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No-Deportations - Residence Papers for All
Monday 18th July to Sunday 24th July 2022

Home Office Pressured Inspector to Soften Damning Report on Channel Crossings

Priti Patel accused of delaying report after inspector criticised failure to respond to crisis - The Home Office pressured an independent inspector to change a report that called aspects of its response to Channel migrant crossings “inexcusably awful”. openDemocracy understands Home Office officials demanded that David Neal reword his foreword because it was too critical, but Neal – the chief inspector of borders and immigration – refused. The report, which was published yester day after a three-month delay, said the way vulnerable migrants who crossed the Channel by small boats were being treated on arrival was “unacceptable”.

Despite having attempted to tone down the report, the Home Office said today it “acknowledges the observations of fact in the report and accepts all the recommendations without demur” in its response. In June, Neal told the Home Affairs Committee that he had not met the home secretary, Priti Patel, since being appointed in March 2021. He said Patel had cancelled six scheduled meetings with him in that time. “I’m disappointed and frustrated that I’ve not been able to speak to the home secretary because I think I have things to offer,” Neal told the committee.

Source: Adam Bychawski, Open Democracy, https://rb.gy/76jexc

Migrant Crisis: Border Force Actions Made it Worse - Report

The Border Force, which polices the UK's borders, may have made the small boats crisis in the Channel worse, an independent report has found. The report, commissioned by Home Secretary Priti Patel, described the overall approach as "ineffective and possibly counter-productive". In relation to the small boats crisis, the review found the Border Force Maritime command had been "drawn into a challenge that it is ill-equipped to deal with and yet all consuming".

Its efforts were seen as short-term and broadly focused on the next crisis, meaning it was always running to catch up, Mr Downer said. The report added that the resources required in the Channel were "not sustainable". "The problem of illegal entry by small boats is not solvable in the Channel by Border Force," the review concluded, noting that the Royal Navy now controlled operations in the Channel, including commanding Border Force vessels.

Ms Patel has welcomed the report's "constructive recommendations".

Mark Easton, BBC News, https://rb.gy/kt8sbc

£17,500 Awarded for 40 Days of Unlawful Immigration Detention During the Pandemic

In R (Abulbakr) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2022] EWHC 1183 (Admin), the High Court has ordered the Home Office to pay a detainee £17,500 for 40 days of unlawful detention caused by unreasonable delay in providing a release address. The figure is high for the length of detention concerned, given the lack of any “initial shock”, and represents a criticism of the department’s failures on bail accommodation and recognition of the hardship of being detained during the pandemic. It will be a useful figure for obtaining significant damages in similar cases.

This judgment is a follow-up to R (Abulbakr) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWHC 3905 (Admin) (not publicly available but can be found on Westlaw). In the substantive judgment, Mrs Justice Foster found that the claimant had been unlawfully detained for 40 days because of a failure to arrange release accommodation, which overlapped with a period during which there was no realistic prospect of removal within a reasonable time. The issue before the court in the new judgment was the appropriate amount of damages, as the parties had been unable to agree.

Read more: Freemoevement, https://rb.gy/e5yjkr

UK’s ‘Quick-Fix’ Asylum Policies Criticised in Damning MPs’ Report

Headline grabbing policies such as sending asylum seekers to Rwanda to have their claims processed are failing to halt Channel crossings, which could double by the end of this year, according to a parliamentary report. The home affairs select committee has published a damning and wide ranging report into the failures of Home Office asylum policies, including stopping refugees from crossing the Channel in small boats.

The report – Channel Crossings, Migration and Asylum – estimates that by the end of 2022, approximately 60,000 asylum seekers could cross the Channel, more than double the 28,500 total for 2021. So far this year, more than 14,000 asylum seekers have crossed the Channel to claim asylum. The report states that “quick-fix solutions” such as the controversial Home Office plans to send some asylum seekers who reach the UK to Rwanda to have their claims processed there, will not succeed.

“There is no magical single solution to dealing with irregular migration. Detailed, evidence driven, fully costed and fully tested policy initiatives are by far most likely to achieve sustainable, incremental change that deters journeys such as dangerous Channel crossings,” the report states. Instead, the government is urged to consider the establishment of safe and legal routes for asylum seekers and to discuss with French partners the possibility of setting up asylum processing centres in northern France. It urges the Home Office to focus on incremental policies such as clearing the asylum backlog.

