News & Views Monday 4th December to Sunday 10th December 2017  

High Court Halts Deportation of Afghan Interpreter Who Worked With British Army

An Afghan interpreter who was due to be deported imminently has had his removal from the UK halted after the High Court ordered he be released from detention. Hafizzulah Husseinkhel had been scheduled to be removed within days after the Home Office handed him removal papers and sent him to a detention centre last week. But the 26-year-old will now be released today after the Home Office failed to contest a bail application lodged by his barrister. Mr Husseinkhel served on the front line for the British Army between 2010 and 2012, when he worked as an interpreter between British and Afghan officers. He spent several years working for Nato forces prior to that. He fled Afghanistan in 2014 after receiving death threats from the Taliban, and arrived in the UK a year later. His father was shot in the leg when he refused to reveal his whereabouts.

Paul Turner, Mr Husseinkhel’s barrister, was mid-way through making his submission in court when Becket Beford, representing the Home Office, intervened, saying: “We are willing to release the claimant once we can confirm the address where he will reside.”

Mr Turner will now put forward a fresh claim to grant Mr Husseinkhel the right to remain in the UK, arguing that the Home Office is currently not transparent about the status of Afghan interpreters who have worked for UK forces.

Read more: May Bulman, Independent,

Dramatic Decline in Access to Legal Help for Immigration Detainees

The number of immigration detainees with no access to legal representation while in detention has tripled in the past few months, a new survey published by the immigration detention charity BID has indicated. Of the 101 detainees interviewed by the charity as many as one in three had never had a legal representative while in detention, compared to one in 10 in the spring of 2017. Almost half of the detainees surveyed mentioned money as the reason they were unable to access legal representation and almost two-thirds were forced to work on their own immigration case with no assistance. The numbers are even more alarming for immigration detainees held in prison. Less than 10% of those detained in prison under immigration powers had received independent legal advice on their immigration issues while a prisoner.

Read more: Caterina Franchi, ‘The Justice Gap’,

German Pilots Ground 222 Flights After Refusing to Deport Asylum Seekers

German pilots have grounded more than 220 flights because they were being used to deport failed asylum seekers.  Many of the pilots involved said they wanted no part in sending people back to Afghanistan, where violence is still rife following years of war and occupation by Western forces. Germany has deemed it a "safe country of origin" in some cases, despite ongoing violence and repression in parts of the country.

Between January and September 222 flights were cancelled, according to German government figures, with most – 140 – coming at Frankfurt airport. Others refused to fly from Cologne and Bonn.  The figures were obtained by the Die Link political party, which is commonly referred to as the Left Party.  Some of the grounded flights belonged to Lufthansa and its subsidiary, Eurowings. The decision not to carry a passenger, was ultimately down to the pilot on a "case by case decision", Lufthansa spokesman Michael Lamberty told the Westdeutsche Allegeimeine Zeitung newspaper which originally reported the story. 

Read more: Jon Sharman, Independent,

British Grandparents? You Could be Eligible for a British Visa

The ancestry visa allows offers the opportunities for those who have British ancestry to move to the UK.  Under the ancestry visa the principle applicant must live and work in the UK. It also entitles the applicant to bring dependants, such as children or a spouse, with them to the UK and allows holders to live, work and study in the UK. 

There are a number of requirements to satisfy for an ancestry visa, but perhaps the most important is that the applicant must be able to prove that at least one of their parents or grandparents was born in the UK. Furthermore, the applicant must intend to work in the UK and have enough money - without help from public funds - to support and house themselves and any dependants. Although the applicant does not have to be in full time employment throughout their stay in the UK, when extending their visa or applying for settlement, the Home Office will expect to see evidence of genuine employment or attempts to gain employment throughout the applicant’s time in the UK.
Please note that although the applicant could be eligible for an ancestry visa if they were adopted, having British step-parents does not qualify the applicant for an ancestry visa. There are a number of other matters that a successful applicant need to comply with to obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and later British Nationality and passport.  

Source: Gherson Immigration,

Grant Asylum to Claude Guiffo Kenmogne

Claude Guiffo Kenmogne is seeking asylum in the UK. He is from Cameroon, where he faces almost certain imprisonment and torture on arrival. This is due to draconian laws that would not be tolerated here. His personal safety and life are at risk should he be forced to return. Claude has been in the UK for six years. He has become well integrated into the local community, becoming involved as a volunteer in a number of community projects in Cardiff. He has applied for asylum here in the United Kingdom as he is unsafe in his own country He is a committed Christian and worships with the local community at the Anglican Eglwys Dewi Sant in Cardiff. He is a valued member of the Cardiff Dragons Football Club, where he has quickly become part of our community and developed a strong friendship network.

