100 Women Arrested at US Capitol Pro-Immigration Rally
The women, wearing white arm bands and red T-shirts that read, "Women for Fair Immigration Reform," held a rally and then joined hands and sat down in a circle on Independence Ave., which runs between the Capitol and House members' offices.
They chanted slogans including "Yes we can!" and "Si se puede" as police began handcuffing them and loading them into vans. Organizers said some two dozen of the women are in the U.S. illegally.
The protest came as immigration legislation remains stalled in the GOP-led House months after the Democratic-controlled Senate passed a sweeping bill in June with billions for border security and a path to citizenship for millions. Lawmakers returned to Washington this week after a five-week summer recess with no clear way forward on the issue.
Read more: <>USnews.com, 12/09/13
Early Day Motion 488: Home Office Returns Pilot Scheme
That this House deplores the recent Home Office poster campaign running in UK Border Agency offices in Glasgow and London advising people seeking advice to 'go home'; believes that this poster campaign is an insensitive and ineffective way of dealing with illegal immigration and is unlikely to encourage voluntary returns; notes that this is not the only instance of this type of campaign following the heavily criticised vans carrying similar messages; further notes that charities and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have expressed their concerns about the campaign; further believes that this scheme is likely to undermine its stated aims whilst creating an environment of fear; and urges the Government to halt immediately this pilot scheme and to work with local authorities, community groups and NGOs to encourage voluntary returns in a more effective, liberal, sympathetic and humane manner.
Sponsors: Huppert, Julian / Corbyn, Jeremy / Hancock, Mike / McDonnell, John / Shannon, Jim - <>House of Commons: 09.09.2013
Immigration: Detention [Pregnant women continue to be detained]
Lord Hylton to ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the effectiveness of detaining pregnant women, and (2) the views on that matter of the organisations which signed Asylum Aid's Charter of Rights of Women Seeking Asylum.[HL2191]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): Detention is a vital and effective tool in supporting the enforced return of persons with no lawful basis of stay in the UK who choose not to leave voluntarily. This applies equally to pregnant women.
Pregnant women are detained only in limited circumstances, where their removal is imminent and medical advice does not suggest their confinement before the due removal date. Pregnant women who are less than 24 weeks' pregnant may also be detained in the asylum Detained Fast Track process.
The recommendation in the Charter of Rights of Women Seeking Asylum that women who are at any stage of pregnancy or who are breastfeeding should not be detained was not accepted. That remains our position. House of Lords 09/09/13
Immigration: Non-EEA Partners [applications will remain on hold]
Baroness Hamwee to ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the impact on the time taken to process cases as a result of the current suspension of decision-making on non-European Economic Area spouse or partner and child settlement visa and leave to remain applications.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): Non-EEA spouse or partner and child settlement visa and leave to remain applications have been put on hold since the 5 July 2013 High Court judgment in MM & Others, where the only grounds on which the application falls to be refused are the applicant's failure to meet the income threshold (under Appendix FM to the Immigration Rules or the related evidential requirements under Appendix FM-SE). The Home Office is appealing against the judgment and such applications will remain on hold until the legal challenge has been finally determined by the Courts. The Court of Appeal has agreed to the Home Office's request for expedition, but it is a matter for the Court how quickly the appeal is considered. House of Lords 09/09/13
Immigration: Non-EEA Visas
Baroness Hamwee to ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they will take to process any backlog of non-European Economic Area spouse or partner and child settlement visa and leave to remain applications for which decision-making is currently suspended; and whether additional resources will be made available to meet any backlog.[HL2145]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): Once the legal challenge, in MM & Others, to the income threshold under Appendix FM to the Immigration Rules has been finally determined by the Courts, the Home Office will determine, according to the outcome of those cases, how best to conclude those non-EEA spouse or partner and child settlement visa and leave to remain applications, which have been put on hold since the 5 July 2013 High Court judgment. In the mean time, an applicant whose case has been put on hold can withdraw their application and submit a fresh application if, by virtue of a change in circumstances, they can now meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules, including the income threshold under Appendix FM.
