Six Things to Support Young People in Care Affected by Immigration Control
We are young people from the All For One Group (All4One)
All of us are in the UK on our own, living in Greater Manchester with foster carers or in supported lodgings, and we are all seeking asylum.
We are experienced and brave. We have big dreams for our futures. We want to make positive change so that young people in our situation have the best care possible.
1) Remember, We Are Still Young People. We understand it might be hard to imagine where we’re from, but we’re just young people and we’re on our own. We still need a real chance at teenage life in the UK, and we need your help.
“All I want is for them to think of us like your own children. Look after us like you would your own children.”
2) Make Time To Support Our Futures. We know you have lots of young people to support, but we don’t know anyone here. Our lives are complex, we face different problems to our British friends in care.
“We all need different pathway plans as we are at different points in the process. Some friends don’t even have a pathway plan.”
3) Listen To Our Questions. We ask questions because we don’t understand. We don’t want to feel like a burden.
“I asked for something so I could improve my English. My social worker said, ‘I’m not Bill Gates!’ I didn’t understand, and I felt like I could never ask for something again.”
4) Keep Your Promises. Whether it’s big or small, if you don’t know, don’t promise. You can say ‘I’ll try’, ‘I’ll do my best’ or ‘I will find out’. Take the time to have difficult conversations with us.
“All I wanted was to sleepover at my friends. I was promised, I was so excited, she’s my best friend who I came here with. And then I was told no, I was so upset.”
5) Treat Us Equally. We want to be treated the same as each other. It sometimes feels like others are a priority because they are louder about their problems, or that we only get noticed if we behave badly.
“My friend was given a bus pass. So, I asked for a bus pass so I could play football, I was so lonely. I was told no, with no reason. I couldn’t understand it.”
6) Be Present When You Are With Us. We need you to hear us, help us and believe us. We like it when you put down your notepad and just be with us.
“They ask how you are, you can say ‘good’, but if they were looking at you, they would know the truth. The best social worker I had said ‘let’s go for a 5 minute walk and talk.’”
To find out more about the All4One group and the work behind ‘Six Things’ contact Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit (GMIAU) on 0161 740 7722 and firstname.lastname@example.org
Home Office Failures to Hand Over Files ‘Causing People to be Wrongly Detained and Deported’
People targeted by immigration enforcement are being wrongly detained or even deported because of government failures to comply with its legal duty to supply vital information it holds on them, lawyers and campaigners have told The Independent.Solicitors working in the field have accused the Home Office of preventing access to justice because it is “routinely failing” to respond to requests to hand over files containing clients' immigration histories, leaving them unable to challenge its decisions.
Under data protection law, any person can request their personal data from an organisation or public body by submitting subject access requests (SAR), which must be responded to within one month. If the organisation requires extra time, it must contact the requester to inform them of this.But in the case of immigration-related requests, the Home Office is said to be repeatedly failing to meet this deadline, and often not responding unless they are threatened with litigation.Experts said this was a “massive detriment” for people trying to prove or regularise their status, particularly if they do not have the ability to pay an immigration solicitor.
Read more: May Bulman, Independent, https://is.gd/kg5po9
Home Office Retention of Passports
The Court of Appeal hands down its judgment in Jagdeep Kaur v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 1101. The Court of Appeal considered issues arising from the retention of the passports by the Secretary of State for the Home Department in immigration cases. The Appellant sought to argue that the retention of her passport by the Secretary of State for the Home Department was unlawful and resulted in unfairness.
The Court of Appeal, in summary, held that: (1) There was no “casual connection” between the immigration decision and the retention of the passport, and therefore the appeal was “doomed to fail”, although, in principle, the First Tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal had jurisdiction to consider the point. (2) The unreported decision in Marcellana identified no issue of principle and was confined to its own particular facts. (3) The decision to retain the Appellant’s passport was lawful and there were not “exceptional circumstances”. (4) In order to retain the passport, the Secretary of State for the Home Department need only “suspect” that the person in question “may” be liable to removal, and this would cover the situation of the Appellant, although she was lawfully residing in the United Kingdom and had leave to remain under section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971.
