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                                        News & Views - Monday 25th November to Sunday 1st December 2013

Sheffield: Demonstrate Against the Immigration Bill

Wednesday 18th December 12 noon

Meet at the bottom of The Moor (near New Market), Sheffield 12 noon
March to the Town Hall then UK Border Agency Vulcan House at

The Immigration Bill being forced through Parliament has been described by one MP as "the most racist piece of legislation I have seen". Home Secretary Theresa May said the aim of the Bill was to "create a really hostile environment" for migrants. Is this the kind of society we want to live in?

The Bill is not yet law: that's why we should protest against it now. We've chosen December 18th because it's International Migrants Day.

We think that the only people who should find the UK "a hostile environment " are those who seek to promote racism and division in the pursuit of anti-immigrant votes

Get your community group, trade union or tenants group to support our protest

Organised by the South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group (SYMAAG)
Email: Website:

Early Day Motion 789: Living Wage Campaign
That this House notes that the very successful living wage campaign was originally launched by The East London Community Organisation (Telco), developed by London Citizens and is now being championed by Citizens UK; congratulates effusively all three organisations for the campaign they have conducted; believes that it is quite wrong that there should be such a disparity between the legally enforceable minimum wage and a wage that people can actually live on; acknowledges there is no evidence that paying a living wage would reduce employment; calls on central government and all local authorities to sign up to the living wage campaign as Tower Hamlets Council and the former and current mayors of London have done; and urges the Government to bring forward legislative proposals to raise and peg the minimum wage to the level of the living wage.

Sponsors: Galloway, George - <>House of Commons: 25.11.2013

Obama Supports Anti-Deportation Protestors

Barack Obama intervened with security staff to stop anti-deportation protestors being thrown out of an public immigration event on Monday in an ironic clash that turned into a debate on the limits of presidential power. Toward the end of a speech to 600 people at the Betty Ann Ong Recreation Center in San Francisco and while promoting the passage of legislation to legalise undocumented workers, the president was repeatedly interrupted by some of the carefully chosen group standing behind him for the cameras.

One heckler complained of families being separated by existing immigration law, shouting "You have a power to stop all deportations". "Actually, I don't," Obama shot back. "That's why we're here. If in fact I could solve all these problems without passing laws in Congress, I would do so. But we are also a nation of laws. The easy way out is to yell and pretend like I can do something by violating our laws ... What I am proposing is the harder way ... to use our democratic process and lobbying to getting it done."

The heckler, thought to be a graduate student at San Francisco State University, was approached by security guards looking to escort him and others from the stage but Obama – who has learned to deal with hecklers at a number of recent events – intervened. "You guys don't need to go," he said. "Let him stay there I respect the passion of these young people because they feel deeply for their families," added the president.

The incident highlights the frustration many immigration campaigners feel at the slow progress of reform legislation, which passed the Senate in the summer with a bi-partisan majority of 68 to 32 but is currently stuck in the House of Representatives. Obama also paid credit to a group of campaigners who have been fasting for a week outside Congress in protest.
Read more: <>, Monday 25 November 2013

Denmark: Children Need Better Respect in Migration and Asylum

The Commissioner is concerned about legislation and practices that are not fully in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, in particular some of the requirements imposed on children when they apply for family reunification. "Although welcome changes have recently been made so as to ease family reunification, it is problematic that children older than 14 continue not to be eligible and that those older than eight have to demonstrate their integration potential." The Commissioner also expressed regret that children's best interest had not been duly taken into consideration in decisions, leading to forced returns of families to their countries of origin. He also cautioned against the possible return of unaccompanied minor migrants to countries such as Afghanistan, having regard to the European Return Platform for Unaccompanied Minors, in which Denmark participates as observer, is aimed at setting up reception facilities for these minors in this and possibly other countries.

After visiting the asylum seekers reception facility of Sandholm, Commissioner Mui?nieks called on the Danish authorities to put an end to the "legal limbo" of rejected asylum-seekers who cannot be deported and who are required to remaining Sandholm, noting that some of them have lived there already for many years. While welcoming the steps taken by the government to provide possibilities for some of these persons to live outside Sandholm, if they cooperate with the authorities, he finds it worrying that some children have had to live for prolonged periods in this centre and have thus been deprived of some of their rights, including the right to access quality education on an equal footing with other children.

The Commissioner welcomed the fact that asylum seekers from Syria coming from areas affected by the conflict no longer needed to demonstrate that they have suffered persecution in order to obtain protection in Denmark and that more than 95% of them do actually receive protection. He encouraged the Danish authorities to follow this approach as long as required and make every effort to contribute to the protection of the increasing number of persons fleeing the conflict in Syria.

