News & Views Monday 28th August to Sunday 3rd Septembert 2017  
Mental Illness in Young Undocumented Children 'Doubles When Facing Deportation'

Mental illnesses suffered by the children of undocumented immigrants to the US drops by half if those youngsters no longer face the threat of deportation, researchers have claimed. As Donald Trump weighs scrapping a scheme introduced by his predecessor that has allowed hundreds of thousands of children and young adults without documents to remain in the country and study, researchers said they found that removing the stress of possible deportation had a major impact on mental health. The Stanford Immigration Policy Lab, a research group that uses data to present policy options on immigration, sought to look at the impact of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) scheme, which was introduced in 2012 by Barack Obama. Currently up to 800,000 children and young people - the so-called “dreamers” - are permitted to remain under the scheme.

Read more: Andrew Buncombe, Independent,

Brook House IRC Nine G4S Staff Suspended

G4S has suspended nine members of staff from an immigration removal centre near Gatwick Airport, following a BBC Panorama undercover investigation. The programme says it has covert footage recorded at Brook House showing officers "mocking, abusing and assaulting" people being held there. It says it has seen "widespread self-harm and attempted suicides" in the centre, and that drug use is "rife". G4S said it is aware of the claims and "immediately" began an investigation. The security firm said it had not been provided with recorded evidence, but added: "There is no place for the type of conduct described."

Read more: BBC News,

UK Attempt to Deport Samim Bigzad: Fails After Pilot Refuses to Carry Him

The deportation of a young Afghan man refused asylum by the Government has been dramatically stayed after the pilot of the plane he was supposed to be removed on refused to take off, until he was removed from the plane. Samim Bigzad’s friends and family feared their efforts to prevent him being forced back to Kabul had failed when he was detained and booked on commercial flight to Afghanistan via Istanbul.

Campaigners travelled to Heathrow Airport to talk to unwitting passengers due to be on the same Turkish Airlines flight, in the hope they would raise objections to crew members. Bridget Chapman, who organised the trip, said activists “very quietly” approached tourists at the check-in gate to explain their flight was being used to forcibly deport Mr Bigzad. “We asked people to do whatever they were comfortable with raising it with airline staff,” she told The Independent. “Pilots have a duty of care towards their passengers, so if they feel there’s a passenger at risk or who will disrupt the flight, they are obliged to ensure they don’t fly on the plane. Samim is now back in detention.

Read more: Lizzie Dearden,

Help Adopted Brummie - Brian White Remain in the UK

Brian White moved to the UK aged 15 with his adoptive family after his British father, Peter White, decided to move back home. He has overcome so much adversity but now faces the risk of being returned to Zimbabwe instead of being allowed to take up his place at Oxford University.

Having been abandoned as a baby, Brian lived in a Zimbabwean orphanage until the age of 6. The White family fostered, and later adopted Brian. Brian joined the family in Wolverhampton when he was 15 and given permission to enter the UK.

At this point, he should have been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain by the Home Office, but was instead given Limited Leave to Remain. Brian's current difficulties stem from the handling of this decision. This only came to light as an issue when Brian's application to become a British Citizen by naturalisation was rejected, leaving any potential university applications in doubt. Immigration expert Louis MacWilliam has said to the press “On reviewing his papers it seems he should have been granted indefinite leave to enter at first instance and it is not clear why this did not happen.”

Despite this, Brian carried on, studying for both his GCSEs and A-Levels at Highfields School. Although his A-Level results were outstanding (A*A*A*A), Brian was unable to take his place at Oxford because if you don’t have indefinite leave to remain you aren’t eligible to receive student finance. However, Oxford University, in recognition of Brian's achievements in the face of constant adversity, have kindly kept his place open for him.
I have had the personal pleasure of knowing Brian since the start of 2013, having met him at school and quickly developing a close friendship with him. He is possibly the hardest working person I have ever met, but it is his enthusiasm to help those around him that I am inspired by each and every day.

If Brian is not granted Indefinite Leave to Remain, the United Kingdom would not only be losing a potentially valuable future worker, it would also be losing a fantastic person who is just as much a part of British culture and society as you and I.Please help Brian's situation by signing and sharing this petition, in the hope that the Home Office see just how many people consider Brian a fitting and valued member of the United Kingdom.

