News & Views Monday 26th June to Sunday 2nd July 2017  
Immigration Detainees Bring Legal Challenge Against £1 an Hour 'Slave' Wages

Ten people detained in UK immigration centres have launched a legal challenge against the Home Office for paying them “slave labour” wages of £1 per hour. The detainees, from countries including Nigeria, Jamaica and Poland, are not covered by minimum wage legislation even though, unlike prisoners, they have committed no crime. The Home Office says the menial work is provided on a voluntary basis to meet their “recreational and intellectual” needs and provide “relief from boredom”.

Lawyers for the detainees have lodged initial legal proceedings known as a pre-action protocol. The Home Office, pointing out that the work is optional, has rejected the points raised but said it would review the rates of pay. Any change would be a significant departure from the existing Home Office position. An internal document on pay rates seen by the Guardian said £1 an hour “seems high” and ministers agreed to pay it “reluctantly”. The work carried out by detainees includes kitchen tasks, cleaning toilets and showers, and litter picking. They are paid £1 per hour, though for some projects this rises to £1.25 per hour.

Read more: Diane Taylor, Guardian,
96% Drop in European Nurses Since Brexit Vote

Official figures show a drop of 96% in the number of nurses from the EU registering to work as Nurses in the UK. In July 2016, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) statistics show 1,304 EU nurses came to work in the UK - this fell to just 46 in April 2017 – an overall decrease of 96% since the EU referendum. The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) said it was “a staggering drop and one that worries the RCM greatly.” Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, has said: “The government is turning off the supply of qualified nurses from around the world at the very moment the health service is in a staffing crisis like never before.” We currently have a huge shortage of nurses, with 24,000 jobs unfilled in England.

The government has made concessions over the past few years to encourage the immigration of foreign nurses coming to the UK by including them on the Shortage Occupations List. However, other areas of UK immigration legislation are acting as a deterrent, such as the introduction of rigorous English language testing. Some medical recruiters consider the drop-in numbers is also due to the huge number of potential foreign nurses failing the English language tests including nurses from English speaking countries such as Australia. These same recruiters also believe that many British nurses would also fail the International English Language Testing System test (IELTS).

Read more: Gherson Immigration,
CPIN - Pakistan: Background Information, Including Actors of Protection, and Internal Relocation

Summary of Issues 

1.1.1 Whether, in general, those at risk of persecution or serious harm from non-state actors are able to seek effective state protection and/or internally relocate within Pakistan. 

Published on Refworld, 27/06/2017

Asylum Research Consultancy (ARC) COI Update Vol. 150

This document provides an update of UK Country Guidance case law, UK Home Office publications and developments in refugee producing countries (focusing on those which generate the most asylum seekers in the UK) between 13 June and 26 June 2017.

Read the full document:
CPIN DRC: Women Fearing Gender-Based Harm or Violence

1.1 Basis of claim

1.1.1 Fear of gender-based persecution or serious harm by (rogue) state or nonstate actors because the person is a woman.

1.2 Points to note

1.2.1 For the purposes of this note, gender-based persecution or serious harm includes, but is not limited to, conflict related and domestic violence and sexual violence including rape.

Published on Refworld, 29/06/2017
CPIN Iran: Zoroastrians

Basis of claim

1.1.1 Fear of persecution or serious harm by the state or non state actors because the person is of Zoroastrian faith or has converted to Zoroastrianism from another religion (or no religion)

Published on Refworld, 29/06/2017
Judge Halts Deportation of More Than 1,000 Iraqi Nationals From US

More than 1,400 Iraqi nationals in the US have been protected from deportation for the next two weeks, because of an order issued late on Monday by a federal district judge. Judge Mark Goldsmith temporarily halted deportations while he considers a class-action lawsuit representing 114 Iraqis who were arrested in the Detroit area earlier this month. Attorneys say the defendants, most of whom are members of the Chaldean minority, could face persecution or death if returned to their country of birth. Islamic State and other jihadist groups have targeted Christians, including Chaldeans, and Shia Muslims in Iraq.

