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the World to Move?

              Never Doubt

The Butchers Apron

           Nellie de jongh

       Winning Campaigns


No-Deportations - Residence Papers for All
Monday 26th June to Sunday 2nd July2023

From 1685 to 2023 - A Short History of Refugees Coming to Britain

Let’s look back at the history of refugee arrivals in the UK. Right from the introduction of full immigration controls at the outset of the First World War, there has always been a mix of “bespoke” schemes for specific groups alongside unplanned arrivals. What follows is not a complete list and it is not based on thorough research (apart from the legal bits, which I’m confident are sound). It’s mainly drawn from a combination of Robert Winder’s excellent Bloody Foreigners, Jordanna Bailkin’s Unsettled: Refugee camps and the making of multi-cultural Britain and a bit of light Googling. I’d be interested to know where I’ve made mistakes or omissions, so get in touch if you spot anything glaring.

Before Immigration Controls
Prior to the passage of the Aliens Act 1905, there had been no permanent and official immigration controls in the United Kingdom. This meant that a person who wanted to come to the UK could do so, subject to paying for passage. There were no passports, no checks on arrival and no limitations on residence.

There are six groups I can think of who are known to have entered in significant numbers in this period.

Read more: Colin Yeo, Freemovement, https://tinyurl.com/2vt5nhuv

The 'Butchers Apron' ~ Aka the 'Union Jack'

The vast majority of people who make it to the UK, seeking asylum come from former British Colonies. Countries that the UK plundered of natural resources and when forced to depart, left most of the countries in political/economic turmoil the ramifications of which still bedevil these countries today.

Britain with brutal and violent oppression colonized over 57 countries mostly in the 16th/17th/18th centuries. None of the countries asked to be colonized and most of them had to resort to bloody and violent insurgency to drive the British out and gain their freedom/independence back.

To the majority of those colonized the Union Jack was known as the 'Butchers Apron'. Though Britain boasted the sun never set on the British Empire, it would be more true to say, 'the sun never set and the blood of innocents never dried.'

Britain Destroyed Records of Colonial Crimes
Thousands of papers detailing shameful acts were culled, while others were kept secret illegally. Thousands of documents detailing some of the most shameful acts and crimes committed during the final years of the British empire were systematically destroyed to prevent them falling into the hands of post-independence governments, an official review has concluded. Those papers that survived the purge were flown discreetly to Britain where they were hidden for 50 years in a secret Foreign Office archive, beyond the reach of historians and members of the public, and in breach of legal obligations for them to be transferred into the public domain.

The legacy of the British Empire MUST be front and centre when we make arguments about the injustice of immigration controls. "we are here because you were there and are still there" is critically relevant.

Read more: https://tinyurl.com/mrk3zhkp

Brook House Three Trial: A Major Victory For Anti-Deportation Activists

On 9 November 2021, three people lay down in the road outside Brook House Immigration Removal Centre, on the grounds of Gatwick Airport. Using lockable metal tubes fitted one to the other, they secured themselves by their arms to a nearby bus stop, lay down on the hard concrete, and waited. Inside the detention centre itself – which is run for profit by Serco, and has been the site of a wide range of repulsive human rights violations – detainees were working around the clock to try to avoid deportation to a country to which many of them had no connections, far away from the friends and loved ones they had built lives with in the UK. Some were resisting being removed to a deportation van that would take them to Birmingham, where a chartered plane was waiting to deport them to Jamaica. Almost all of those due to be on the flight were working frantically on legal challenges to their deportations. As is normal in such cases, the state had given many people mere days of notice that they would be deported and they had been cynically deprived of legal advice, meaning many legal appeals were only just being lodged. Every minute counted.

It was several hours before the police were able to cut through the lock-on devices and remove the protesters from the road outside. The window had closed for transporting Brook House detainees to the flight that evening. Moreover, the protesters weren’t an isolated handful of individuals, but the most visible manifestation of a broad civil society outcry against the flight, with migrant communities, activist organisations, NGOs, legal aid lawyers and a few left-wing MPs working to halt the flight and secure the release of the scheduled deportees. Minute by minute, legal appeals took shape and one person after another was told their deportation was being stalled. By the time the flight left in the small hours of the morning, only four people were onboard, of whom one was (officially) leaving the UK voluntarily.

This was a major defeat for the Tory government, and was seen as such.

Read more; Lisa Leak - RS21, https://tinyurl.com/2p8wncmr

Briefing: the State of the UK Asylum System

Everyone agrees that the United Kingdom’s asylum system is broken. In this briefing we will take a look at the whole of the asylum process, from the numbers claiming asylum to the decision-making process, the cost of the system, the volume and quality of decisions, the outcomes of appeals, the use of detention and the number of removals. The information is drawn mainly from the quarterly immigration statistics and transparency data for the year ended March 2023, the most recent available at the time of writing. Some of the figures are drawn from statistics relating to the Illegal Migration Bill.