House of Lords 09/09/13
Medical Justice Report: Detention Centres [No response as yet]
Lord Hylton to ask Her Majesty's Government what is their response to the recent report from Medical Justice Expecting Change; and whether they have received representations from NHS trusts in the areas where detention centres exist.[HL2190]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what response they have made to the responses of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives to the recent report from Medical Justice Expecting Change.[HL2192]
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether pregnant asylum applicants are always treated as complex cases for maternity care.[HL2194]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): We have not responded formally to the Medical Justice report and have no plans to do so. Home Office Immigration Enforcement, which manages the immigration detention estate, would be happy to engage direct with the two Royal Colleges that expressed concern about issues raised in the report.
Asylum seekers, refused asylum seekers who are receiving support from the Home Office, and victims of human trafficking can access and are fully entitled to the National Health Service without charge.
The maternity care provided to those women by NHS midwives is covered by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines on complex pregnancies and should be the same high standard we expect all pregnant women to receive and this should include the high quality handovers of care between maternity services when women move from one area to another. This supports women receiving personalised maternity care which includes having a named midwife who is responsible for the majority of her care and continuity of care when that midwife is unavailable.
From 2013-14, the Department will also be introducing a maternity and children dataset which will provide details of the number of women who are asylum seekers and refugees receiving maternity care and will provide outcome data for mothers and babies to support commissioning and provision of care.
India: 12 Killed in Rioting between Hindu and Muslim
Hundreds of troops have been dispatched to restore order in a north Indian town after clashes between religious communities left 12 people dead, among them a part-time cameraman shot by a mob.
Up to 800 soldiers as well as paramilitary police were conducting searches and enforcing a curfew today in the town of Muzaffarnagar, about 90 miles north-east of Delhi.
The clashes began 10 days ago when a seemingly trivial incident in a village between two men, one Hindu and one Muslim, escalated and resulted in the killing of three people. Tensions between the communities had been simmering since then and on Saturday a further nine people were killed and many more were injured as tens of thousands of Hindu farmers led a march, demanding justice for those killed earlier.
Read more: Andrew Buncombe, <> Indpendent, Sunday 08/09/13
Movement Against Xenophobia (MAX)
[In a Meeting at Porcullis House, Westminster, London, on Wednesday 4th September 2013, The theme 'creation of a strong coalition to campaign on the issue of immigration and to change the tone of the public debate on xenophobia'. Those *attending agreed the following statement.]
It is with alarm that we are witnessing the development of increasing hostility, xenophobia, discrimination and intolerance towards immigrants.
We are gravely concerned at the tone of public discussion about immigration in the press and from politicians, which is contributing to a climate of hostility and fear. Government, Opposition and other mainstream political parties are directly participating in a race to the bottom in this regard.
Migrants make a substantial contribution to the economy, enrich Britain's culture and improve the standard of its public services. The multicultural and prosperous Britain that exists today has been created through generations of immigration and acceptance of refugees which is not recognised in the mainstream public discourse about immigration and asylum.
We believe austerity measures and public sector cuts are producing real tensions among communities living in deprived neighbourhoods. Those denied access to benefits and services are pushed to the margins of society and are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.
British nationals, long-term residents and their families with spouses or civil partners and relatives from non-EU countries are subject to draconian and discriminatory immigration controls that wreck family life. These measures are splitting up ordinary families through the lack of an arbitrary level of income.
We reject as unacceptable the scapegoating of immigrants that sections of the media and politicians of all mainstream parties participate in. We reject moves to oblige workers and landlords to inform on people's immigration status, measures which will engender an atmosphere of mistrust and threaten social cohesion.
In this context of growing racism, the threat of racist violence has increased against all migrant communities in Britain - with the number of race hate crimes in London and other places rising markedly.
- We call for an end to attempts by political parties, their leaders and the media to exploit racism and xenophobia for their own vested interests.
- We call upon the Government to reject the 'numbers game' politics of immigration and to pursue an immigration system built on human rights and the economic needs of the UK.
- We call for the media to show responsibility and to put an end to the publication of sensational and unfounded stories which incite racial hatred and hatred towards migrants and refugees.
