To be regarded as a dependant of an EU citizen, a descendant who is over 21 years old and a third-country national, does not have to establish that he has tried all possible means to support himself
A Member State cannot require the descendant to prove, in order to obtain a residence permit, that he has tried unsuccessfully to find work or to obtain a subsistence allowance in his country of origin
Judgment in Case C-423/12 Reyes v Migrationsverket
EU law extends the right of all EU citizens to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States to the members of their family, whatever their nationality. Family members include, in particular, direct descendants who are less than 21 years old or who are dependent on the EU citizen.
Report on an Unannounced Inspection of Harmondsworth IRC
Inspectors were concerned to find that:
- an 84-year-old man, suffering from Dementia was still in handcuffs (for five hours) at the point that he died;
- another man died shortly after his handcuffs were removed,
- Neither had been in any way resistant or posed any current specific individual risk. These are shocking cases where a sense of humanity was lost.
- we were concerned that immigration enforcement requirements were interfering with the contractor's attempts to focus on the care needs of some very sick and vulnerable individuals.
- detainees were kept in vehicles waiting to disembark, sometimes for hours, and reception procedures were completely inadequate;
- a number of security procedures lacked proportionality, such as the excessive use of separation;
- a lack of individual risk assessment meant that most detainees were handcuffed on escort and on at least two occasions, elderly, vulnerable and incapacitated detainees, one of whom was terminally ill, were handcuffed in an unacceptable manner;
- the Rule 35 procedure that identified victims of torture and others with special conditions was failing to safeguard possible victims;
- some rooms were overcrowded and much of the centre was dirty and bleak;
- engagement between staff and detainees was just adequate and too many staff seemed confined to their offices;
- some significant gaps in health care remained and the continuing uncertainty and disruption likely with the imminent change of health care provider meant there was potential for deterioration in this service.
- clinical management of substance misuse was, in our view, unsafe.
- Inspectors made 133 recommendations
Inspection 5–16 August 2013 by HMCIP, report compiled January 2014, published 16/01/14
Managed by GEO Group
"A major concern is an inadequate focus on the needs of the most vulnerable detainees, including elderly and sick men, those at risk of self harm through food refusal, and other people whose physical or mental health conditions made them potentially unfit for detention.
"It was hard to dispel the feeling that Harmondsworth was in a state of drift. There was some uncertainty about the future of the management contract. The centre did not seem to be progressing and some services were being poorly managed.
"At its last inspection in 2011, inspectors found a centre that was working hard to sustain improvements after opening new accommodation. This more recent inspection was more mixed. Improvements had slowed and some aspects of safety had deteriorated. There was an inadequate focus on the needs of the most vulnerable detainees, including elderly and sick men, those at risk of self-harm through food refusal and others whose physical or mental health made them potentially unfit for detention." Nick Hardwick
Introduction from the report
Harmondsworth is an immigration removal centre (IRC) adjacent to Heathrow Airport. Operated under contract by GEO, the centre is capable of holding just over 600 male detainees. When we last inspected Harmondsworth we found an IRC that was working hard to sustain improvements after the opening of a significant amount of new accommodation. This report is more mixed. The evidence suggested to us that improvement had slowed and that some outcomes had clearly deteriorated, notably in safety. A major concern is an inadequate focus on the needs of the most vulnerable detainees, including elderly and sick men, those at risk of self harm through food refusal, and other people whose physical or mental health conditions made them potentially unfit for detention.
Most living units remained settled and in our survey, across a range of safety indicators, the perceptions of detainees were reassuring. Violence was reasonably low and arrangements to tackle anti-social behaviour were generally effective. However the way detainees were received into the centre was in many respects poor. Detainees were kept in vehicles waiting to disembark, sometimes for hours, and reception procedures were completely inadequate. Detainees reported negatively about their initial experiences and too few felt safe over their first night, despite reasonably robust first night arrangements and a mostly adequate induction.
There had been an increase in the number of self-harm incidents since our last inspection but the care for those in crisis was good, despite some quite weak case management. The centre had also been managing well a significant number of detainees who were refusing to accept food, although we were concerned that immigration enforcement requirements were interfering with the contractor's attempts to focus on the care needs of some very sick and vulnerable individuals.
