News & Views Monday 15th April to Sunday 21st April 2019


Migrant Workers Setting Records For Sending Money Home
Immigration is a fraught issue around the globe, dominating headlines and many campaign platforms, and migrants are often the target of xenophobia and anger. But while this tense talk about migrant workers is often centered on the journey or the arrival, the money sent by these migrants back to their native countries is reaching record amounts and providing undeniable benefits.

These money transfers, or remittances, have become so common that new data shows low- to middle-income countries depend primarily on them, rather than on foreign direct investment, to sustain their gross domestic product. Indeed, foreign direct investment to these countries has been decreasing since the beginning of the decade. According to a study released by the World Bank in August 2018, the decline reflects “persistent weak aggregate demand, sluggish growth in some commodity-exporting countries, and a slump in profits earned by multilateral enterprises.”

According to the World Bank’s latest Migration and Development Brief, global remittances to low- and middle-income countries reached a record high in 2018, totaling $529 billion. Remittances to these countries are expected to reach $550 billion in 2019.

The World Bank’s report credits two developments for why remittances are thriving: a strong economy in the United States and a rebound in money being sent from Gulf Cooperation Council countries as well as Russia. Migrant workers have been drawn to the Gulf countries by rising oil prices and to Russia by the country’s economic recovery, the report says. Foreign Policy has mapped out the 10 countries both receiving and providing the greatest amount of remittances.

Read more: C.K. HICKEY, FP News,

Colnbrook (IRC) - Calm, With Caring Staff, But Too Prison-Like

During the most recent inspection in November and December 2018, the IRC held 246 detainees, significantly fewer than around 340 in 2016. Among positive findings, according to Peter Clarke, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, “it was encouraging to see that whistle-blowing procedures were well embedded and the duty of care that staff have towards detainees was well understood. “Detainees’ personal physical safety was generally good and there was a calm atmosphere in the centre.”

One of the most significant improvements was in staff-detainee relationships and in respect in general. In the inspection survey, 81% of detainees said that most staff treated them with respect, compared with 54% at the last inspection. Some provision, such as the very good cultural kitchen, had been further improved. Preparation for release and removal had room for improvement but remained a good area overall. The strong welfare team and good involvement by NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the centre were particularly commendable.

However, inspectors noted some less positive findings: Despite the emphasis the Home Office has placed on an ‘adults at risk’ policy, there was poor identification of, and therefore uncertain care for, some of the most vulnerable groups. Although care for those at risk of suicide or self-harm was carried out well, self-harm had risen more than threefold since 2016, though the population had fallen. Some elements of security were excessive. The vast majority of detainees attending external escorts were handcuffed without sufficient justification, and detainees on the men’s units were locked in cells for long periods. There remained “considerable problems” with deteriorating accommodation and significant investment will be needed to improve the fabric of the centre.

Mr Clarke added that one of the intractable problems at Colnbrook was that, with the exception of the women’s unit, the IRC was “largely indistinguishable from a prison, and prisons are rarely suitable environments for immigration detainees held under administrative, as opposed to judicial, powers. “It was notable that some of the most vociferous critics of the prison-like feel of the centre were the staff who worked there and who, on the whole, did a very good job of looking after detainees with decency and care.” Some staff described the “daunting” or “terrifying” impact on new arrivals.

Overall, Mr Clarke said: “The Home Office is planning to build a new centre to replace Colnbrook, and the neighbouring Harmondsworth, when the new Heathrow runway is constructed. It is to be hoped that the design problems of Colnbrook, including poor ventilation and sealed windows, limited outdoor space and exercise yards that would be austere for most prisons, will be avoided in the future. In the meantime, managers and staff were working hard to make improvements within the confines of the current environment and told us that the gaps in the systems for identifying and supporting vulnerable detainees would be quickly addressed.”

Source: HMCIP,

Deportation: West Africa: Blocked Charter Flight

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 9 October 2018 to Question 174681 on Deportation: West Africa, how many of the 60 people on board the charter flight bound for Nigeria and Ghana on 28 March 2017 which was prevented by protesters from leaving Stansted airport have been granted the right to remain in the UK; how many of those granted leave to remain were referred under the National Referral Mechanism for the identification of victims of trafficking; how many people have contacted the Windrush taskforce; and of those granted leave to remain, on what basis was that immigration status granted.

Answered by: Caroline Nokes: Of the 60 people due to be removed on that flight, four have been granted the right to remain in the UK.

Any individual who believes they are protected under the provisions of the 1971 Immigration Act is able to contact the Windrush Taskforce, which will help to identify their current status. None of the individuals have contacted the Taskforce.