During his visit, Commissioner Mui?nieks also focused on the rights of persons with disabilities, particularly intellectual and psycho-social disabilities. He noted that in Denmark persons with disabilities are ensured high-quality care and assistance and support and services in the community. However, he finds it problematic that some municipalities tend to build housing facilities in which too many persons with disabilities live together. While they may provide good material living conditions, such residences fall short of promoting the inclusion in the community and the autonomy of persons with disabilities required by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to which Denmark is a party.

Lastly, the Commissioner is concerned about the excessive use of coercion in Danish psychiatric institutions, including forced treatment, forced medication and the use of physical restraints, sometimes for several days. He notes with interest the work carried out by the Governmental Commission on Psychiatry and encourages the authorities to develop procedures which are more respectful of the human rights of patients.

Nils Muižnieks - EU Commissioner for Human Right

AS (s.55 "exclusion" certificate - process) Sri Lanka

Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber)

125. The First-tier Tribunal made an error of law such that its decision was set aside.

126. We re-make the decision as dismissed on asylum, humanitarian and human rights grounds.

Section 55 of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 does not require a decision on exclusion from asylum to be made at the outset of a hearing and prior to consideration of any other matters.

2. The effect of s.55 is to require a Tribunal in its written determination to decide exclusion from asylum first, before proceeding to address any other head of claim.

3. Deciding exclusion first is merely common sense, regardless of whether a s.55 certificate has been made by the respondent as it determines whether substantive consideration of the asylum claim is necessary.

4. There is no statutory provision akin to s.55 that can be applied when an applicant makes a claim for Humanitarian Protection. However, given the exclusion criteria in paragraph 339D of HC 395 (the Immigration Rules), which are very similar to those in Article 1F(a), a Tribunal should also decide on exclusion from Humanitarian Protection before substantive consideration of that claim. Published on Refworld, <> 21/11/13


Immigration Statistics Quarter 3, July to September 2013

Detention Q3:
At the 30th September, 4,094 peple were detained under immigration laws, 3,115 in Immigration Removal Centres and 979 persons detained in prisons.

In the third quarter of 2013, 65 children entered detention. Of the 63 children leaving detention in the third quarter of 2013, 28 were removed from the UK and the remaining 35 were granted temporary admission or release.

Removals Q3:
3,010 enforced removals

3,832 refused entry and removed

6,744 voluntary departures

There were 23,765 asylum applications in the year ending September 2013, a rise of 2,875 (+14%) compared with the previous 12 months.

Compared with the previous 12 months the number of initial decisions on asylum applications has increased by 14% (+2,261) to 18,830 in the year ending September 2013. Of these, 37% (6,974) were grants of asylum, a form of temporary protection or other type of grant.

At the end of September 2013, 15,438 of the applications received since April 2006 from main applicants were pending a decision (initial decision, appeal or further review). This was 19% more than at the end September 2012.

The HM Courts and Tribunals Service received 9,028 asylum appeals from main applicants in the year ending September 2013, a rise of 8% compared with the previous 12 months.

There was a fall of 20% for family-related visas issued (down to 33,747), while grants of permission to stay permanently increased by 26% (to 59,098). A rise of 138% in family-related extensions of stay (to 36,752) was in large part due to 14,150 extra extensions recorded under the new Family life (10 year) route that would previously have been recorded as discretionary leave.

Contents of statistical release Quarter 3, 2013

Summary points: July to September 2013
Other points to note
Data tables
Before entry
Extensions of stay
Removals and voluntary departures
European Economic Area (EEA)
About this Release
About the figures and other related data

<> Home Office, Published 28 November 2013

ARC: Commentary UKBA January 2013 Nigeria OGN
This commentary identifies what the 'Still Human Still Here' coalition considers to be the main inconsistencies and omissions between the currently available country of origin information (COI) and case law on Nigeria and the conclusions reached in the January 2013 Nigeria Operational Guidance Note (OGN) issued by the UK Home Office. Where we believe inconsistencies have been identified, the relevant section of the OGN is highlighted in blue.

This commentary is a guide for legal practitioners and decision-makers in respect of the relevant COI, by reference to the sections of the Operational Guidance Note on Nigeria issued in January 2013. Source: Asylum Research Consultancy (ARC) Access the report <>here . . . .

Police Misconduct In Turkey Serious Human Rights Concerns

"The police's handling of demonstrations in Turkey exposes once again the long-standing, serious human rights problem of the misconduct of law enforcement officials in the country. It is time for the Turkish police to improve their record of compliance with human rights standards", said today Nils Muiznieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, releasing a report on his visit to Turkey, carried out from 1 to 5 July 2013.

Although Turkey has made important progress in the fight against torture and ill-treatment, the Gezi events in May-June 2013 drew the focus of attention to the Turkish police's systemic problem of insufficient respect for binding human rights standards, an issue that has been repeatedly condemned by international bodies, in particular by the European Court of Human Rights in the past decade. "There are serious, consistent and credible allegations of excessive use of force, in particular excessive and improper use of tear gas and ill-treatment during and after apprehensions. These raise very serious concerns, requiring a determined response from the Turkish authorities, such as clearer rules about the proportionate use of force by law enforcement officials in the context of demonstrations. Safeguards against ill-treatment should be strengthened and the right to free assembly better upheld." The Commissioner underlined that this would also require a review of the current legal framework concerning demonstrations, which he considered too restrictive in a democratic society.

