News & Views Monday 13th March to Sunday 19th March 2017  
Immigration: EEA Nationals - Following the UK’s Exit From the EU

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 9 March 2017 to Question 66201, on immigration: EEA nationals, whether confirmation of this status will be needed once the UK has left the EU.

The rights of EU nationals remain unchanged while we are a member of the European Union and they do not need any additional documents to prove their status.

The Government has been clear that securing the status of EU nationals in the UK, and that of British citizens in the EU, will be a priority as soon as negotiations begin.

There are a number of options for exactly how the Government will secure the status of EU nationals here and what they will need to do to confirm that status following the UK’s exit from the EU, and it would be inappropriate to give further detail in advance of negotiations.
Criminalisation of Family Life In Theresa May’s Britain

The assault on the family life of migrants inevitably leads to the creation of ‘immigration offenders’, to detention and deportation. As home secretary, Theresa May was tasked with implementing David Cameron’s pledge to reduce migration from its annual average of nearly a quarter of a million to the ‘tens of thousands’. In fact, net migration rose to 330,000 during her time in the post. But she certainly tried hard, introducing a cap on work permits and on student migration, and coming down particularly hard on family migration. The rules setting out the criteria for British and settled residents to bring non-EU family members in were made extremely tough.

The Assault on Family Migration: A month after the coalition’s victory, in June 2010, she announced that from November that year, most non-EU spouses and partners coming from a non-English speaking country would need to pass an English-language test before joining British or UK-based residents in the UK. There were exceptions for those with a degree taught in English, over 65s and those with a mental or physical condition or ‘exceptional compassionate circumstances’ preventing them from taking the test, but Home Office guidance said that illiteracy or financial difficulty could not count for these purposes.

Read more:  Fances Webber, IRR,
Evidential Issues in Trafficking in Persons Cases

Trafficking in persons is a victim-centred crime, complex by its nature and requiring a constellation of circumstances in order to establish it. As a result, such cases present particularly complex evidential issues, many of which hinge upon the particular nature of this covert crime and the behaviour of victims, whose testimony is often the central piece of evidence. The Case Digest aims to serve to deepen an understanding of the issues it discusses. It is also hoped that criminal law and other practitioners may be able to learn from the actual cases which are presented, both by understanding that they are not alone in facing certain patterns and issues, and by deriving assistance from the tools that courts worldwide have developed. 

In view of the complexity of human trafficking cases and the diversity of national systems which can accord with the Trafficking in Persons Protocol, this Case Digest’s goal is not to instruct practitioners categorically on how to conduct cases. Instead, the Case Digest presents evidential issues and patterns and describes how different jurisdictions addressed these. In doing so, it needs to be recognized that there may not be one answer to a question or issue, but that there is an added value in presenting a wealth of possibilities and tools and in heightening an awareness of central issues which recur in trafficking cases across the world." 

Read the full report: UNODC,
UK Refugees Face Being Sent Home After Five Years

Refugees applying to stay in the UK could be sent home after five years under new Home Office guidelines that came into force on Tuesday07/03/2017. Tens of thousands of people who have been granted refugee status will have to undergo an official review five years after they enter Britain to determine whether they can safely be sent back to their home countries. Those that are deemed to be at low risk of persecution in their country of origin are likely to be banned from working and subsequently deported. The change was promised by Theresa May when she was Home Secretary but has only now been implemented.

Read more: Ben Kentish, Independent,
UK-Funded Camps in Libya 'Indefinitely Detaining Asylum Seekers'

British-funded refugee camps in Libya are implementing the indiscriminate and indefinite detention of asylum seekers in the conflict-riven country, the UK government’s official aid watchdog has warned.

In a report published on Friday, the UK’s Independent Commission for Aid Impact expresses concern that UK aid to Libya risks causing unintended harm to migrants and could prevent them from reaching a place of safety. It also criticises ministers for apparently decided on the funding plan without studying the human rights implications in a country struggling to contain its long-running civil war.

“In Libya, where the operating environment severely constrains choices, the UK has identified some programming options with the potential to improve some of the conditions for migrants in detention,” it finds. “However, we are concerned about the risk that UK aid is contributing to a system that prevents refugees from reaching a place of safe asylum.”

Read more:  Patrick Wintour, Guardian,
‘Dubs’ Claims Should be Firmly Stayed Until ‘Help Refugees’ Case Decided

ZS, R (On the Application Of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWHC 255 (Admin) (03 February 2017)

1. MR JUSTICE HOLMAN: Last spring, Parliament enacted section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016, which has become commonly known as the Dubs amendment. That section is short and provides as follows:

"67. Unaccompanied refugee children: relocation and support

  • The Secretary of State must, as soon as possible after the passing of this Act, make arrangements to relocate to the United Kingdom and support a specified number of unaccompanied refugee children from other countries in Europe.