Read more: Diane Taylor, Guardian, https://rb.gy/zsw8hy





Home Office Operated 63 Deportation Charter Flights in Last Calender Year

Lord Rosser Asked Her Majesty's Government how many charter deportation flights took place in 2021; and how many deportees were on each of those flights. [HL1537]

Baroness Williams of Trafford: This Government’s priority is keeping the people of this country safe, and we make no apology for seeking to remove dangerous foreign criminals. Foreign nationals who abuse our hospitality by committing crimes should be in no doubt of our determination to deport them. Charter flight operations are an important means to return disruptive individuals or where they are limited scheduled routes, particularly during the global Coronavirus pandemic. We manage the charter programme flexibly, balancing it with the use of scheduled flights to best respond to operational needs. In the calendar year 2021 – The Home Office operated 63 flights removing 1365 individuals.

Ministers ‘Deflecting Failures’ - Thousands of Asylum Seekers Still Trapped In Hotels

The government has been accused of “deflecting its failures” with its “unworkable” Rwanda plan rather than reducing asylum backlogs as tens of thousands of asylum seekers continue to languish in hotels. New data obtained by the Refugee Council reveals that the number of people seeking asylum who are living in hotel accommodation almost trebled last year, surging to 26,380, despite a pledge by the Home Office at the start of 2021 to reduce the numbers.

The Refugee Council’s findings, obtained under freedom of information (FOI) laws, reveal that 378 people had been in hotel rooms for a year by the end of December 2021, and almost 3,000 (2,826) for more than six months. The number of families housed in single hotel rooms has increased by nearly a third (27 per cent) in 2021, which includes over 2,500 children (10 per cent of the hotel population). Figures uncovered by The Independent last month revealed that the numbers continued to increase into 2022, with 28,621 asylum seekers in hotel accommodation by May of this year.

Read more: May Bulman, Independent, https://rb.gy/d7cglp

GPS Tagging of Foreign Offenders “Not Yet Achieving Its Aims”

The electronic monitoring of foreign national offenders is riddled with flaws which can be traced back to Home Office underfunding and inefficiency, an independent report has found. The Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, David Neal, says the system for electronic tagging and GPS tracking of FNOs “cannot yet demonstrate it is achieving [its] aims”.

When a foreign citizen is convicted of a crime in the UK, deportation may not be explicitly mentioned during sentencing, but they may still be liable at the end of their sentence. Deportation proceedings often take a long time; in the meantime, FNOs are either held in detention centres or released on bail. In the latter case, electronic monitoring has been mandatory since last August, unless an exemption or exception applies. In practice, as the report shows, there are not enough ankle tags to go around, so “it has only been possible to begin to prepare for highest harm individuals” to be tagged.

A 12-month trial of using electronic monitoring for asylum seekers arriving by small boat began on 15 June. This was the same week as the first flight to Rwanda was planned, which is no coincidence: the Home Office says the threat of removal to a strange country may lead to “an increased risk of absconding”. The inspection took place in March/April 2022 and so did not cover this pilot.

Read more: Freemoevement, https://rb.gy/qhxrqh

Guidance to Identify Support Victims/Potential Victims of Trafficking In Prison

Following judicial review proceedings brought by the Anti-Trafficking and Labour Exploitation Unit (ATLEU), the Secretary of State for Justice has agreed to commence the development of operational guidance relating to victims and potential victims of modern slavery for staff working in prisons and to use his best endeavours to publish that guidance by 31 October 2022. The Justice Secretary has agreed that the operational guidance will include: notification of reasonable and co

nclusive grounds decisions to prison staff including key workers; provision for a specific assessment of the modern-day slavery needs of any prisoner who has a reasonable grounds or conclusive grounds decision; provision for prison officers to inform partner agencies, including The Salvation Army, before a potential or confirmed victim of trafficking is released from custody. The Claimants argued that the Justice Secretary’s failure to make arrangements for the assessment and support victims and potential victims of modern slavery was (i) discrimination contrary to Article 14 ECHR; (ii) irrational; (iii) in breach of the relevant statutory guidance; and (iv) contrary to the systems duty under Article 4 ECHR.





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