Nils Muiznieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights

Early Day Motion 788: Roma Migrant Communities
That this House notes the significance of the University of Salford's pioneering research into the demographics of the UK's new Roma migrant communities; recommends that the Government carries out an urgent review to address the major shortcomings of its National Roma Integration Strategy; and calls on the Government to send out an urgent instruction to all statutory agencies reminding them of their duty to promote community cohesion particularly by refraining from anti-Roma rhetoric.

Sponsors: Corbyn, Jeremy/ Bottomley, Peter / McDonnell, John / Ward, David / Llwyd, Elfyn / Clwyd, Ann <>House of commons: 25.11.2013

EDM 790: Impact On Family Justice Of Cuts In Legal Aid
That this House is alarmed by the cuts to civil legal aid and its impact on family justice; believes that the removal of £350 million from the civil and family legal aid annual budget is having a devastating impact on family proceedings and harming the children and families involved; is concerned that instead of family proceedings being cheaper and quicker they are now longer and more expensive; understands that the resultant cuts in legal advisers and managers, the rise in the number of persons self-litigating, the highly restricted opening hours of counters in Family Court offices, and the delays in the court process are leading to increasing frustration for those involved; notes that 68,000 children are likely to be affected by the lack of access to legal aid as a result of the high and bureaucratic threshold which has now been set for demonstrating evidence in order to receive legal aid including in cases of domestic violence; and calls on the Government to restore the money cut from the legal aid budget and ensure that fairness and justice for the most vulnerable families in society is its overriding priority.

Sponsors: Llwyd, Elfyn/ McDonnell, John -
<>House of Commons: 25.11.2013

Oboh & Ors v SSHD [2013] EWCA Civ 1525 (25 November 2013)

[Scope of Directive 2004/38/EC /] [Appeal dismissed]

1. This is the judgment of the court to which we have all contributed. It concerns the scope of Directive 2004/38/EC ("the 2004 Directive"), a provision about the right of EU citizens to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States and the arrangements regarding their family members. Article 3(1) makes provision for the grant of a residence card to a defined category of family members. Article 3(2) makes provision for the facilitation of applications by a broader category of family members ("other family members") who are dependants or members of the EU citizen's household. The sole question in these appeals from the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) is whether the appellants can bring themselves within Article 3(2)(a) of the 2004 Directive where the dependency on the EU citizen or membership of his or her household arose only after their arrival in the United Kingdom.

61. We consider that the combination of the clear language and structure of Article 3(2) of the 2004 Directive, the contrast with Article 3(1) when read with the definition of "family member" in Article 2", and the clear statement of the CJEU that the underlying policy of the Directive is not family reunion suffices to justify our giving effect to that clear language and not making a reference to the CJEU. In the absence of a clear legislative purpose discernible in either the Directive (including its recitals) or the jurisprudence of the CJEU requiring us to conclude that the words "in the country from which they have come" do not mean what they state, we do not consider that it is justifiable to make a reference with the consequent delay to the final determination of these appeals and, in all likelihood, other appeals raising similar issues.

For these reasons we dismiss the appeals.

Garden Court Chambers - Immigration Law Bulletin - Issue 350

AS (Afghanistan) & SSHD, C5/2012/1564 [2013] EWCA Civ 1469

1. The question in this appeal is the extent to which (if at all) judges of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber should regard as conclusive decisions of the "Competent Authority" determining that an appellant before them has or has not been a victim of trafficking.

18. In this context it is important to be aware that a decision to refuse asylum is not itself an immigration decision appealable pursuant to section 82(2) of the 2002 Act (any more than a trafficking decision is such a decision). The relevant immigration decision is the decision to remove the appellant under section 10 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (see s.82(2)(g) of the 2002 Act). It is in reaching the decision to remove that the Secretary of State must consider relevant matters including (where relevant) whether an applicant for asylum is a victim of trafficking. No doubt, if a conclusive decision has been reached by the Competent Authority, First Tier Tribunals will be astute not (save perhaps in rare circumstances) to allow an appellant to re-run a case already decided against him on the facts. But where, as here, it is arguable that, on the facts found or accepted, the Competent Authority has reached a decision which was not open to it, that argument should be heard and taken into account.

19. The question whether it should be heard and taken into account has been answered in the negative by the Upper Tribunal. That answer is wrong in law and I would, therefore, allow this appeal and order remission to the First Tier Tribunal for it to consider whether, in the light of the evidence about trafficking, it should allow AS's appeal and remit the matter to the Secretary of State for further consideration.

Published on Bailii, <> 21/11/13


Last updated 30 November, 2013