(2) The number of children to be resettled under subsection (1) shall be determined by the Government in consultation with local authorities."
·  Regrettably, that beguilingly short statutory provision may raise as many questions as to its scope and construction as it seems to answer. As a result, there is already before this court a set of proceedings brought by a charity, Help Refugees Limited, under case number CO/5312/2016. Currently those proceedings are being case-managed by myself, although it seems to me improbable that I will hear it substantively.

22. So I do not today rule upon the issue of standing, but I am very firmly of the view that this claim, and indeed any similar claim that any individual claimant might seek to issue, should be firmly stayed until after final determination of the Help Refugees case. Once that case has been authoritatively and finally decided, consideration can then be given in an orderly way to whether there is any substance in any individual claims; and whether, with standing, they raise any new points that the court should consider.

Published on Bailii,
Country Policy and Information Note - Burma: Critics of the Government

1.1 Basis of claim

1.1.1 Fear of persecution by the state, due to the person’s actual or perceived criticism of the Burmese government.

1.2 Points to note

1.2.1 The government of Burma unilaterally changed the name of the country to Myanmar in 1989, following the violent suppression of a popular democratic uprising in 1988. Since the UK Government did not recognise the legitimacy of the Burmese military regime it did not acknowledge the military-led name change of the country from Burma to Myanmar, or of the main city of Rangoon to Yangon. The UK Government have always held that it should be for a democratically elected Government to make a final decision on the name of the country. Internationally, both names are recognised.

1.2.2 The guidance in this note does not apply to claims based on the person being Rohingya. Guidance for such claims is being prepared and will be issued shortly.

Published on Refworld, 15/03/2017
UK Depriving Suspected Terrorist of Citizenship Lawful Under the Convention

In its decision in the case of K2 v. the United Kingdom (application no. 42387/13) the European Court of Human Rights has unanimously declared the application inadmissible. The decision is final. K2 was suspected of taking part in terrorism-related activities in Somalia. In 2010, the Secretary of State for the Home Office deprived him of his UK citizenship and barred him from re-entering the country. K2 claimed that these decisions had violated his right to respect for private and family life under Article 8, and had been discriminatory.

ECtHR: 09/03/2017,


Immigration Rules Statement of Changes - (Tier 2 Entrants, Must Provide Criminal Record Certificate)

Immigration Rules: The Minister for Immigration (Mr Robert Goodwill). My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary is today laying before the House a statement of changes in immigration rules [HC 1078].

The changes include a new requirement that individuals over the age of 18, who are applying for entry clearance under the tier 2 general route to work in education, health and social care sectors, must provide a criminal record certificate from any country in which they have ?lived for 12 months or more in the previous 10 years. This requirement will also apply to the partner of the applicant and a partner applying to join an existing tier 2 migrant in one of these work sectors.

This is the second stage in a phased implementation of the requirement. It currently applies to individuals over 18 applying for entry clearance under tier 1 to come to the UK as entrepreneurs or investors, and their adult dependents. The Home Office will continue to monitor implementation with a view to extending the requirement to other migrants in the future.

On 24 March 2016 the Government announced two phases of reforms to tier 2, following a review by the independent Migration Advisory Committee. The first phase was implemented on 24 November and the changes being laid today implement the second phase of the announced reforms. The changes also update the codes of practice relating to skilled workers, and make other minor updates to the rules for work routes.

Further changes are being made to amend or clarify other provisions in the immigration rules.

House of Commons: 16 March 2017    [HCWS542]
The Punishment Room: Challenging the Abusive Use of Segregation in Immigration Detention

Pamela, had just had a shower and was still in her underwear, applying moisturiser, when the immigration officers came into her room to remove her from the UK. Our client refused to be taken to the airport, as she still had an outstanding application for leave to remain in the UK, so the officers tried to remove her by force, one grabbed her neck and head, pushing these down towards her chest and blocking her windpipe. ‘I was filled with fear and tried to get out of her grip,’ Pamela told us, ‘I kept telling her “I cannot breathe” but she continued to push my head towards my chest. Eventually I stopped trying to get out of her grip and fell to the floor’.

The officers decided not to remove Pamela that day but escorted her to the Kingfisher Isolation Unit. Pamela tells us that 10 officers corralled her there, hands in tight handcuffs behind her back. Pamela weighs about 7 st and is about 5 foot tall. Despite its name, the Kingfisher Isolation Unit is no bucolic haven. It is where, at the notorious women-only detention centre in Bedfordshire Yarl’s Wood, detainees are locked in a prison within a prison, separated from friends, left alone with their demons.

