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No-Deportations - Residence Papers for All
Monday 21st November to Sunday 27th November 2022

Calendar of Racism and Resistance Monday 22nd November to Sunday 27th November

Callous Indifference: Remembering 32 Lives Lost in the Channel

Exactly a year ago, a dinghy with 34 people on board sank in the English Channel. There were two survivors. In the three hours it took for the boat to sink, as distress messages flooded in from those on board, French and British coastguards debated whose responsibility it was to rescue them. No help came, as one by one the passengers died of cold or drowned. As this week’s Calendar of Racism and Resistance shows, the body investigating the deaths – the worst loss of life in the Channel in over 30 years – the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB), will not present its findings until at least early summer next year, and has not yet been in touch with most of the families of those who died, despite being sent their contact details. The families have also been denied access to recordings of their loved ones’ final calls for help. The unmistakable message conveyed by such responses is that these deaths don’t matter and that the families of the deceased are unworthy of respect.

Twelve months on, another death, this time in Manston, a former RAF base which in its short time as a holding centre for asylum seekers has become, like Napier barracks, a byword for inhumanity. Manston has now been emptied, but as Joseph Maggs, in his critical analysis of the state violence that occurs behind the closed doors of a ‘no-access border zone’, shows, the closing of Manston will not put an end to the politically manufactured humanitarian crisis facing newly arrived asylum seekers. This can only end with a wholesale rejection of current policies of criminalisation and deterrence. But a change in policy, Maggs concludes, will not come from the top-down parliamentary process, with Labour leaders seemingly determined to match the Tories on toughness towards migrants. It will come through grass-roots resistance to state violence and demonisation, exemplified by the determined and dogged commitment of groups like SOAS Detainee Support, Action Against Detention and Deportations, as well as people from the Thanet area, at Manston.

Source; institute of Race Relations, https://rb.gy/6razem

More Than 50,000 Migrants 'Die In Search of a Better Life'

The tragic milestone was confirmed in a new report from the International Organization for Migration’s Missing Migrants Project, which also maintains that little action had been taken by any country of origin, transit or arrival. “While thousands of deaths have been documented across migration routes each year, very little has been done to address the consequences of these tragedies, let alone prevent them,” said Julia Black, co-author of the study.
The nationality for over 30,000 people in the Missing Migrants Project is unknown, which means that more than 60 per cent of those who die on migratory routes remain unidentified. Thousands of families are left “searching for answers”, IOM said.

Of the missing migrants whose nationality could be identified, more than 9,000 were from Africa, over 6,500 from Asia and another 3,000 from the Americas.

“Notably, the top three countries of origin – Afghanistan, Syria and Myanmar – are marked by violence, with many people fleeing their homes to seek refuge abroad”, IOM said.

Read more: UN News,

Home Office “Failure of Governance” In Migrant Phone Seizure Litigation

In a newly published judgment, the High Court has strongly criticised the Home Office for multiple breaches of its duty of candour and its duty not to mislead the court. The breaches occurred during judicial review litigation challenging the lawfulness of a blanket policy of seizing mobile phones from all migrants arriving in the UK by small boat; extracting all of the data; and retaining the phones for many months. Indeed, in over 400 cases the phones have been unable to be returned due to failings in Home Office record keeping.

When the claim was brought, the Home Office denied the existence of the blanket policy, and opposed our clients’ claim without acknowledging that it raised serious issues that needed to be considered by the court. Describing a series of failings over a prolonged period, the High Court criticized a “collective error of judgement” [para 38] that led to failings in the duty not to mislead the court and the duty of candour [para 39], which resulted in a “very unsatisfactory” [para 40] state of affairs.

The High Court stated that it would have taken the rare step of awarding indemnity costs against the Home Office if it had not already conceded those costs [para 5]. The judgment usefully affirmed that the Treasury Solicitor’s Guidance on the Duty of Candour reflects the law [para 16], which is important for other litigation amidst indications the government would prefer its lawyers to take a less exacting approach to their legal duties.