You can sign the petition here:

Readmission of EU Nationals to Attend Deportation Appeal Hearings

The UK now removes EU citizens and family members before their deportation appeal takes place. Obviously, this interferes with the life that the person has established in the UK (job and home may be lost, for example), in effect prejudges the outcome of the appeal, has a drastic impact on family members and also interferes somewhat with preparing the appeal. However, it is possible for such an individual to re-enter the UK for the purpose of attending the appeal hearing, for example to give evidence. This tribunal case addresses the test for readmission and the procedure.

The official headnote:
 1. An application for Temporary Admission pursuant to reg 29AA of the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2006 must be granted unless the applicant’s appearance may cause serious troubles to public policy or public security. Proportionality is not the test, and the cost of facilitating the applicant’s appearance is not a relevant consideration. The test is whether it can be said properly that there is the necessary basis for refusing leave pursuant to para 29AA(3).

 2. “Appearance”, in this context, means presence in the UK for the purpose of attending the hearing (Kasicky doubted).

 3. Where admission is granted for this purpose it must take place within a reasonable time to allow the applicant properly to instruct his solicitors. Normally, some 2 or 3 days before the hearing will be required.

Source: Freemovement,

Asylum Q2 April/May/June 2017

In the year ending June 2017, 16,211 people were granted asylum, resettlement or an alternative form of protection. There were 9,350 grants of asylum or an alternative form of protection following an in-country application, and an additional 6,861 people were provided with protection and support under a resettlement scheme in the UK. In total, this is a 7% increase from 15,108 in the previous year.

Asylum applications in the UK from main applicants decreased by 25% to 27,316 in the year ending June 2017.

There were 2,944 asylum applications from UASC in the year ending June 2017, a 17% decrease compared to the previous year (3,545). Overall, UASC applications represented 11% of all main applications for asylum.

Of the 22,982 initial decisions on asylum applications from main applicants, 34% were grants of asylum or an alternative form of protection, compared to 38% in the previous year. A separate Home Office analysis shows that for the years 2013 to 2015, on average 37% of decisions were granted initially, but this proportion rose to 52% after appeal.

There were 1,096 grants of asylum or an alternative form of protection to Syrian nationals at initial decision in the year ending June 2017 and an additional 5,637 Syrian nationals were granted humanitarian protection under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS). Since this scheme began in 2014, a total of 8,535 people have been resettled.

In 2016, the largest number of applications for asylum came from nationals of Iran (4,184), followed by Pakistan (2,870), Iraq (2,672), Afghanistan (2,329), and Bangladesh (1,944).

Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children

A UASC is a person under 18, or in the absence of documentary evidence establishing age, appears to be under 18, who is applying for asylum in his or her own right and has no relative or guardian in the United Kingdom.

There were 2,944 asylum applications from UASC in the year ending June 2017, a 17% decrease compared to the previous year (3,545). Overall, UASC applications represented 11% of all main applications for asylum.

Of the 1,691 initial decisions relating to UASC made in the year ending June 2017, 50% were grants of asylum or another form of protection, and 29% were grants of temporary leave (UASC leave). UASC applicants that are refused will include those from countries where it is safe to return children to their families, as well as some applicants who were determined to be over 18 following an age assessment.

 Support Provided To Asylum Seekers

At the end of June 2017, a total of 38,954 people were receiving a cash allowance, somewhere to live, or both, in the UK (under Section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999). This number has increased from 37,030 at the end of June 2016. The total figure remains considerably below that for the end of 2003 (the start of the published data series), when there were 80,123 people in receipt of Section 95 support.
In addition to those asylum seekers who apply in the UK, resettlement schemes are offered to those who have been referred to the Home Office by The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

On 7 September 2015, an expansion to the existing VPRS was announced. Through this expansion, it was proposed that 20,000 people in need of protection be resettled in the UK by 2020. So far 8,535 people have been granted humanitarian protection under the VPRS since the scheme began, and in the year ending June 2017, 5,637 people were resettled under the VPRS across 246 different local authorities. Around half (51%) of those resettled under the VPRS were under 18 years old (2,872), and around half (47%) were female (2,670).

International Comparisons

Including dependants, there were an estimated 914,900 asylum applications to the EU in the year ending June 2017, a decrease of 40% compared to the year ending June 2016 (1,536,400).