The centre was now holding fewer ex-prisoners but a number of security procedures lacked proportionality. Separation was being used excessively and was not in line with the Detention Centre Rules. Disturbingly, a lack of intelligent individual risk assessment had meant that most detainees were handcuffed on escort and on at least two occasions, elderly, vulnerable and incapacitated detainees, one of whom was terminally ill, were needlessly handcuffed in an excessive and unacceptable manner. These men were so ill that one died shortly after his handcuffs were removed and the other, an 84 year-old-man, died while still in restraints. These are shocking cases where a sense of humanity was lost.
The number of legal advice surgeries had increased but fewer detainees than we typically see had a lawyer. The role of peer supporters needed to be better regulated: we found evidence that some were filling the gap in legal support by providing advice about bail applications and other issues, something they were neither trained nor competent to do. The contact management team that interfaced between detainees and enforcement case workers was stretched and not fully meeting need, and the Rule 35 procedure that identified victims of torture and others with special conditions, was failing, as we often see, to safeguard possible victims.
The centre environment was divided between two older wings and newer accommodation that was prison-like in character. Some rooms were overcrowded and much of the centre was dirty and bleak. Engagement between detainees and staff was just adequate and too many staff seemed confined to their offices. In our survey too few detainees felt respected. Structures to support and encourage equality and diversity were not effective and poorly promoted, with the exception of some good support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) detainees. Provision for faith and religious activity was strong. However, some significant gaps in health care remained and we were concerned that the continuing uncertainty and disruption likely with the imminent change of health provider meant there was significant risk and potential for deterioration in this service. The clinical management of substance misuse was, in our view, unsafe.
The range of recreational activity had improved since our last inspection, as had the number of paid work places, although many of these were mundane. Participation in education had similarly improved but remained low. Although more detainees felt they had enough to do, attendance, punctuality and access was constantly undermined by needless security and control impediments which served little discernable purpose. There was little that was formal or meaningfully accredited about learning provision.
Preparation for release was underpinned by some reasonably good welfare support and communications such as visits, and access to IT and telephones were satisfactory. Charter removals were generally well managed, although more could have been done to reduce the potential for conflict escalation during what is a tense and stressful moment in the deportation process.
It was hard to dispel the feeling that Harmondsworth was in a state of drift. There was some uncertainty about the future of the
management contract. The centre did not seem to be progressing and some services were being poorly managed. Routines were maintained, but there had been, for example, little consideration of the changing nature of what was a potentially lower-risk population. A more careful and thoughtful analysis of need, identifying new priorities and new ideas, was required. Also needed was greater management energy and thought in implementing change and driving improvement. Most importantly, there needed to be a refocusing on individual needs of the most vulnerable people in detention, some of whom had been utterly failed by the system.
HM Chief Inspector of Prisons
Afghan Atheist to get Asylum in Britain on Religious Grounds
His case was accepted by the Home Office on the basis there was a risk he could face persecution in Afghanistan for having rejected Islam.
Although he was brought up a Muslim, since living in the UK he has gradually turned away from it and is now an atheist. The young man – who does not want to be identified for fear of being rejected by the Afghan community in Britain – fled to the UK from a conflict involving his family in Afghanistan.
He first claimed asylum in 2007 when he was just 16. The claim was rejected but he was granted discretionary leave to remain until 2013 under rules to protect unaccompanied children.
The case was taken up by Kent Law Clinic, a pro bono service provided by students and supervised by practising lawyers from the University of Kent's Law School, alongside local solicitors and barristers. A submission to the Home Office argued that the man's return to Afghanistan could result in a death sentence under Sharia law as an "apostate" – someone who has abandoned their religious faith – unless he remained silent about his atheist beliefs.
Read more: Emily Dugan, <> Guardian, 13/01/14
Ali Zahid - and - SSHD
The claimant challenges the defendant's decision dated 10 September 2013 to remove him from the United Kingdom. He also challenges the legality of his actual removal to Pakistan on 1 October 2013, seeking a declaration that it was unlawful. He also seeks an order quashing his removal and for his mandatory return to the United Kingdom and/or damages.
