News & Views Monday 17th September to Sunday 23rd September 2018  

UK Border Detainees Could be Denied Access to Lawyer For an Hour

Travellers stopped at UK borders may be denied the right to consult a lawyer for up to an hour and officers will be allowed to listen in to private consultations under sweeping new security powers, the Law Society has warned. Proposals in the counter-terrorism and border security bill will undermine the traditional right to confidential legal advice for those stopped at airports and docks, the organisation which represents solicitors throughout England and Wales fears.

But the Home Office says powers in the bill do not differ from those already in place in other legislation. The controversial bill has already passed through the House of Commons and has now gone up to the Lords, where it is likely to be subject to close scrutiny. Powers delaying access to a lawyer and permitting police to listen in to legal consultations during border stops have not been publicised previously partially because the bill contains so many other complex legal details. Section 23 of part two of the bill explicitly states that anyone detained in England, Wales or Northern Ireland “is entitled … to consult a solicitor as soon as is reasonably practicable, privately and at any time”. It then goes on, however, to qualify that basic right by saying that “a police officer of at least the rank of superintendent may authorise a delay” in permitting a detainee to consult a solicitor.

Read more: Owen Bowcott and , Guardian,

Home Office 'Breaking Law' to Expel Highly Skilled Migrants

A judge has accused the Home Office of breaking the law and acting in a “nonsensical” way in trying to force two highly skilled migrants out of the UK by triggering a terrorism-related part of immigration law. The two substantial judgments will boost those campaigning to halt the use of paragraph 322(5) of the immigration rules against people who have made legal amendments to their tax returns.  The judgequashed the Home Office’s decisions to trigger the power, saying the department had made errors in public law.

At least 1,000 highly skilled migrants seeking indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK are wrongly facing expulsion from the UK under paragraph 322(5) for making legal amendments to their tax records, according to the support group Highly Skilled Migrants. The judgments of the upper tribunal judge, Melissa Canavan, in the cases of Oluwatosin Bankole Williams and Farooq Shaik will strengthen the hand of the 20 MPs and a member of the House of Lords who are to establish separate pressure groups to persuade the Home Office to stop misusing the power.

In the Commons on Thursday, one of those MPs, Alison Thewliss, demanded a debate on what she said was “the incompetence of the Home Office” concerning 322(5). “We were promised on 21 June that there would be a review in the next few weeks. This has not emerged,” she said. “Too many highly skilled migrants are waiting for this government to make a decision, living in poverty and racking up huge debts.”

Read more: Amelia Hill, Guardian,

UK Offers 'Calais Leave' to Children Denied Asylum

Children who were refused asylum after being brought to the UK when the Calais refugee camp was closed are to be granted leave to remain in the country. A total of 549 children were transferred to the UK to be reunited with family members when the camp was cleared in October 2016, but a small number did not qualify for refugee status under immigration rules. These children would have either been removed from the UK or given unaccompanied asylum child (UASC) leave, which expires when the child turns 18. However the government is to offer this group “Calais leave”, which will grant those who qualify the right to study, work, and have access to public funds and healthcare, with the option to apply for settlement after 10 years. The rule change will take effect in the autumn.

It will only be available to those brought over as part of the clearance between October 2016 and July 2017, who were under the age of 18 at the time, and who had recognised family ties in the UK. Refugee support groups welcomed the change but reiterated criticism of family reunion rules, which currently restrict refugees in Britain from applying for certain relatives to join them. Currently, child refugees cannot apply for parents to join them in the UK, while adults can only apply for spouses and children aged 18 or under to join them. A private member’s bill, spearheaded by the Scottish National MP Angus MacNeil, going through the Commons proposes to broaden the definition of a family member under the rules.

Read more: Jamie Grierson, Guardian,

Early Day Motion 1630: Kweku Adoboli

That this House knows of no proper purpose or value in deporting Kweku Adoboli; recognises that he was last ordinarily resident in Ghana aged four; notes that he has been resident in the UK since he was 12; and calls on Ministers to halt the deportation, to meet his supporters and to allow him to continue living in the UK.

CPIN Vietnam: Victims of Trafficking

1.1 Basis of claim

1.1.1 Fear of persecution or serious harm from traffickers or other non-state agents because the person is a (potential) victim of trafficking or re-trafficking.

1.2 Points to note

1.2.1 Only trained specialists in the UK’s designated competent authorities can decide whether or not there are reasonable grounds to accept the person as a victim of trafficking for the purpose of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. However, both Home Office decision makers and the court are able to take factual matters into account when making their findings in an asylum claim. If it has not already been done, decision makers dealing with the asylum claim must make an appropriate referral to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). The case will then be routed to a ‘competent authority’ (see Victims of human trafficking: competent authority guidance).