Country of application             Total applications        Total positive decisions
Germany                                             722,265                       433,910
Italy                                                     121,185                       35,400            
France                                                75,990                         28,750
Greece                                                49,875                         2,710
Austria                                                 39,860                         30,370
United Kingdom                                   39,357                         9,944

Enforced Returns of EU Nationals

EU nationals may be returned for not exercising, or abusing, Treaty rights or for deportation on public policy grounds (such as criminality).

There were 20% more enforced returns (5,301) of EU nationals in the year ending June 2017 compared with the previous 12 months (4,424), and 26% more EU nationals were refused entry at port and who subsequently departed (2,726 compared to 2,158). Nationals of Romania and Poland counted for 60% of EU enforced returns compared to 57% the same time a year ago.

Source: Home Office Statistical Release Q@/2017 -

Currently Recorded Outcomes For 2016 Applications

The outcomes for the 30,747 main applicants who applied for asylum in 2016, as with previous cohorts, will be updated in subsequent annual reports. However, as at May 2017, it is estimated that 7,370 (24%) main applicants were ultimately granted asylum, humanitarian protection or discretionary leave, either at initial decision or after appeal; 11,163 (36%) were refused or withdrawn; and two-fifths (40%; 12,214) were awaiting confirmation of an initial decision or appeal outcome.

Source: Home Office Statistical Release Q2/2017 -

Naturalisation as a British Citizen: Concepts and Trends

In 2016, just over 149,400 foreign nationals naturalised as British citizens. This is an increase on 2015 – which saw the lowest annual number since 2002 – but it is lower than the period between 2009 to 2013.

8% of citizenship applications were rejected in 2016. The majority of refusals since 2002 have been because of failure to meet either the residence or the ‘good character’ requirements. English language requirements and the Life in the UK test account for a small percentage of rejected naturalisation applications but may deter additional potential applicants.

52% of naturalisations in 2016 were of foreign nationals who have lived in the UK for the required five years, plus one additional year as a settled resident. Most of the other 48 per cent is split between spouses and civil partners of British citizens and minor children registering as citizens.

Amongst those naturalising in 2016 the largest groups in terms of previous citizenship were from India (16% of the 2016 total), Pakistan (11%), Nigeria (7%), and South Africa (3%). Only 12% of grants were to EU nationals, though applications from EU nationals were at their highest.

Source: Migration Observatory,

UNHCR Detention Checklist

The Global Strategy Beyond Detention 2014-2019 lays out three main goals: (1) to end the detention of children; (2) to ensure that alternatives to detention (ATDs) are available in law and implemented in practice; and (3) to ensure that conditions of detention, where detention is necessary and unavoidable, meet international standards by, inter alia, securing access to places of immigration detention for UNHCR and/or its partners in order that they can carry out regular monitoring.

This tool has been developed under the framework of the Beyond Detention strategy to support operations and partners to measure progress towards eliminating instances of arbitrary detention on asylum-seekers and other persons of concern in the immigration context, support the development and implementation of alternatives to detention and assess compliance of state legal frameworks and practice around immigration detention with international standards.

Source: UNHCR,

Deported Irene Clennell to Return to Husband of 27 Years

A woman who was deported despite being married to a British man for 27 years is to be allowed back into the UK. Irene Clennell, who lived with her husband John in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, was sent back to Singapore in February because she had a visitor's visa. Mrs Clennell said she felt like she had been treated like a "terrorist".

Although Mrs Clennell was granted indefinite leave to remain in 1992, the couple lived together in Singapore for a number of years. When Mr Clennell returned to the UK with their two sons, she stayed to care for her parents. Repeated re-applications for permission to stay, both from Singapore and after she managed to return to the UK, had all been rejected.  Speaking after being deported, Mrs Clennell said: "It is a bloody disgrace, they treat me like a terrorist and anything else under the sun. They embarrass me in front of everybody, the only thing I did wrong was marry a British man and want to stay in the country with my kids and my husband."

In a statement, the Home Office statement said: "Mrs Clennell has been granted a visa as a spouse as her latest application meets the immigration rules to enter the UK. This does not negate the previous decision which was the result of Mrs Clennell having entered the UK as a visitor, overstaying her leave to remain and making several applications while in the UK which did not meet the immigration rules. During that time, it was open to her to leave the UK voluntarily at any time in order to reapply under the correct route as she has now done." A spokesman for the Home Office said the 53-year-old had now been granted a spouse's visa.

BBC News,

What is the Law Governing the Deportation of EU Nationals?