Read more: Patrick Page, Duncan Lewis,

Home Office Neither a Benign Nor a Helpful Institution’

The Government’s current position regarding EEA nationals already resident in the UK is one of deliberate uncertainty. The Government refuses to commit to their status at least until the situation of British citizens resident in the EEA is resolved. This has consistently been the message conveyed by the Prime Minister to the House of Commons, and the British press. Consequently, whilst there is every reason to hope that EEA nationals already here will be allowed to stay, there is as yet no guarantee that they will be able to do so.

EEA national and their families are of course extremely concerned and distressed about their status and situation. Lawyers, politicians and employers are all now strongly advising people to obtain confirmation of their EU rights as soon as possible. Depending upon the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, what they do now may also be important in determining their ability to remain in the UK.

Read more: Justice Gap,
Immigration Minister: Tortured Asylum Seekers Can Be Removed

The UK’s treatment of the survivors of torture came under further scrutiny last week when the Minister of State for Immigration, Robert Goodwill, confirmed to Parliament that the Government does not necessarily consider being tortured as reason enough to offer someone protection. Goodwill’s comments were made during a parliamentary debate on torture, as a result of a report by Freedom from Torture, which accused the Government of “egregious mishandling of medical evidence” in its consideration of asylum claims involving the survivors of torture.   
The report examined 50 cases between January 2014 to December 2015, in which the applicants’ asylum claims had all initially been rejected by the Home Office. The report found that judges often had to correct Home Office decisions, with 76% of cases involving victims of torture being overturned in favour of the applicant on appeal. Indeed, of the 50 cases considered by Freedom from Torture, 22 out of 29 were granted on appeal. The remaining cases were still active when the report was published, however, so the final number could be higher.

An explanation can perhaps be found in Freedom from Torture’s research, which reveals that in 74% of the cases, immigration officials with no medical qualifications replaced the need for a medical report with “their own speculation” on clinical matters when making a decision on asylum applications. The report also claims that, even when medical documentation of physical harm and psychological trauma is available, the government’s sheer bureaucracy means that survivors of torture could still be refused asylum.

Read more: Gherson Immigration,
Inspection of Brook House Immigration Removal Centre

Brook House and a neighbouring immigration removal centre (IRC), Tinsley House, are both operated by G4S and are collectively known as Gatwick IRC. Brook House held just under 400 adult male detainees during the inspection. At that time, Tinsley House was closed for refurbishment and some of the detainees and most of the staff had been temporarily moved to Brook House. The last inspection was in 2013. As with all IRCs, the major challenge for staff was to manage the frustration felt by many detainees at the length of their detention and the uncertainty surrounding their future. The centre was assessed as “reasonably good” in all four healthy establishment tests: safety, respect, activities and preparation for removal or release.
Inspectors were concerned to find that:

  • 25 recommendations from the last report had not been achieved and 19 only partly achieved.
  • the average length of detention at Brook House had increased from 28 to 48 days but there did not appear to have been any analysis as to why this had happened; In the absence of such analysis, it was hard to see how detention periods could be systematically reduced and the inevitably negative outcomes for detainees mitigated
  • there were some serious delays in some individual cases, with 23 detainees held for over a year and four of these for over two years; and
  • the residential units very closely resembled the conditions found in prisons, and these were exacerbated by poor ventilation and unsatisfactory sanitary facilities.
  • Inspectors made 46 recommendations
  • I would add a cautionary note on an issue that is not the subject of a specific recommendation but has the potential to adversely affect the conditions in which some detainees are held: the proposal to bring into use the third bed which has been installed in 60 of the two-person cells. Many staff and detainees were of the view that this would lead to a decline in living standards. This is a view shared by inspectors.
Peter Clarke said: “Overall, this was an encouraging inspection. The centre had improved upon the standards we found at the last inspection, and on this occasion was assessed as ‘reasonably good’ in all four of our healthy establishment areas. This also marks excellent progress from the standards we were seeing at Brook House when it first opened. There is no doubt in my mind that the standards now being observed at the centre are the result of a great deal of hard work by the management and staff. They should be congratulated on their efforts and I hope are encouraged by this report to maintain and build upon the clear improvements they had made.”

Download the press release:  
Download the full report:
CPI Note - Libya: Actual or Perceived Supporters of Former President Gaddafi

Basis of claim
1.1.1 Fear of persecution or serious harm by state and non-state actors because of the person’s actual or perceived association with, membership of, or support for, the previous Gaddafi regime or the Gaddafi family.

1.2 Points to note

1.2.1 The number of non-state actors, including armed gangs and militia brigades active in Libya is estimated to be almost 2,000. They can be categorised into non-Jihadist groups, Islamist/Jihadist groups, and pro-government forces. The majority of these are anti-Gaddafi.

Published on Refworld, 16/03/2017