- We will defend the right of refugees to seek asylum in the UK under the 1951 Geneva Convention. We insist that while seeking asylum, people should be treated with respect and afforded fundamental liberties.
- We call for an amnesty for irregular migrants in the UK, allowing them to work and pay taxes, thus contributing fully to society.
- We pledge to resist any attacks on human rights. Any such attack on the European Convention on Human Rights or domestic legislation would be primarily aimed at immigrants and then used against ordinary British people.
- We pledge to speak out against racism and xenophobia and to defend migrant communities and refugees.
We want to live in a civilised society where people, irrespective of background, are valued and treated with respect. We are migrants, descendants of migrants and 'indigenous' British people. We stand together for a diverse and inclusive society. We believe we can live together with dignity and peace, learning from each other's differences and contributing to a better place for us and future generations to live in.
Join with us in rejecting this move towards intolerance, and join the fight for a more inclusive UK.
The next meeting of MAX will be held in three weeks time on Wednesday 25th September
The meeting will be open to Community/Faith groups /Migrant Friendly NGOS/ Trade Union branches
If you wish to attend or need more information Contact:
Guy Taylor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Campaigns & Communications
JCWI, 115 Old Street, London EC1V 9RT
Initial MAX launch Meeting at Porcullis House, Westminster, London, 4th September 2013
*Present at the meeting were:
Lee Jasper, SLIM
Saira Grant, JCWI
Nazek Ramadan, Migrant Voice
Ruth Grove-White, MRN
Season Butler, Counterfire
Lindsey German, STW / People's Assembly
Jack Tan, JUST West Yorkshire
Pauline Walcott, Strickly Roots
Hilary Brown, Society of Black Lawyers
Joseph Choonara, SWP
Steve Green, BritCits
Sonel Mehta, BritCits
Mohammed Khaled Noor, Muslim Professionals Forum
Dave Weaver, 1990s Trust
Peter Herbert, Society of Black lawyers
Habib Rahman, JCWI
Guy Taylor, JCWI (chaired the meeting)
G4S Occupation Activists Acquitted
At the end of August, at Horsham Magistrates' court, two campaigners were acquitted of aggravated trespass – an eight-hour occupation of the roof of the G4S Surrey HQ in July 2012.
Chris Osmond and Shiar Youssef, from No Borders and the Boycott Israel Network, occupied the roof of the G4S HQ in leafy Surrey to highlight the security giant's track-record of unlawful activities and human rights abuses, in UK immigration detention centres run by G4S where unlawful restraint techniques are reportedly used, and in Israeli prisons serviced by the company where Palestinian political prisoners are held and allegedly tortured in breach of international law.
Read more: <> IRR News 12/09/13
Religious Riots Displace 10,000 In Northern India
Around 10,000 people have been forced to leave their homes in northern India since religious riots erupted five days ago, the Times of India reported on Thursday, in a sign of rising tension between Hindus and Muslims ahead of a general election due by May.
More than 31 people were killed in clashes in Muzaffarnagar district, 130 km (80 miles) northeast of New Delhi in the state of Uttar Pradesh, which were reported to have broken out on Sept. 7 after a meeting of thousands of Hindu farmers calling for justice over the killing of three men who had objected to a woman being harassed by a Muslim.
Read more: <>Alert Net, 12/09/13
Inspection of Pennine House STHC at Manchester Airport
Contractor: Tascor/Last inspection: 4-5 October 2011/Escort provider: Tascor
Overview from the report (Inspectors made 25 recommendations)
Pennine House is a short-term holding facility run by the private contractor Tascor on behalf of the Home Office. The facility is one of only two residential short term holding facilities in the immigration estate (the other is Larne House in Northern Ireland). Pennine House is located land side at Manchester Airport's Terminal 2. The facility holds adult foreign nationals subject to immigration control against whom the Home Office is taking enforcement action. Thirty-two detainees could be held in eight rooms.
Many detainees arrived from police stations after being picked up in the community. Some were moved between immigration removal centres, while others had been refused entry to the UK at the airport and were waiting to fly to their country of origin.