Conclusions: Accordingly, for the reasons that I have given, this application for judicial review is refused. I do however declare that the decision to remove the claimant was unlawful. I do not quash the decision. I do not order the return of the defendant for the reasons given. I do find that the claimant is entitled to damages to be assessed if not agreed.
Periods in prison cannot be taken into account for the purposes of the acquisition of a permanent residence permit or with a view to the grant of enhanced protection against expulsion Similarly, periods of imprisonment, in principle, interrupt the continuity of the requisite periods for granting those advantages More . . . .
EDM 945: Attack On Golden Temple At Amritsar In 1984
That this House notes with concern the evidence now available as a result of the most recent release of Foreign and Commonwealth Office documents which reveal that in 1984 the then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, and Foreign Secretary, Geoffrey Howe, agreed that the UK would provide military assistance in the form of SAS advice in planning the assault by Indian forces on the Sikh's Golden Temple at Amritsar which resulted in a large number of deaths and the desecration of this holy place; further notes that the authorisation of this military assistance was kept secret; and calls on the Government to establish an independent public inquiry into the collusion between the UK and Indian governments on the perpetration of this massacre, including the immediate release of UK Government documents relating to it.
Sponsors: McDonnell, John/ Watson, Tom -<>House of Commons:
UKBA Staff Rewarded With Gif Vouchers For Refusing Asylum
Official guidance obtained by the Guardian shows that immigration staff have been set a target of winning 70% of tribunal cases in which asylum seekers are appealing against government decisions that they should leave the UK.
These officers are also incentivised by Home Office reward schemes involving gift vouchers, cash bonuses and extra holidays, according to information received under freedom of information laws.
Asked what rewards were given to presenting officers and case owners in the fields of asylum and immigration, the department confirmed high-street vouchers for £25 or £50 were handed out to "recognise positive performance over a short period of time", including when officers "exceed their casework targets for a month".
Diane Taylor and Rowena Mason, Guardian <> 14/01/14
Criminalising Forced Marriage in the UK: Will Not Help Women
Under the umbrella of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Bill which reached report stage on 8 January, new proposals criminalising forced marriage are due for their penultimate reading in the House of Lords in the next few days before becoming law. This is one of the most strongly contested legislations relating to gender to go through Parliament in recent years. The government sees it as crucial, not it seems because it might help the women affected, but because in the words of the Home Secretary,Theresa May, 'by criminalising it we are sending a strong message that it will not be tolerated'. The majority of groups which make up the Black and minority ethnic (BME) movement against violence against women in the UK, think the law will actually deter women from seeking legal redress. They regard it as little other than an example of the government's hypocrisy, and its cynical use of gender to intensify repression, criminalisation and Islamophobia.
Read more: Amrit Wilson, Open democracy, < > 13/01/14
Greece Must End Collective Expulsions
Strasbourg, 14/1/2014 – "The large number of reported collective expulsions by Greece of migrants, including a large number of Syrians fleeing war violence, and allegations of ill-treatment of migrants by members of the coast guard and of the border police raise serious human rights concerns. I call on the Greek authorities to carry out effective investigations into all recorded incidents and take all necessary measures in order to end and prevent recurrence of such practices", said Nils Muiznieks,
The Commissioner notes the recent adoption of legislative measures aimed at protecting migrants', including minors', access to health and social care in initial reception centres. However, he underscores that collective expulsions of foreign nationals violate international and European human rights law and raise very serious issues of compatibility with the fundamental principle of non-refoulement, enshrined in the UN Refugee Convention, by which Greece is bound.
Read more: Council of Europe, <>14/01/14
Nigeria Enacts Law Imposing Jail For Gay Relationships
Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan signed a bill on Monday that criminalises same-sex relationships, defying western pressure over gay rights and provoking US criticism.
The bill, which contains penalties of up to 14 years in prison and bans gay marriage, same-sex "amorous relationships" and membership of gay rights groups, was passed by the national assembly last May but Jonathan had delayed signing it into law.
