News & Views Monday 29th August to Sunday 4th September 2016  

ILPA Immigration Information Service Update Issue 71

ILPA is pleased to re-launch the information service with its first set of information sheets on the new Immigration Act 2016. This resource contains 15 sheets that focus on specific sections of the Act.   We are also able to give talks and presentations on the new Act for community or voluntary sector organisations, depending on capacity. Please get in touch with us if this is something your group would be interested in.

The Immigration Act 2016: The Immigration Bill completed its passage through parliament and became an Act of Parliament on 12 May 2016, though the majority of its provisions did not come into force on that date.  The initial sheet (1) provides an overview of the changes brought about by the Immigration Act 2016 and explains how and when its provisions enter into force. The follpwing information sheets (2-15) provide more detail on each topic. 

Information Sheets provide general information only, accurate as at the date of the Information Sheet. Law, policy and practice may change over time.  Information Sheets are not a substitute for advice on individual cases and it is a criminal offence to give advice on immigration matters in the course of a business, whether or not for profit, unless appropriately regulated to do so.

Stop Conflating "Refugee", "Illegal Immigrant" And "Immigrant"

The Leicester Mercury must stop using "refugees", "immigrants" and "illegal immigrants" as if they are synonyms. By using these terms as synonyms, the paper is holding out a group of people as hate objects and is inciting hostility towards people based on their perceived immigration status. The Mercury has a responsibility and an obligation to report the news accurately. It also has a responsibility not to incite, stoke or fuel prejudice.

Online Petition:

Calais Chief Wants New Migrant Border Deal With UK

Migrants in Calais seeking asylum in the UK should be allowed to lodge their claim in France, the president of the region has told the BBC. Xavier Bertrand said people living in the camp known as the Jungle should be able to apply at a "hotspot" in France rather than waiting to reach Britain. UK officials currently check passports in France, stopping many from entering. The Home Office said "those in need of protection should seek asylum in the first safe country they enter". Mr Bertrand said under his plan anyone rejected by the UK would then be deported directly to their country of origin.

Read more: BBC News,

Amina Al-Jeffery: 'Locked Up' Woman Must be Allowed to Return to the UK

A woman who claims her father has kept her locked up against her will in Saudi Arabia must be allowed to return to Britain, a UK judge has ruled. Amina Al-Jeffery, 21, who was born and brought up in Swansea, was taken to Jeddah in 2012 by her father, Mohammed, who said he did it to "save her life". Mr Al-Jeffery has denied the allegations at the High Court. But Mr Justice Holman said she had been "deprived of her liberty" and her father must facilitate her return. Ms Al-Jeffery, who has dual nationality, says her father took the action against her will after she "kissed a guy". Delivering the court order, Mr Justice Holman said Mr Al-Jeffery "must permit and facilitate the return of Amina if she so wishes to Wales or England and pay the airfare" by 11 September.

Read more: BBC News,

UKHO CIG: Ethiopia: People of Mixed Eritrean/Ethiopian Nationality

1.1 Basis of claim
1.1.1 Fear of persecution or serious harm by the authorities because of mixed
Eritrean/Ethiopian nationality and/or that they have been arbitrarily or unfairly
denied Ethiopian citizenship on account of their Eritrean descent.

Version 1.0 - 31 August 2016

Published on Refworld, 31/08/2016

Positive Change to Home Office Family Reunion Policy

The Home Office have released their updated policy on family reunion for refugees, see here. Family reunion 'allows a spouse or partner and children under the age of 18 of those granted refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK to reunite with them here, providing they formed part of the family unit before the sponsor fled their country of origin or habitual residence.'  The updated policy now expands the scope of the policy to account for adult children of refugees. Adult children (those aged 18 or over) of refugees will still be refused under the Immigration Rules but the policy now requires:  'The caseworker must go on in every case to consider whether there are exceptional or compassionate circumstances, including the best interests of other children in the family, which warrant a grant of leave to enter or remain outside the Immigration Rules on Article 8 [ECHR] grounds.'

The policy includes references to examples for when the circumstances could be exceptional or compassionate, these include if the applicant: 'would be left in a conflict zone or dangerous situation and become destitute on their own'; 'have no other relatives that they could live with or turn to for support in their country'; or if they 'are not leading an independent life and the rest of the family intend to travel to the UK'. The Red Cross have expressed concern that the change has only been included in the policy and not in the rules. The Red Cross want the government to go further and include the policy in the Immigration Rules.

Posted by: Gherson Immigration,

Illegal UK Entry Arrests Surpass 27,000 In Three Years

More than 27,000 people suspected of illegally entering the UK have been arrested over the past three years, figures obtained by the BBC show. The statistics were compiled from responses to Freedom of Information Act requests to 39 police forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Many of those arrested were found at motorway service stations and truck stops, having hidden in lorries. The Home Office said it wanted "long-term solutions" to illegal migration. Commons Home Affairs Committee chairman Keith Vaz called for "urgent action" to be taken to tackle the problem. BBC home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw says the figures are the most comprehensive yet to be compiled, and highlight the increasing burden placed on police by migrants who have slipped through border controls unnoticed. In 2013, officers made 7,700 arrests for illegal entry. The number increased slightly the following year, and rose to 9,600 in 2015, when many countries in Europe were struggling to deal with the refugee crisis. The total over the entire three-year period, including the first quarter of this year, was 27,800.  This number does not include people arrested for staying longer in the country than their visa entitles them to, nor those detained at ports and airports, who are dealt with by Border Force staff.

Read more: BBC News,

Scotland: New Guidance Issued to Housing Staff Working With Refugees

A new guide to ensure refugees’ right to quality accommodation is upheld has been issued to housing professionals. Published by the Scottish Refugee Council with the support of the Scottish government and the Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland, the updated guide aims to ensure that all refugees and asylum seekers in Scotland are treated with dignity and fairness. The guide is aimed at housing practitioners working in Scottish local authorities, housing associations and the third sector who are assisting the integration of asylum seekers and/or refugees. It provides essential information about people’s rights and entitlements in relation to housing, homelessness and welfare benefits. It also includes guidance and examples of good practice aimed at reducing homelessness among refugees, increasing housing options and improving tenancy sustainment. The guide will help all housing professionals ensure they are fully aware of not only the rights of refugees and asylum seekers but also refugees’ strengths and the important contribution refugees can make to communities. It reflects the many changes that have taken place in asylum policy over recent years including the transfer of the responsibility for accommodating asylum seekers away from local authorities to private contractors and the extension in 2015 of the Syrian Vulnerable Person’s Resettlement Programme. 

Scottish Legal News