News & Views Monday 10 April to Sunday 16th April 2017  
Immigration ‘Particularly Important’ to Some Sectors of UK Economy

Immigration is “particularly important” to the wholesale and retail, hospitality and health sectors, which employ around 1.5 million non-UK nationals, according to an official analysis. Highlighting the severity of imposing curbs to immigration after Brexit research from the independent Office for National Statistics also shows that EU migrants account for as many as one in 10 of employees in some sectors of the British economy. The ONS data claims that more than two million migrants from the EU were employed in industries including manufacturing, hospitality, healthcare and financial services during 2016.

The organisation’s annual report shows that last year’s estimated 3.4m workers – or around 11 per cent of the UK labour market – were foreign nationals. The number was made up of around 2.2m EU nationals and 1.2m non-EU nationals.
The Independent and Open Britain are urging for the Government to drop its target to cut net migration to tens of thousands of people each year. It is divisive and will harm our economy.

If you agree, please sign our petition to call on the Government to Drop The Target: 

Read more: Ashley Cowburn, Independent,

Drop Students From The Immigration Target – Then Drop That Target Altogether

A new survey reveals that the British people already realise how important foreign students are to our economy. The British people understand full well that some types of immigration are very much in their interest. The idea that last year’s vote to leave the European Union represented an overwhelming mandate to prevent any new arrivals to this country, regardless of who they are and the reason for their move, is one of the great fallacies of Brexit. 

As we report today, the British public strongly supports international students coming to the UK. A ComRes opinion poll for British universities suggests that a large majority of the people realise that foreign students are good for the British economy, and that our universities are one of the nation’s greatest economic and cultural assets. Perhaps most strikingly, the survey suggests that three quarters of of the population agree that foreign students should be allowed to work in the UK for a time after they have graduated, rather than returning immediately to their home country. 

This is quite at odds with the rhetoric and policies of Theresa May, the Home Office Prime Minister, who sees Brexit as the opportunity to make up for her failure to reduce net immigration over the past six years. Her problem, as The Independent has repeatedly pointed out, is that the Government of which she was a member did nothing to reduce immigration from outside the EU, which it could have done while the UK was a member of the EU. It did not do so because it was not in the national interest, and it will not be in the national interest when the UK has left the EU.

Read More: Editorial, Independent,

Profit Element Should Be Removed from Children’s UK Citizenship Registration Fee

Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens (PRCBC)

Home Office Fees and the profit element

The Home Office currently charges the considerable fee of £973 for children's registration as a UK Citizen, of which £386 is said to constitute the administrative cost and £587 is profit to the Home Office. Once the child turns 18 the adult fee is £1,163 (including £80 for a citizenship ceremony). The Home Office claims this profit-making is justified by the ‘benefit’ of a successful application. In the case of children who are already entitled to register as citizens, the Home Office is, in effect, seeking to sell something to children who are already entitled to it by Act of Parliament.

The profit element should be removed from children’s registration fee in all cases, including where their right to register continues into adulthood. Children should not be prevented from registering as British simply because they cannot afford it.

• Children who cannot afford the fee should be granted a waiver of the entire fee.

• Where a child is ‘looked after’ by a local authority, there should be a fee exemption. This would prevent the shifting of costs from central to local government.

Importance of British Citizenship for Children Living in the UK

Without British citizenship, a person is subject to immigration control and their entitlement to stay is dependent on Home Office permission. This affects tens of thousands of children born in the UK and many others who have lived here from a very early age. Citizenship affects private life at every level.

On a legal level, it means freedom from immigration control and is the most protected status a person, whether child or adult, can have. It means a child can travel abroad to visit a sick relative or on a school trip, and, later on, can prove their entitlements to such things as work, to rent a home, pay home fees for higher education as well as access student loans, healthcare, and social support, without anyone questioning their rights to these. Citizenship also enables full participation in the public life of both local and wider community, e.g. the right to vote and to stand in local and Parliamentary elections, and can be passed on to children.

It also forms part of a person's identity and can represent a sense of physical, psychological and social belonging, of having a home in the world. The importance of this link between identity and citizenship is recognised in Articles 7 and 8 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

For children with strong ties to the UK through birth and/or long residence, registering as British provides a public confirmation of their belonging to the place they already know and facilitates further integration into the community of which they are already a part and to which they are already contributing (at school or college, in faith communities, friendship networks, etc.).

Without citizenship, children may be at risk of detention, removal or exclusion, and, once they reach 18, will face innumerable obstacles to progressing their lives.
Children's right to citizenship may in some cases be derived from the status of a parent. However, their right is not dependent on their parent.

Impact on Children of Home Office Profit-Making Fees

The fees represent an often *insuperable obstacle to a child acquiring citizenship. They are prohibitively expensive for parents on low incomes and young people on no income; many simply cannot afford the fee. Some local authorities with care of a child are unwilling to pay the fee, perhaps because of pressure on budgets." In practice, the fees prevent children acquiring the citizenship to which they are entitled purely because of lack of funds. This is clearly not in the child's best interests, whether they have a right to register or are asking for discretionary registration, and has an adverse impact on children's welfare. Not only does it interfere with their personal, educational and social development, but it can also adversely affect their physical and mental health. Blocking children's development and progression into adulthood and integration into British society in this way comes at a cost - to the child personally but also ultimately to the whole of society. It is unjust that a government department is either profiting from children exercising their legal right to register or effectively withholding citizenship because of the barrier of exorbitant fees.

Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens (PRCBC) is the first and only organisation to focus directly on children and young adults and  their right to British citizenship. PRCBC is hosted by Migrants Resource Centre (MRC). Many children and young adults are eligible to register as British citizens, but do not do so for various reasons. We aim to raise awareness of registration and the importance of citizenship, as well as to support and increase the number of children and young adults who register as British citizens. The first main object of PRCBC is the relief of poverty by the provision of legal advice, aid, assistance and services, relating to the registration of children as British citizens, to those persons who could not otherwise obtain such provision due to lack of means.  The second main object of PRCBC is the advancement of education, particularly but not limited to matters relating to the legal framework of British citizenship status.

Download the full briefing:

*insuperable: impossible to overcome
Essential Resource for all Anti-Deportation Campaigns

US Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016

These Human Rights Reports have for the last twenty-five been an essential tool in building highly accurate reports on countries that produce refugees and asylum seekers.

The reports are used throughout the world to inform the work of human rights advocates, lawmakers, academics, businesses, multilateral institutions, and NGOs.
The Human Rights Reports reflect the concerted efforts of US embassies and consulates to gather the most accurate information possible. They are prepared by human rights officers at U.S. missions around the world who review information available from a wide variety of civil society, government, and other sources. These reports represent thousands of work-hours as each country team collects and analyzes information. The Department of State strives to make the reports objective and uniform in scope and quality.

The Human Rights Reports are used by the U.S. Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches as a resource for shaping policy and guiding decisions, informing diplomatic engagements, and determining the allocation of foreign aid and security sector assistance.

The Department of State hopes these reports will help other governments, civil society leaders, activists, and individuals reflect on the situation of human rights in their respective countries and work to promote accountability for violations and abuses.

Individual Country Reports can be found here:                               
Another Death in an Immigration Detention Centre Comes Under Investigation

An investigation has been launched into the death of a 43-year-old man in an immigration removal centre on Sunday, the Home Office has confirmed. The man, who has not yet been named, was being held at ‘The Verne’ immigration removal centre in Portland, Dorset.  A Home Office spokesperson said: “We can confirm that a 43-year-old man who had been detained at ‘The Verne’ immigration removal centre died at the centre on 9 April 2017. Our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time. A full independent investigation will be conducted by the prisons and probation ombudsman.”

Emma Ginn, coordinator of Medical Justice, the charity that works to improve the health of immigration detainees, said: “It is most troubling to hear of yet another death in immigration detention. There seems to have been a recent increase in number of deaths in immigration detention. On Monday night, detainees at Verne reported a fire had been started and was extinguished by officers. There were no injuries. The Home Office said the fire was unconnected to the death of the detainee. There were 26 attempted suicides in ‘The Verne’, in 2016 and 241 detainees put on suicide watch. 19 detainees held ‘Hunger Strikes, in the same year.

Read more: Diane Taylor, Guardian,

Proportionality Factor: When Maintaining Effective Immigration Control Outweighs Rights to Private & Family Life

The balance that needs to be struck between sending a foreign national back to their country of origin over allowing them to stay in the UK on the basis of their right to private and family life relies on considerations of a proportionality balancing exercise that immigration judges often have to tackle. 

No single factor is determinative and the proportionality assessment will always entail an evaluative exercise involving a value judgment which must be made by the court. This was the situation in the recent Court of Appeal case of Butt v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWCA Civ 184 which dealt with the position of parents’ ties to two adult daughters’ residing in the UK.

A husband and wife, aged 64 and 54 respectively, of Pakistani nationality, appealed against the Secretary of State’s (SSHD’s) refusal of their asylum and human rights claims and challenged the SSHD’s decision to remove them from the UK. Their two adult daughters’ appeals were allowed. The issue in this case was whether the judge had erred when conducting the proportionality assessment under Article 8 of the ECHR in light of the evidence submitted about the extent to which the daughters’ depended on their parents.

Read more: Ghearson Immigration,
Most Asylum Seekers Housed in Poorest Parts of Britain

More than five times as many asylum seekers live in the poorest third of the country as in the richest third, according to a Guardian analysis, which has prompted leading politicians to call for a complete overhaul of the dispersal system. MPs have labelled the way asylum seekers are distributed around Britain “appalling”, “dreadfully designed” and “a deeply unfair shambles” because of the way it disproportionately houses people in poor, Labour-voting areas in the north of England and Wales, as well as Glasgow. According to a Guardian analysis of Home Office data, more than half of all asylum seekers (57%) live in the poorest third of the country. The richest third of the country houses 10% of all asylum seekers, basing calculations on the median income in each local authority for which income data is available.

Read more: Guardian,

Demonstration Against Resumption of Deportation Flights to Iraq    

Thursday 13th April 2017 5:00 pm -7:00 pm  Home Office 2 Marsham St London, SW1P 4DF   (Closest Tube stations: Westminster; St James Park; Pimlico.  Closest Train stations: Victoria; Waterloo; Vauxhall)

Called by International Federation of Iraqi Refugees (IFIR)

No deportations to Iraq!

The International Federation of Iraqi Refugees (IFIR) is calling on all freedom loving people to join its demonstration against the detention of 30 Iraqi refugees over the last week in apparent preparation for a mass deportation charter flight to Iraq. It would be the first mass deportation to Iraq since 2011. The IFIR campaign in Iraq had forced the Iraqi and Kurdistan Regional governments to stop accepting deportations. However, under pressure from the UK government, they appear to be reneging on promises they have made to take a stand against this inhuman policy.

A statement from IFIR says: “Theresa May with this inhuman rights policy wants to appease her racist supporters but does not want to take responsibility for what she has done in this shameful deal with the Iraqi Government. We call on all human rights organisations and freedom loving people to stand with us to stop this agreement and to cease this plan to forcibly deport Iraqi refugees”

For more information please contact IFIR on 07720 291516

or email:  or