We were disappointed to find that little had changed since our last visit in 2011. Male detainees felt safe, but we were concerned that men and women were held together and shared the same facilities. Little was done to address the specific needs of women. In the three months before our inspection logs showed that people were detained on 1035 occasions. This included 94 women. Exhausting and unnecessary overnight transfers were common. The facility remained austere and had no natural light. While this was not problematic for those held for a few hours, it was unsuitable for those detained for days at a time. Activities were adequate for short-stay detainees. Detainees had good access to phones but there were excessive and unnecessary restrictions on internet use. The Independent Monitoring Board visited the facility regularly.
Unannounced Inspection STHC at Manchester Airport
by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, 13–14 May 2013, published 11/09/13
Contractor: Tascor/Last inspection: 2–3 March 2010/Escort provider: Tascor
Overview from the report (Inspectors made 22 recommendations)
Manchester airport is the UK's third busiest airport in terms of passenger numbers and the largest outside London. It caters for flights to and from 200 destinations around the world, the busiest route being Dubai serving almost 700,000 passengers. The short-term holding facility is in Terminal 2, adjacent to the arrivals hall, and is run by the private contractor Tascor on behalf of the Home Office. Many detainees arrived directly from flights and were held after being refused entry to the UK.
We were disappointed to find that many of our recommendations from our 2010 inspection had not been addressed. For example, men and women were held together in a single holding room and a number of detainees were unnecessarily handcuffed when they were transferred to the neighbouring residential facility Pennine House. However, detainee custody officers remained courteous and attentive to those in their custody.
In the three months before the inspection, 284 detainees were held, 16 of them for over 12 hours, which was inappropriate given the conditions in the facility. We were concerned that unaccompanied children and families with children continued to be held for long periods, sometimes overnight. Seven unaccompanied children were held in the three months before our inspection, the longest for almost 20 hours. The Home Office had taken appropriate steps to protect victims of trafficking and prosecute traffickers. An Independent Monitoring Board had regular oversight of the facility.
Lib/Dem MP to Quit Over Hostile Welfare/Immigration Policies
Nick Clegg suffered a big setback on Sunday when the former minister Sarah Teather accused him of backing Conservative policies on welfare and immigration as she announced she is quitting Parliament.
The 39-year-old MP undermined Mr Clegg's pitch for the 2015 election, at which the Liberal Democrats will promise a "fairer society" as well as a "stronger economy" and argue that they have diluted the "nasty party" agenda of the Conservatives inside the Coalition.
Ms Teather said she felt "frustrated and disappointed" and that "something broke" inside her when the Lib Dems backed the £26,000-a-year welfare cap for families. She became "catastrophically depressed" and "utterly desolate" when Mr Clegg announced that some immigrants would need to pay a £1,000 bond when making a visa application.
Read more: Andrew Grice, <> Indpendent, 089/09/13
Garden Court Chambers - Immigration Law Bulletin - Issue 340
Scottish Parliament - Motion Condemning UK Home Office
Motion S4M-07552: Condemning the Home Office's Go Home Poster Pilot
That the Parliament strongly condemns the actions of the Home Office in, it considers, trying to intimidate and harass asylum seekers, many of whom have fled their homeland in terror, into going back to their home country; understands that its Brand Street office in Glasgow is part of a pilot scheme in which leaflets and posters with slogans such as "Go Home" are plastered across a room where asylum seekers have to wait to sign on and from which the public is barred; further understands that there is even a poster of an aeroplane with the message "The plane can take you home. We can book the tickets" and another showing a person sleeping on the streets with the message "Is life here hard? Going home is simple"; deplores what it considers this attempt to instil fear and intimidate some of the most vulnerable people in society; urges the UK Border Agency to immediately cease what it considers this abhorrent pilot scheme, which is also taking place in Hounslow, London, and believes that Scotland should have a humane asylum system that recognises the inherent worth of all human beings, regardless of where they used to call home, and supports them in making a life here in Scotland.