The picture the data presents is of a system that has been overwhelmed. Not by new arrivals but by mismanagement. The people arriving to claim asylum are overwhelmingly refugees and they will, eventually, build new lives for themselves in this country. But they must endure bureaucratic purgatory first, seemingly to cleanse them of the supposed sin of irregular arrival. Waiting times for a decision run to years, during which time these refugees are forbidden from work, and forced to endure destitution-level support and temporary accommodation. As well as being bad for the refugees, it is causes an unnecessary charge on the public purse. And then, at the end of the process, despite all the tough posturing by the Home Secretary, almost no-one is removed anyway.

Read more: Colin Yeo, Freemovement, https://tinyurl.com/4buvsx8b

Council of Europe Express Concern Over Illegal Migration Bill

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on 21/06/2023 adopted a resolution expressing concern over recent legislation in the UK, notably including the Illegal Migration Bill.

PACE says the legislation risks breaching the UK's international legal obligations and thus the rule of law

The Resolution States: "The Assembly is concerned that recent legislation introduced by the UK Government to Parliament, and in particular the Bill of Rights Bill and the Illegal Migration Bill, indicates an increased willingness on the part of the UK Government, and certain legislators, to legislate in a way that could risk breaching the UK's international legal obligations and thus the rule of law. The Assembly is extremely concerned at such developments, and in particular what signal that may send both domestically and internationally.

"The Assembly, moreover, expresses concern that both the Bill of Rights Bill and the Illegal Migration Bill would increase legal uncertainty and conflicts between UK domestic law and the requirements of the European Convention on Human rights – as well as a number of other international conventions. The Assembly notes that these concerns have been similarly expressed by numerous civil society organisations, the Joint Committee on Human Rights of the UK Parliament, the UK's National Human Rights Institutions, the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA), and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees."

Read more: EIN, https://tinyurl.com/2ytanb5m

Scottish Inquiry Finds Immigration Detention Centre Death Was Avoidable

A number of defects in the system of working in Dungavel Immigration Removal Centre led to the death of a 54-year old Chinese man which could have reasonably been avoided.

Mr Xi Biao Huang had relocated from China and resided in the UK until his detention by immigration officers in August 2017 initially in an English immigration removal centre. When Mr Huang was brought to Dungavel in Scotland, he was incorrectly noted as speaking Mandarin (a language of which he had no knowledge). He was in fact a Taishanese speaker. His English was extremely limited. His name and his date of birth were also incorrectly recorded.

A few days after arriving, Mr Huang, with the aid of his roommate, tried to explain he was suffering from chest pain. His complaint was noted as “gastric” and he was given indigestion medication without any record of his vital signs being taken. The following day, Mr Huang was found dead in his cell. The cause of death was noted as Ischaemic Heart Disease. The post-mortem indicated he had suffered a heart attack approximately two weeks earlier and again a day or two before his death.

Read more: Freemovement, https://tinyurl.com/4rwebhfk



Should Refugees Claim Asylum in the First Safe Country They Reach?

Over and over again we hear that refugees should claim asylum in the first safe country the reach. There are variations on the theme. Genuine refugees claim asylum in the first safe country. Refugees should or even must claim asylum in the first safe country. The asylum seekers coming to the UK from France are really economic migrants, not refugees, because they didn’t claim asylum in France.

It is true that almost every asylum seeker who reaches the United Kingdom has travelled through safe countries to get here. We’re a small island situation to the far north east of the European continent. Of course almost any refugee who arrives here has traveled through a safe country first. It is impossible to get on a direct flight to the UK to claim asylum without lying to get the necessary visa.

Most refugees claim asylum elsewhere
This is, of course, obvious when you think about it. Some people have described the United Kingdom as a “magnet” for refugees. This just is not true. The vast majority of the world’s refugees do actually claim asylum in the first safe country they reach. Of those that do not and instead set out for Europe, only a tiny number reach the United Kingdom.

Read more: Colin Yeo, Freemovement, https://tinyurl.com/bdh99axs

Guards at Heathrow Immigration Detention Centre Try to Quell Protest

Detainees claim that Home Office contractors have lost control of the centre at a time when the Home Office is planning to detain and deport 3,000 people a month – a tenfold increase on current numbers. Those held at Harmondsworth say they are protesting about conditions including poor access to healthcare services and soaring temperatures in cells.

Detainees claim that Home Office contractors have lost control of the centre at a time when the Home Office is planning to detain and deport 3,000 people a month – a tenfold increase on current numbers. “There’s no windows – we can’t breathe here. It’s the same as a prison, with two people in a [2m x 2m] cell. It is unbearable,” a detainee from Iraq said.

Nicola Kelly and Diane Taylor, Guardian, https://tinyurl.com/bdhhkukp

Number of People Living in Modern Slavery Has Grown Since 2018

The Global Slavery Index reveals the number of people living in modern slavery has grown since 2018 against a backdrop of increasing and more complex conflicts, widespread environmental degradation, climate-induced migration, a global rollback of women’s rights, and the economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The latest Global Slavery Index, produced by human rights group Walk Free, reveals the 10 countries with the highest prevalence of modern slavery are North Korea, Eritrea, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Türkiye, Tajikistan, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Afghanistan, and Kuwait.

