaign in October 2021, 8 of Canada’s 10 provinces have made clear their steadfast opposition to the use of provincial jails for immigration detention. “People who come to Canada for a fresh start and a new life deserve a better welcome than a jail cell while paperwork is sorted out,” said Alberta’s public safety minister, Mike Ellis, in January.

The use of provincial jails for immigration detention is punitive, inconsistent with international human rights standards, and devastating to people’s mental health. In a 2021 report, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International documented that racialized people, and in particular Black men, are confined in more restrictive conditions and for longer periods of time in immigration detention than other detainees. Persons with disabilities also experience discrimination throughout the immigration detention process.

Read more: Samer Muscati, Hanna Gros, Human Rights Watch




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