Read more: Deighton Pierce Glynn, https://rb.gy/qf1jwi

Racist Home Office Contractor Mitie Banks Millions in Profits

AHome Office contractor that was forced to apologise for racist staff and housed migrants in “very poor conditions” was rewarded with a jump in profits from government contracts.

Mitie announced in its half-year financial results yesterday that it had made £50m in profit between March and September, following a significant increase in the cash it receives from the government. Although this represents an overall fall from the £59.2m it made in the same period last year thanks to the expiry of £40m of Covid contracts, the firm’s profit from central government contracts has soared 71% to £25.5m.

The outsourcing company’s ‘Care and Custody’ division, which provides services to the Home Office, reported a £20m jump in revenues during the same period, up 32% compared to the same six months last year. Mitie also separately signed a new £53m contract with the Home Office to provide security services at hotels housing Afghan refugees from September 2022.

Read more:Adam Bychawski, Open Democracy, https://rb.gy/9cwmwc






Government Responds to Joint Letter on the Rights of Modern Slavery Victims

Migrant Rights Network has published the Government’s response to their joint letter in relation to the extent to which modern slavery victims can challenge deportations. Migrants at Work, BID, FLEX, and BASNET wrote a joint letter to the Home Secretary on the 10th of October. This was in response to concerns about her plans to restrict migrants from being able to challenge deportations on the basis that they had been subject to forced labour or human trafficking. The Home Secretary contends that the system has been subject to abuse as the number of those claiming to suffer from modern slavery doubled between 2017 and 2020 from 5,141 to 10,613.

The joint letter highlights the importance of the courts and access to judicial scrutiny in ensuring justice, especially for those most vulnerable in society that may be subject to deportation. The Home Office has a preference to remove victims, which critics argue neglects their duty to protect people from trafficking. To support this statement, they cite a case where the Home Office was forced to pay £25,000 in damages after unlawfully trying to deport a trafficking victim and claims made in interviews that Albanians are misusing the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). Civil society organisations refute this claim using the Government’s statistics that Albanians are the 2nd highest nationality under the Duty to Notify (an increase of 47% since 2021), suggesting that many Albanians are not entering the NRM, despite the likelihood that they are victims of trafficking. The joint letter makes clear that any attempts to crack down on modern slavery are undermined if deportations cannot be challenged by those at risk of trafficking and labour abuse as victims will be reluctant to come forward and report abuses.

In response, the Minister for Safeguarding reassures Migrants at Work and others that tackling human trafficking and modern slavery is a top priority for the Government and that referrals to the NRM have increased significantly in recent years – 12,272 in 2021 – an increase of 20% from the previous year. The Home Office is said to be improving training for First Responder Organisations and increasing awareness of modern slavery indicators in order to drive up the quality of referrals into the system. However, Emily Kenway, former advisor to the first UK Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner says, “modern slavery is a real experience…but it is also a political tool used by politicians to cast some people as victims and others are considered unacceptable victims.” Joe Calouri notes that after a child leaves the NRM there is ‘no guaranteed level of support for victims after a positive conclusive grounds decision.’ The Home Office must ensure that training covers implicit and explicit biases and that there is appropriate support to ensure protection of rights for victims of modern slavery.

Source: Mustafa Mamujee, Justice Gap: https://rb.gy/sdus5t

Manston Detention Facility Emptied After Legal Action Against Home Secretary

Detention Action has welcomed reports that all people held at the Manston Short-Term Holding Facility have now been moved into alternative accommodation elsewhere. The rapid emptying of the facility took place after Detention Action, PCS Union and a woman held at the facility issued the first legal action against the Home Secretary for her mistreatment of people held at the site.

On Monday 1st November, an urgent, pre-action letter was sent to the office of the Home Secretary on behalf of Detention Action and a woman held at the Manston facility. PCS Union, which represents Border Force and Home Office staff working at the facility, later joined the legal challenge.