Please take 30 seconds to sign Claude’s Online Petition to remain in the UK:

Grant Asylum to Alain Benjamin Tamo

Alain Benjamin Tamo is facing deportation from the UK to Cameroon, resulting in almost certain imprisonment and torture on arrival. This is due to draconian laws that would not be tolerated here. His personal safety and life are at risk should he be forced to return. Alain has been seeking asylum in the UK for seven months. He has become well integrated into the local community, becoming involved in a number of community projects in Cardiff. He is a committed Christian and worships with the local community at the Anglican Eglwys Dewi Sant in Cardiff. He is a valued member of the Cardiff Dragons Football Club, where he has quickly become part of our community and developed a strong friendship network.

Please take 30 seconds to sign Claude’s Online Petition to remain in the UK:

Doctors Tell Home Office to Scrap Immigration Removal Centres

The British Medical Association is calling for immigration removal centres (IRCs) to be phased out and replaced with a more humane system of community monitoring because of concerns about the serious impact on the health of detainees. The report, published on Monday, calls for sweeping changes to the way IRCs are run because of a range of concerns about issues including restraint, segregation, PTSD and the management of complex health conditions. BMA chiefs say a “fundamental rethink” is required by the Home Office. While human rights campaigners have expressed concerns about immigration detention conditions for many years, it is the first time that the doctors’ union has made such a strong call. The BMA says it has published this report because of its growing concern about health and human rights in detention settings.

Read more: Diane Taylor, Guardian,

Donald Trump Pulls US Out of UN Global Compact on Migration

The Trump administration has pulled out of the United Nations’ ambitious plans to create a more humane global strategy on migration, saying involvement in the process interferes with American sovereignty, and runs counter to US immigration policies. The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, informed the UN secretary general, Antonio Guterres, at the weekend that Donald Trump was not willing to continue with an American commitment to the UN global compact on migration. In 2016, the 193 members of the UN general assembly unanimously adopted a non-binding political declaration, the New York declaration for refugees and migrants, pledging to uphold the rights of refugees, help them resettle and ensure they had access to education and jobs. The initiative had the enthusiastic backing of Barack Obama, and was embraced by Guterres as one of his major challenges for 2018.

The US decision to withdraw will delight Trump’s “America first” political base, but will do little to improve his standing in developing countries. The US mission to the UN said in a statement on Saturday that the declaration “contains numerous provisions that are inconsistent with US immigration and refugee policies and the Trump administration’s immigration principles”. The UN had always insisted that the compact was never intended to be legally binding on any country, but instead was an attempt to create a shared understanding that migration flows are likely to increase, and need to be regularised by recognising the reality of state interdependence, as much as national sovereignty.

Read more: Patrick Wintour, Guardian,

CPIN: South Africa: Background Information, Including Actors of Protection and Internal Relocation

 Basis of claim

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 South Africa.

Published on Refworld, 07/12/2017

DR Congo Displacement Crisis 'Worse Than Middle East'

Conflict has forced 1.7 million people to flee their homes in the Democratic Republic of Congo this year, causing "a mega-crisis", aid agencies say. This means that for the second consecutive year, DR Congo is worst-affected by conflict displacement in the world, the agencies add. DR Congo has been hit by years of instability, with rival militias fighting for control of territory. The conflict has been worsened by the failure to hold elections last year. "It's a mega-crisis. The scale of people fleeing violence is off the charts, outpacing Syria, Yemen and Iraq," the Norwegian Refugee Council's DR Congo director, Ulrika Blom, said.
In a new report, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre said that an average of 5,500 people fled their homes every day this year.  The reasons include new armed conflicts, a rise in existing conflicts and the delay in holding elections, the report said. Despite there being four million displaced people, as well as more than seven million struggling to feed themselves, international aid has been slow to materialise, Ms Blom said. "If we fail to step up now, mass hunger will spread and people will die. We are in a race against time," she warned.

Read more: BBC News,

ILPA Briefing Paper - Who Will Remain After Brexit?

Ensuring protection for all persons resident under EU law

Briefing paper by Bernard Ryan, Professor of Migration Law, University of Leicester.

Summary: This briefing paper addresses the possibility that some categories of person with EU free movement rights, and who have been resident in the United Kingdom, will be left without a right to reside in the United Kingdom after Brexit. Assuming that there is a withdrawal agreement which includes provision for “citizens’ rights”, it is likely that that will guarantee a right to remain to the large majority of such persons. This paper will however identify a number of gaps, concerning both EU citizens and third country nationals. It will indicate solutions that could be pursued, within the withdrawal agreement and at the United Kingdom level.
Its recommendations may be summarised as follows:
  • All rights of residence conferred upon family members under the Citizens Directive should be protected, irrespective of nationality (section 1).
  • All rights of residence which flow from Articles 20 or 21 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (‘TFEU’), should be protected, irrespective of nationality (section 2).
  • Provision for continuing cross-border employment and self-employment should be underpinned by an explicit right of residence (section 3).
  • Third-country posted workers should be permitted to complete an employment in the United Kingdom which is ongoing at the date of Brexit (section 3).
  • The right of residence deriving from Regulation 492/ 2011 on the free movement of workers should be expressly protected (section 3).
  • The United Kingdom should commit to treat EFTA-4 nationals on the same basis as EU-27 nationals (section 4).
  • The United Kingdom should commit to permit Turkish self-employed persons and workers, and their family members, who are resident by virtue of EU law, to remain (section 4).
  • All persons with post-Brexit rights to remain should have access to a permanent status after an appropriate period of continuous residence (section 5).
  • Effective provision should be made for out-of-country applications for evidence of a right of permanent residence or settlement (section 6).
  • EU-27 citizens and family members should be permitted to resume residence where they previously held a right of extended or permanent residence (section 6).
  • A continuing right of residence should be guaranteed to all EU-27 citizens who have a place of residence in the United Kingdom (section 6).
  • There should be a route to long-term stay for non-qualifying EU-27 citizens and family members who can provide evidence of an appropriate period of actual residence (section 7).