Supported by: Bill Kidd, Dennis Robertson, Joan McAlpine, John Mason, Patrick Harvie, Marco Biagi, Rob Gibson, Richard Lyle, Christina McKelvie, Stuart McMillan, Kevin Stewart, Jean Urquhart, John Finnie, Christian Allard, Chic Brodie, Fiona McLeod, Jamie Hepburn, Adam Ingram, Gil Paterson, Roderick Campbell, Mark McDonald, Annabelle Ewing, Sandra White, Aileen McLeod
James Dornan, Glasgow Cathcart, Scottish National Party,
<>Date Lodged: 30/08/2013
Immigration Rules [statement of changes ]
The Minister for Immigration (Mr Mark Harper): My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary is today laying before the House a statement of changes in immigration rules as set out below.
I will expand the process of genuineness assessments and interviews to tier 1 (general), tier 2 (minister of religion), and tier 5 (temporary worker) applications for entry and leave to remain, and to tier 4 students applying for further leave to remain. I will also be replicating for tier 4 in-country extensions the existing power to refuse applications where the applicant cannot speak English. We will add Barbados to the list of countries whose nationals benefit from different documentary requirements and are exempt from the genuineness test when applying for a tier 4 visa.
I am making several small changes to economic routes to make them more attractive and more flexible for businesses. These changes include new provision in tier 1 for artists of exceptional promise, removing the English language requirement for intra-company transferees, making it easier for graduate entrepreneurs to switch into tier 2, and waiving share-ownership restrictions for senior staff earning £152,100 or more.
I will also be introducing flexibility for tourists and business visitors to undertake some study where it is incidental to the main purpose of their visit, as well as increasing the permissible activities a business visitor can undertake in the UK. I am retaining the student visitor route for those whose purpose in coming here is for short-term study. The prospective student route is being removed because it is little used and anomalous.
I am adding Hong Kong to the list of participating countries and territories on the UK's youth mobility scheme, further strengthening business, trade and cultural ties between us.
I am introducing rules to give effect to the Secretary of State for Defence's statement to this House of 4 June 2013, which provides for some locally engaged staff, who have been or will be made redundant as a result of our draw down, to relocate to the UK in recognition of the unique contribution they have provided to the UK's efforts in Afghanistan. The new rules allow eligible applicants, their spouse/partner and their minor dependent children to be granted a period of five years' leave to enter if their character and conduct is satisfactory.
In line with the statement of intent "Knowledge of language and life in the UK for settlement and naturalisation" published on 8 April, I am also making changes to the way in which applicants for indefinite leave to remain are required to demonstrate their knowledge of the English language and of life in the UK, together with necessary consequential amendments. These changes will come into effect on 28 October.
I am making changes to slow the path to settlement for refugees, and those granted humanitarian protection, who have committed crimes. Applications for settlement from refugees will be refused for 15 years from the date of their sentence if they have been sentenced to over 12 months' imprisonment; for seven years if they have been sentenced to up to 12 months' imprisonment; and for two years if they have been given a non-custodial sentence. Discretion to delay the route to settlement will apply in the case of repeat offenders.
I am creating new temporary immigration rules to facilitate the entry and stay of certain Commonwealth games participants and personnel during the 2014 Commonwealth games.
I am making minor changes and clarifications to the immigration rules, including those relating to family life.
I am making minor changes to repeal measures that are no longer required.
I am making a minor change to the curtailment rules. This change adds a power to curtail leave where a migrant's offending is persistent or causes serious harm. The change supports the Home Office in its work to take tough action against those who commit offences while here.
I am making changes to the rules for dependants in the points-based system and other work routes, following the High Court judgment in R-(on the application of Zhang) v Secretary of State for the Home Department. The changes will allow dependants to apply from within the UK, providing they are not here illegally, as visitors, or on temporary admission or temporary release. They will still need to satisfy all other existing requirements.
I am making changes to the visit visa requirement for Kuwaiti nationals holding diplomatic and special passports issued by Kuwait. When travelling to the UK for the purpose of an official or general visit, they will no longer have to obtain a visit visa to travel to the UK.
House of Commons / 6 Sep 2013 : Column 36WS