Of the four people who have been granted the right to remain in the UK, two have been issued a residence card as a non-EEA national family member confirming a right to reside in accordance with EEA Treaty rights, one has been granted leave to remain on Human Rights grounds, and the other has been granted leave to remain following a conclusive grounds decision under the National Referral Mechanism for the identification of victims of trafficking.

Hansard:  12/04/2019,

Asylum Research Consultancy Country of Information Update Vol. 192
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 2 April and 15 April 2019.

Download the full document:

Court Castigates Home Office Over Misuse of Immigration Law

The appeal court has issued a damning judgment criticizing the Home Office’s process in using a terrorism-related paragraph of immigration law as “legally flawed” and ruling it must be changed. The Guardian has repeatedly highlighted the Home Office’s use of the rule – designed in part to tackle terrorism – torefuse applications from hundreds of people for making legal amendments to their tax records. The department has tried to force at least 300 highly skilled migrants to leave the UKunder paragraph 322(5), with a further 87 having left and another 400 potentially affected, between January 2015 and May 2018.

The court of appeal has examined four of these cases in depth. The immediate result of its 60-page judgment is that one of these cases has been quashed while the other three will be allowed to appeal, including one in which the court said there was “at least arguably, a distinct unlawfulness, in that the secretary of state failed to make an explicit finding of dishonesty”.

But the wider impact of the judgment is the court’s finding that the “general approach [by the home secretary, Sajid Javid] in all earnings discrepancy cases [has been] legally flawed” and must change. Criticism of the Home Office’s use of the clause has become part of the wider debate over the “hostile environment” and a target-based culture that also gave rise to the Windrush scandal.

Read more: Amelia Hill, Guardian,

Hundreds of Children Seeking Refuge in UK Deported to ‘Unsafe’ Countries at Age 18

Hundreds of children who sought refuge in the UK have been deported after turning 18 to countries the government deems dangerous to visit, The Independent can reveal. This includes 141 sent to Afghanistan – where campaigners say their British links make them targets for extremists.

Figures obtained through freedom of information laws also showed 30 people had been sent to Iraq, six to Somalia  nd at least one to Sudan, conflict-hit countries the Foreign Office advises against almost all travel to.

Groups working with migrants claim those sent to war-torn areas are being placed in a situation where “survival is impossible”. At least 30 others have been removed to nations, large parts of which the government urges Britons not to travel to, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt and Ethiopia. In total, 734 people handed some form of reprieve in the UK as minors were removed from the country between January 2015 and September last year – 19 of whom were 12 or younger when they first arrived in Britain.

Read more: Tom Barnes, Independent,

Deportation Orders Are Not Presumed Revoked After 10 Years, For Custodial Sentences of Less Than 4 Years

In the case of EYF (Turkey) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (2019), Mr Eyf argued that the wording of Paragraph 391 of the Immigration Rules implied that where a deportation order was in place there was a presumption that after a period of 10 years the deportation order should be revoked.
Paragraph 391 reads as follows:

“391. In the case of a person who has been deported following conviction for a criminal offence, the continuation of a deportation order against that person will be the proper course: (a) in the case of a conviction for an offence for which the person was sentenced to a period of imprisonment of less than 4 years, unless 10 years have elapsed since the making of the deportation order when, if an application for revocation is received, consideration will be given on a case by case basis to whether the deportation order should be maintained, or …”.

The Court of Appeal determined, however, that there is no such presumption that deportation orders are revoked in these circumstances. Each case is to be considered on a case-by-case basis. (The citation of the case is [2019] EWCA Civ 592).

Posted by: Gherson,

Court Rules Locking Out Glasgow Refugees From Their Homes Was Lawful

The Scottish Refugee Council has warned that a two-tier system of housing rights is emerging after a legal bid to prevent failed asylum seekers being evicted without a court order was dismissed by Scotland’s highest court.

The case against the Home Office and Serco was launched last August, after the private housing provider started to implement controversial plans to change the locks on the accommodation of hundreds of asylum seekers who had been told they could not stay in the UK.

Glasgow city council called on the Home Office to intervene on three occasions, stating that making hundreds of vulnerable individuals destitute could spark a humanitarian crisis on the streets, and Serco was eventually forced to pause the evictions while the court case was ongoing.

The court of session ruling, published on Friday, centred around the legality of Serco’s lock change procedures, which the company described as its “Move On Protocol”, under Scottish housing law and human rights legislation.

Read more: Libby Brooke, Guardian,