Where a European national commits a crime in the UK and is sentenced to a term of imprisonment, they will often be subject to deportation proceedings. The protections afforded to them (and to British nationals who commit crime in European countries) are contained within a European Directive (2004/38/EC of 29 April 2004), and brought into domestic law by the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016.

We consider the protections afforded to European nationals against expulsion from the UK, the circumstances in which the protection can be invoked (and, arguably, lost), and consider the future of deportation law for European nationals if and when the UK leaves the Union.

Read more: Nick Nason, Freemovement,

Reports on Short-Term Holding Facilities - Luton, Stansted & Loughborough

Published 31st August 2017, by HM Inspector of Prisons

Stansted Airport short-term holding facility

Report on an unannounced inspection of the short-term holding facility at Stansted Airport (19 April 2017)
At our inspection in 2013, we made 28 recommendations, eight of which we found at this inspection were achieved, four partially achieved and 16 not achieved.

Loughborough short-term holding facility

Report on an unannounced inspection of the short-term holding facility at Loughborough, East Midlands (18 April 2017)
At our inspection in 2013, we made 10 recommendations, four of which we found at this inspection were achieved, one was partially achieved and five not achieved.

Luton Airport short-term holding facility

Report on an unannounced inspection of the non-residential short-term holding facility at Luton Airport (18 April 2017)
At our inspection in 2013, we made 16 recommendations, three of which we found at this inspection were achieved, four were partially achieved and nine not achieved.

Deportation/Detention Q2 April/May/June 2017

The number of people entering detention in year ending June 2017 decreased by 12% to 27,819 from 31,593 in the previous year. Over the same period there was a 13% decrease in those people leaving detention (from 32,067 to 27,862).

As at the end of June 2017, 2,994 (of which, 2 were children) people were in detention, 4% more than the number recorded at the end of June 2016 (2,878). In addition, as at 26 June 2017, there were 360 detainees held in prison establishments in England and Wales solely under immigration powers as set out in the Immigration Act 1971 or UK Borders Act 2007.

The number of children entering detention in year ending June 2017 was 48, 65% lower than the previous year (137). This was a 96% fall compared with the beginning of the data series in 2009 (1,119).

The proportion of detainees being returned or voluntarily departing from the UK on leaving detention increased from 44% in year ending June 2016 to 48% in year ending June 2017.

The total number of enforced returns from the UK, including those not directly from detention, decreased by 3% to 12,542 in the year ending June 2017 compared with 12,944 in the previous year. This includes 10,642 enforced removals and 1,900 other returns from detention. In the same period, there were 22,822 voluntary returns (excluding returns from detention).

Of the 12,542 enforced returns in year ending June 2017, there were 1,970 enforced returns of people who had previously sought asylum, down 30% from the previous year (2,813).

In the year ending June 2017, provisional data show that 6,071 Foreign National Offenders (FNOs) were returned compared to 6,064 in the previous year (see Returns table rt_06q). This is the one of the highest number since the series began in 2009 and reflects increasing use of other forms of FNO returns, including those where an offence was committed outside the UK.

Length of Detention

During the year ending June 2017, 27,862 people left detention. Of these, 64% had been in detention for less than 29 days, 17% for between 29 days and 2 months, and 11% for between 2 and 4 months. Of the 1,943 (7%) remaining, 172 had been in detention for between 1 and 2 years, and 28 for 2 years or longer. Of the 46 children leaving detention, 38 had been detained for seven days or less, three for between 8 and 14 days, three for between 15 and 28 days and two for between 29 days and 2 months.

In the same period, over a third (35%) of people leaving detention had been detained for 7 days or less (9,717). Of these, 56% (5,401) were returned; 42% (4,100) were granted temporary admission or release (TA/TR); and the remainder were either bailed (52), granted leave to enter (LTE) or leave to remain (LTR) (38), or released for other reasons (126). Of the 200 people detained for 12 months or more, 33% were bailed, 32% were returned, and 32% were granted TA/TR.

As at 30 June 2017, the longest length of time a person had been currently detained for was 1,514 days.

Returns by Nationality

The highest number of enforced returns in the year ending June 2017 was for Romanian nationals (1,847; 15% of the total), of which 1,725 (93%) were returned home. The number of enforced returns for Albanian nationals has been decreasing since October 2016 and is now ranked second after Romania. Some of these returns may relate to specific enforcement activity related to specific groups of individuals from these countries.

Albania 1,620  
Poland             1,316
India                800
Pakistan          738