The Home Secretary was offered a week to respond to the pre-action letter. After a week, the Home Secretary’s lawyers requested an extension of the deadline for response, which was granted by the claimants. However, no substantive response was received by the extended deadline. A written response from the Home Secretary’s lawyers was received five days after the extended deadline, only once the Manston site had been emptied. Although the site has been emptied, the Home Secretary has made no announcement to close the site.

Read more: Detention Action, https://rb.gy/mfqqkj

Only 8% Of Deportation Appeals Allowed on Human Rights Ground Only

Figures the Ministry of Justice was instructed to publish by the Office for Statistics Regulation show that just 8% of all deportation appeals lodged in 2020/21 were allowed on human rights grounds only. The one-off statistical release follows from the consultation on Dominic Raab’s proposed Bill of Rights Act, which will repeal and replace the Human Rights Act if it becomes law.

The total number of appeals allowed on human rights grounds only in 2020/21 was a grand total of 44. That is out of 568 appeals that were lodged and 126 that were allowed. Even as a percentage of the deportation appeals that are allowed, relatively few are allowed on human rights grounds only: 35% in 2021. The percentages can only be read as indicative, however, as there will be a time delay in an appeal being lodged and then heard and determined. The appeals that were allowed in 2020/21 may well have been lodged in previous years.

The figures undermine the case for reform of human rights laws. With relatively few deportation appeals being lodged at all, an average of just 35% being allowed since Theresa May’s immigration law reforms in 2012 and an average of a mere 10% being allowed on human rights grounds only, it is hard to see the need to rip up the Human Rights Act and start again.

Read more: Freemovememnt, https://rb.gy/hfpqcu

Reducing Distress When Working With Children in the Asylum Process

It is often not possible to mitigate additional distress when working with children given the nature of the asylum regime and the need to explore the hardest moments in your client’s life. This post gives some ideas on how to mitigate this distress when helping a child prepare an asylum claim.

It’s often not possible to know in advance what will cause distress. Simply asking their mother’s name could trigger sadness, or asking about their siblings could bring back a negative memory. You need to be as prepared as possible before the initial meeting. A careful study of any advanced paperwork on the child can give clues to sensitive points in their history and give you an idea of which topics to treat with additional care.

If you are using an interpreter, briefing them on the content of the upcoming meeting is good practice. It might also be helpful to let them know the child’s age. This means they can be ready to alter their tone and slow or simplify their language.

Read more: Freemovement, https://rb.gy/0najrr

Petition - Protect our NHS. Tell Rishi Sunak No More Cuts

We all know that Government cuts are coming in response to the economic crisis. I have started this petition to ask this government to protect our health service by not making those cuts in the NHS.

I’ve worked in the NHS for the past 12 years and over that time I’ve watched our services being cut away by successive governments. We cannot accept any more spending cuts - it’s not possible to provide the same level of health care with less and less every year.A return to austerity would mean that our NHS is truly lost.

We have already lost so much - NHS beds, appointments, operations, tests, and staff all cut to the bare minimum. The end result is where we are today: too many people waiting for treatment, whilst NHS staff are leaving in their thousands because we’re exhausted, traumatised and can’t pay the bills.

More cuts would make things even more dire. Our NHS would not be able to survive a further reduction of resources. We need as many people as possible to sign the petition to make it clear to our elected politicians where we stand. Rishi Sunak has been Prime Minister for less than four weeks. We have already seen high profile u-turns from this government so we already know that public pressure works. That is why we need your support today.

Please sign this petition to ask Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to protect our NHS and guarantee no more spending cuts to our health service.

You can sign the Petition here: https://rb.gy/njk9gq







Opinions Regarding Immigration Bail

36 Deaths Across the UK Detention Estate

UK Human Rights and Democracy 2020

Hunger Strikes in Immigration Detention

Charter Flights January 2016 Through December 2020

A History of

Immigration Solicitors

Villainous Mr O