A presidential spokesman told Reuters he had now done so. As in much of sub-Saharan Africa, anti-gay sentiment and persecution of homosexuals is rife in Nigeria, so the new legislation is likely to be popular. Jonathan is expected to seek re-election in 2015 but is under pressure after several dozen lawmakers and a handful of regional governors defected to the opposition in the past two months.
Under existing Nigerian federal law, sodomy is punishable by jail, but this bill legislates for a much broader crackdown on homosexual people, who live a largely underground existence.
Read more: theguardian.com, <> Monday 13 January 2014
Habitual Residence Test
18. Nigel Mills (Amber Valley) (Con): What plans he has for the habitual residence test. 
The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Mr Iain Duncan Smith): Migrants must now meet a much tougher habitual residence test than before, showing the efforts they have made to find work before coming to the UK and that their English language skills are not a barrier to getting a job. They must also have been resident in the UK for three months before being able to access out-of-work benefits. We have plans to make it even stronger, by introducing a minimum earnings threshold, with tougher questions on whether work is genuine, and job seekers from the European economic area will not receive housing benefit.
Nigel Mills: I am grateful to the Secretary of State for that detailed answer. I urge him to go a bit further and listen to the representations he has received to extend the qualifying period for the habitual residence test, and make people have to be here for a year before they can get those benefits.
Mr Duncan Smith: As has been made clear beyond this Chamber, we are looking at that matter at the moment, and we have been discussing it with a number of other European nations, the vast majority of which are clear and with us on the idea that freedom of movement should not result in an opportunity for people to take benefits from wherever they want and to pick and choose their benefit areas. We are looking at how we can come to an agreement on those time scales and limits.
>House of Commons / 13 Jan 2014 : Column 575
Sikhs Demand Inquiry Into Role of SAS In 1984 Amritsar Attack
Sikh groups have called for a government inquiry into alleged British collusion in the bloody 1984 Indian military attack on the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the faith's holiest shrine, after newly released documents appeared to show the SAS was involved in planning the attack.
The head of the Sikh Council UK, Gurmel Singh said he was "shocked and disappointed" at the idea the government of Margaret Thatcher may have been involved. The Labour MP Tom Watson, whose West Bromwich constituency, contains many Sikhs, has demanded the Foreign Office release further papers about any British role.
Read more: Peter Walker, theguardian.com, >Monday 13 January 2014
Brussels Slaps Down British Threats To Rewrite Immigration Rules
In the latest response to calls from UK politicians to unpick the EU treaties and rewrite one of its founding principles, European parliament president Martin Schulz said that while he took UK demands for reform of the EU "very seriously" there was no question of the parliament agreeing to reopen the rule-book on free movement. The principle of free movement of people has been one of the greatest successes the EU has, it is a fundamental principle and it's not up for negotiation any more than renegotiating the principle of the free movement of goods, services or capital." He stressed that such treaty change "needs unanimous support and ratification of all member states".
Read more: Toby Helm, Observer, < >Sunday 12 January 2014
Detention Forum Parliamentary Meeting
Tuesday 21st January 2014, 11:30am - 1:30pm
House of Commons - Committee Room 4A
The meeting will focus on the theme of indefinite immigration detention without time limit in the UK and will launch a new European research report, Point of no return: the futile detention of unreturnable migrants. The research, by Detention Action and four partner organisations around Europe, examines the detention of migrants who cannot be returned, and finds that the UK is unique in its practice of holding these migrants for periods of years.
The meeting will be an opportunity for discussion of the passage of the Immigration Bill through the Lords, and in particular of an amendment drafted by the Immigration Law Practitioners Association that would set a time limit to detention of 28 days.
The speakers will include:
The Rev. Lord Roberts of Llandudno
Alison Harvey, Immigration Law Practitioners' Association
Jerome Phelps, Detention Action
A representative of Freed Voices with experience of long-term detention
Following the coverage of the life-threatening hunger strike of Isa Muazu, and in anticipation of the opening of a new, 600-bed detention centre at the Verne, Dorset, the meeting will be an opportunity to draw attention to the levels of despair amongst migrants held in indefinite detention.
If you are able to attend, please RSVP to