Essex Chambers, https://is.gd/HzdjB8
Return of Famines and the Pursuit of Accountability
The ‘F’ word is back in use, famines have returned. In 2017 the UN identified four situations of acute food insecurity that threatened famine or breached that threshold, in north-eastern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen. In December 2018 famine was formally declared across regions of Yemen, this is likely to be the famine that will define this era. Starvation is also being used as a weapon of war in Syria and the Democratic Republic of Congo. People living in the Gaza Strip and in Venezuela also suffer from the manipulation, obstruction and politicization of food and humanitarian aid.
The current scale of suffering and death as a result of these crimes is unprecedented in modern history: Yemen alone promises to be the most severe famine in living memory, with recent news of the World Food Programme having to suspend some of their operations due to the obstruction and diversion for profit of their food aid. The statistics are dire with 400,000 severely and acutely malnourished children under the age of five. Yet recognition of the deliberate nature of famine, attribution of fault and accountability remains elusive.
We are at the start of a long road to criminalise starvation in a way that properly recognises the causes, identifies the culprits and correctly labels their crimes. Despite the birth of modern international criminal law over the last 25 years, there has been a dearth of prosecutions for starvation crimes. As we have seen with all kinds of international crimes, the relevant conduct needs to move beyond the confines of the battlefield and the classroom and into the courtroom. Then the law may be identified, clarified, and codified so that a belligerent warlord or a government supplying arms used to starve become fearful of its reach.
Read more: UK Human Rights Blog, https://is.gd/dS9omt
Secret Plan to Use Charities to Help Deport Rough Sleepers
The Home Office has drawn up a secret programme using homelessness charities to acquire sensitive personal data that could result in the deportation of non-UK rough sleepers, the Observer can reveal. A chain of emails from senior Home Office officials from December 2018 to May 2019 also shows that the clandestine programme ignores European privacy laws by passing rough sleepers’ sensitive personal information directly to the Home Office without their consent.
The scheme, which is still in a trial phase, is seen by charities and campaigners as the latest manifestation of the Home Office’s much maligned “hostile environment” policy. A previous plan to deport EU rough sleepers was defeated 18 months ago when the high court deemed it unlawful and discriminatory.
But the Home Office, apparently undeterred, has rolled out a remarkably similar new scheme which, according to an internal email, will lead to “enforcement in some cases” – deportation – and targets “non-UK” and non-EEA (European Economic Area) rough sleepers, which after Brexit will include EU nationals.
Read more Mark Townsend, Guardian, https://is.gd/hmX9WW
Upper Tribunal Sets New Procedure For Missed Appeal Deadlines
In immigration law, deadlines are important. They also frequently cause confusion. Bhavsar (late application for PTA: procedure)  UKUT 196 (IAC) is an example of the complications that missing a deadline can cause.
In Bhavsar the Upper Tribunal decided that, where an application for permission to appeal is submitted to the First-tier Tribunal late, the tribunal should refuse to admit the application rather than refuse permission to appeal.
This is a subtle distinction. However it ensures that, when an application for permission to appeal is submitted to the Upper Tribunal, the Upper Tribunal can consider the reason for the delay and decide whether it is in the interests of justice to allow the case to proceed.
For those not familiar with immigration litigation, the process is as follows:
- An application is made to the Home Office.
- The Home Office refuses the application.
- An appeal against this refusal must be submitted to the First-tier Tribunal within 14 days of the date the applicant is sent the Home Office’s decision.
- The First-tier Tribunal dismisses the appeal.
- An application for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal must be submitted to the First-tier Tribunal within 14 days of the date the party making the application is sent the First-tier Tribunal’s decision dismissing the appeal.
- The First-tier Tribunal refuses permission to appeal.
- An application for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal must be submitted to the Upper Tribunal within 14 days of the date the party making the application is sent the First-tier Tribunal’s decision refusing permission to appeal.
- If the Upper Tribunal refuses permission to appeal this is generally the end of the road (although in limited circumstances judicial review is possible). If the Upper Tribunal grants permission to appeal the case will proceed to a hearing in the Upper Tribunal.
When one of these deadlines is missed, the tribunal considers whether to “extend time”. If the tribunal refuses to extend time, generally the case cannot proceed.
Read more: Freemovement, https://is.gd/QS8Pt1
Asylum Research Consultancy Country of Information Update Vol. 198
This document provides an update of UK Country Guidance case law, UK Home Office publications and developments in refugee producing countries (focusing on those which generate the most asylum seekers in the UK) between 25 June and 8 July 2019.