Goldsmith said on Monday that given evidence provided about the “extraordinarily grave consequences” detainees could face if returned to Iraq, he would extend an existing halt on deportations to all 1,444 Iraqi nationals who are subject to orders of removal. “Such harm far outweighs any interest the government may have in proceeding with the removals immediately,” Goldsmith said. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) conducted a series of raids on Iraqi communities following negotiations between the US and Iraq, which resulted in Iraq agreeing, for the first time in several years, to provide travel documents to people the US attempted to deport.

Read more: Amanda Holpuch, Guardian,
Government Seeks to Cut Costs of Immigration Litigation Work

Home Office staff are being 'upskilled' to cut down the cost of immigration litigation work, according to the Government Legal Department's latest annual report. The report, states that the Home Office, in partnership with the GLD and HM Courts & Tribunals Service, is leading on a 'programme of activity' to improve and transform how immigration litigation is handled. The report says: 'The key objective is to drive down costs within appeals and litigation, in particular, reduce the cost by improving processes and becoming more digital, increasing the speed in the system and up-skilling Home Office staff to ensure that work is done at the lowest possible grade.' The government has piloted drafting grounds in-house for non-complex cases, built a new case management system for litigation operations in the Home Office, 'promoted' email and e-fax for pre-action protocols, and designed an allocation system for administrative court cases.

Read more: Law Gazette,

Felix Wamala V Tascor Services – Total of £48,000 Damages

 558.          For the reasons given in this judgment I conclude that Mr Wamala is entitled to damages for physical and mental injuries in the amounts totalling £30,000 as set out in Annex 2 of this judgment, and is further entitled to £8,000 for aggravated damages and £10,000 for exemplary damages as set out in sections G3 and G4 above. Thus the total award of damages will be £48,000. In that regard, and in relation to declaratory and any other relief, I ask the parties to seek to agree on consequential orders. In relation to Reliance’s application for permission to make the proposed September 2015 amendments to the defence, I have set out in section F10.2 above my reasons for considering that as regards the alterations of the MS778 movement notification, the proposed amendments are incoherent. As regards the proposed additional paragraph (iv), seeking to introduce a general prevention of escape justification, I have set out earlier in this judgment my reasons for concluding that no such justification can succeed. In these circumstances, I cannot accept that Reliance is able to surmount the high hurdle which would need to be surmounted to allow further amendments at such a late stage. 

Publilshed on Bailii, 20/06/2017,

Wamala v The Home Office & Anor [2014] EWHC 2039 (QB) (20 June 2014)

17. It informed the claimant that the UKBA was not prepared to defer the directions that were in place for his removal. The UKBA served Reliance Escorts, the second defendant, with an immigration detainee/movement notification Form IS278 for removal of the claimant from Brook House IRC to Heathrow TN3. That contained typed details of the departure date and time as the 24th December at 14:00 hours destination- Uganda and flight number MS778. Both the time and flight number were struck through and manually amended to read 20:30 and QR 2 respectively. There is a dispute between the first and second defendant as to who carried out that amendment.

19. A further claim for judicial review was issued in May 2012. The current proceedings claiming damages for assault were started in October 2012 under reference HQ12 X04 287. In March 2013 the judicial review claim was resolved on the basis that the claimant would not be removed until his claim for damages was substantively concluded.

28. Although the first defendant delegated her functions to a private security firm it cannot be right that such a firm has wider powers than an immigration officer. There is no basis for that in the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. Section 156 (1)(b) is expressly tied to removal directions and provides no power to authorise a detainee custody officer in broader circumstances. Absent any valid removal directions others acting under delegated authority from the first defendant have no power to remove. Schedule 13 of the 1999 Act does not provide a power to remove a person or put them onto or off an aircraft.

48. It is accepted as a result of a response to a part 18 response that no removal direction was issued for Qatar Airways flight QR 002 for the claimant's removal to Doha at 20:30 hours on the 24th December 2011. No notification of removal by that flight was given by the first defendant to either the claimant or his solicitor. There were, therefore, no valid removal directions for the Qatar flight.