Source: ILPA,,
Download the full brief,

'Unlawful' Immigration Clause Could Destroy Data Rights

Legislation that suspends data protection for immigration enforcement could gravely threaten rights in the UK, campaigners have warned. Groups including Liberty have called an immigration exemption clause in the Government's new Data Protection Bill "unnecessary", "unlawful" and "worryingly broad". Under the exemption a range of General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) will not apply when information is processed for "the maintenance of effective immigration control". It means people will lose those right to erase information collected about them, or to find out what information has been collected about them and why. When a decision is made about their immigration status - for example, if their asylum application is denied - they may be left without information to appeal their case as a result. Given the Government's patchy record on asylum cases - 41% of its decisions were overturned on appeal last year - this could mean wrongful deportations, data protection expert Chris Pounder told Sky News.

Read more: Bethan Staton, Sky News,

Freedom for Priyank Prajapati

Ask the Home Office to release me immediately from detention; provide a thorough and rigorous assessment of my asylum claim before Removal Direction are enforced; give me recourse to due process without delay.

Why is this important? I have been in UK more than 9 years. I have not been involved in any criminal offence I have Clear Disclosure. I have maintained very good private life in UK....Home Office detained me on 8/11/2017 from reporting centre I was on reporting for 2 years and 5 months My continued detention leaves me mentally and physically stressed.

I believe no human is illegal. every person has their right to live and I am not just asking about only myself but there are thousands of people in detention centre more than 5,6,7,8,9,10 months in detention I would seek for your help for my release and support for others as well from detention and offer me with any professional help needed for my application to remain in the UK.

Please take 60 seconds to sign my Online Petition:

Please feel free to contact me on

Injustice in Immigration Detention

New research reveals that immigration detention 'operates in a very unjust way', has a 'flawed statutory framework' & 'inadequate routes to challenge decisions'

Our international reputation is at risk, warns Bar Council

Migrants held in detention for too long with inadequate access to the courts or to legal help are among a catalogue of problems highlighted by 'Injustice in Immigration Detention', an independent report by Dr Anna Lindley of SOAS, published today. 

Based on interviews with barristers, solicitors, immigration judges and other specialists, the report points to poor decision-making and lack of accountability at the Home Office, inconsistency in judgments, and the absence of a statutory time-limit on detention. 

Read more: ‘The Bar Council’,

Daisy and the £4 Billion Asylum Housing Contracts

As the tendering process for £4 billion worth of contracts over ten years gets under way, asylum campaigner John Grayson examines the market for asylum seekers’ housing in the UK. G4S dumps toddler with rare cancer in dirty asylum house with rats in the yard. Can G4S be trusted to be given part of the new £4 billion ten-year contracts for asylum housing across the UK from 2019?

Daisy is two and a half years old and has suffered from a rare skin and lung cancer since she was born in Sheffield. She was improving after chemo, then her family claimed asylum and sought accommodation. The family of six, from North Africa, were dumped in a house near the motorway on the outskirts of Sheffield on 25 October.

 Read more: John Grayson, IRR News,

Asylum Seekers Waiting Longer Rises 27% Despite Drop in Applications

The number of asylum seekers who wait longer than the six-month decision target has increased by more than a quarter in the past year, despite asylum applications having fallen by 21 per cent in the same period. The latest immigration statistics from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show nearly half (49 per cent) of people waiting for a decision on their asylum claim are waiting longer than six months — up from 39 per cent in the same quarter last year. A total of 10,552 people were waiting for more than six months in the months from July to September this year — an increase of 27 per cent on the same period in 2016.

It comes after research earlier this year showed asylum seekers were being wrongly denied emergency support they are legally entitled to from the Home Office while they wait for their claims to be processed. A report by charity Refugee Action revealed individuals and families at risk of homelessness and with no means of supporting themselves are waiting an average of nearly two months for housing and the small amount of money they are entitled to (£5.28 a day).

Read more: May Bulman, Independent,

Judgment in Case C-636/16 / Wilber López Pastuzano v Delegación del Gobierno en Navarra

A decision may not be adopted to expel a third-country national who is a long-term resident for the sole reason that he or she has been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of more than one year 

 Court of Justice of the European Union