Published on Refworld, 19/09/2018


Home Secretary in Making a Decision - Must Not Cherry Pick the Adverse Factors

JR of a decision of the SSHD to refuse grant the petitioner leave to remain in the UK

[5]  . . . . .Accordingly there was clear authority that when the Secretary of State considered this case the requirement was to  analyse all of it, not just to cherry pick the adverse factors in looking at what the child’s best interests required and ask whether those requirements were outweighed by the legitimate aim of immigration control.

It was wrong to approach the matters as if immigration control was more significant than the interests of the child.

Mr Caskie relied on a decision of the European Court of Human Rights (third section) in GHB v UK [2000] App No 42455/98 involving the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren.

He acknowledged that the court had there accepted that such a relationship generally calls for a lesser degree of protection than that between natural parents and their children.

However, he submitted that where a child lives with a grandparent that would be a significant marker in favour of establishment of the kind of family life that it may be disproportionate to interfere with.
[23] For the reasons given, I will sustain the petitioner’s plea in law and reduce the decision to certify as clearly unfounded the petitioner’s application for leave to remain in the United Kingdom, reserving meantime all questions of expenses.

Outer House of the Court of  Session

Are You Eligible For NHS Treatment?

 Whether a person has access to the NHS services depends on their immigration status in the UK. You may therefore be charged for certain services, whilst other services are free to all. Entitlement to NHS services has long been a confusing topic for migrants, and occasionally for the Home Office too. The general criteria for NHS eligibility depends on whether you are ordinarily resident in the UK. If you are ordinarily resident, you will not be charged.

According to the Government, a person who is ordinarily resident means: “broadly, living in the UK on a lawful, voluntary and properly settled basis for the time being”. There are of course exceptions for those who are not ordinarily resident, such as:

  • Those who are non-EEA nationals who have paid their immigration surcharge; or
  • Those with an enforceable EU right to free healthcare, such as possession of a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC); or
  • Those who are vulnerable patients, such as refugees, asylum seekers, victims of human trafficking, or immigration detainees.

There are certain services which the NHS provides free to all, irrespective of whether they are a resident. These are:

  • A&E services – this includes walk-in clinics;
  • Family planning services;
  • Diagnosis and treatment of some infectious diseases;
  • Diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections; and
  • Treatment required for a physical or mental condition caused by torture, female genital mutilation, domestic violence, or sexual violence

Other NHS services or treatments may incur cost. It should be noted that if it becomes apparent that a person travelled to the UK with the specific intention to seek any of the above exempt treatments, it may become chargeable.

Source: McGill & Co,

Home Office Launches Pilot of Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme

British Summer Fruits, the industry body representing companies that supply fresh berries in UK supermarkets are reporting staff shortages of 10-20%.  The National Farmers Union (NFU) estimates that 60,000 seasonal workers are employed in UK horticulture every year, with approximately 67% having previously come from Romania and Bulgaria, 23% from other countries in the EU and just 1% from the UK itself.  

On 6 September 2018, the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, and the Environmental Secretary, Michael Gove, launched a two-year pilot scheme to support UK farmers. The scheme will allow non-EU migrant workers to work on farms and then return after six months.  The pilot scheme will begin in spring 2019 and will allow the recruitment of up to 2,500 non-EU workers. Two scheme operators, who will oversee the placement of the workers, will run the Seasonal Workers pilot scheme.  Details on who the scheme operators are have not yet been released and will follow in due course.  

Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, stated that “This pilot will ensure farmers have access to the seasonal labour they need to remain productive and profitable during busy times of the year” and added that he is “committed to having an immigration system that reduces migration to substantial levels, supports all industry and ensures we welcome those who benefit Britain”. The promise of an additional 2,500 workers will not fill the shortage but many believe that it is a step in the right direction, with the NFU branding the scheme as a “major victory”.  This is one of the first indications of how the Home Office may deal with labour shortages post Brexit.  

Posted by: Gherson Immigration,

CPIN Pakistan: Christians and Christian Converts

1.1 Basis of claim

1.1.1 Fear of persecution or serious harm by state or non-state actors due to the person’s religion, i.e. the person is a Christian.

1.2 Points to note

1.2.1 Decision makers should be aware that there are several Christian denominations, each with varying beliefs and practices.

Published on Refworld, 19/09/2018