“Modern slavery permeates every aspect of our society. It is woven through our clothes, lights up our electronics, and seasons our food. At its core, modern slavery is a manifestation of extreme inequality. It is a mirror held to power, reflecting who in any given society has it and who does not. Nowhere is this paradox more present than in our global economy through transnational supply chains,” said Founding Director of Walk Free, Grace Forrest.

Read more: Relief Web, https://tinyurl.com/4ctu9vaz

‘Five Lives Lost Is a Tragedy. 600 a Statistic.’

On Friday 16th June, a crowd of people, hailing from across the diaspora of Africa and the Middle East, clambered onto a rickety vessel docked on the Libyan coast. Coordinated by smuggling gangs demanding more than their pound of flesh from each asylum seeker, the people were promised safe passage to Europe, whether they were travelling in seek of asylum or in pursuit of a better life. Once a vivid blue, photos show a stain-ridden and rust-riddled fishing ship (unchristened, but from here, the Pylos), perhaps fit to carry 350 people. Heedless of this, smugglers shoved over 600 on board, children and adults huddled in the hold or crammed cheek by jowl above deck, all praying that this most trepidatious part of their journey would be short and smooth.

Three days later, on Monday this week, a troop of adventurers, from countries ranging from Britain to Pakistan, clambered onto a different rickety vessel. Looking more like a medieval siege weapon than an advanced, twenty-first century submersible, it was one up from something cobbled together in a mad inventor’s garage. The five tourists’ ambition was to descend to the ocean floor and peer out, through a viewport barely bigger than an iPad screen, at the wreck of the Titanic. This ambition was not rooted in scientific endeavour, but in morbid curiosity and proof of chutzpah. Each of the five tourists paid as much as a quarter of a million dollars for the privilege of being sardined before receiving a glimpse of the Titanic burial ground, then rising to the surface to gloat about what their wealth entitled them to see. One-upmanship. Nothing more.

Nicholas Reed Langen, Justice Gap, https://tinyurl.com/ycy8zehn

Calendar of Racism and Resistance (6 – 20 June 2023)
Asylum and Migrant Rights

7 June: The Lithuanian Constitutional Court rules unconstitutional the extrajudicial detention of asylum seekers, as authorised by a 2021 law allowing for automatic detention.
8 June: The Home Office announces that in July it will ‘pause’ the controversial two-tier asylum system, the keystone of last year’s Nationality and Borders Act, whereby asylum seekers are treated according to whether they arrived by ‘regular’ or ‘irregular’ means.
8 June: EU member states reach a deal on compulsory allocation of asylum seekers, with a cash alternative of €20,000 per person. Six states led by Poland and Hungary oppose the deal, with Poland saying it would not pay. The deal also gives states more detention and removal powers.
9 June: An Open Democracy investigation on safe and legal routes for refugees reveals waits of up to 13 years after being accepted for resettlement by UNHCR, leading in one case to the death of an Iraqi toddler in Turkey through lack of the specialist medical treatment he needed. (Open Democracy, 9 June 2023)
11 June: The Joint Committee on Human Rights reports that the Illegal Migration Bill is illegal. (Free Movement, 11 June 2023; Joint Committee on Human Rights, 11 June 2023)
14 June: An open letter from the Migrant and Refugee Children’s Legal Unit describes the assertion that Albania is safe as ‘fundamentally flawed’, calling for support for the House of Lords amendment to remove Albania from the Illegal Migrations Bill’s safe list.
19 June: Civil servants in the Home Office transformation directorate, responsible for reform of immigration procedures after the Windrush crisis, are told their work will terminate on 1 July as the home secretary believes it is ‘time to move on.’
Borders and Internal Controls
7 June: A Freedom of Information request reveals that the UK government diverted £3 million from the development assistance budget and gave it to the Turkish border police, also providing training, to prevent migrants from reaching the UK.
8 June: The appeal trial of the ‘#Paros3’ begins in Syros, Greece. The three men steered a boat of more than 80 displaced people from Turkey to Greece in exchange for a cheaper fare in December 2021, and were arrested and charged with smuggling on arrival. In June 2022 they were sentenced to 439 years collectively and have served 1.5 years.
8 June: A contentious plan is rescinded and disciplinary measures instigated after Immigration police in Irún, Spain were told they would be rewarded with days off based on the number of migrants they manage to detain over weekends on the border with France.
9 June: Heavily armed Italian special forces were launched by helicopter to board a Turkish-flagged cargo ship where migrant stowaways, InfoMigrants reports, on the basis of faulty information that the ship had been hijacked by a group of armed migrants.
9 June: Spanish civil guards investigate the deaths of two migrants whose bodies are found on the beach of Adra, Almeria, after 137 displaced people on board a boat were forced to swim to the Spanish shore.
15 June: As mass demonstrations against government hypocrisy take place in Greece, international law experts, active and former Coast Guard officials, and the Watch the Med- Alarm Phone create a timeline detailing the capsizing of the trawler in the southern Peloponnese and alleging a failure to render assistance after an initial SOS call.
15 June: Solomon reveals that out of €800 million allocated to Greek authorities for border surveillance and migration deterrence in 2021-2027, only €600,000 (0.07%) is earmarked for Search and Rescue.
15 June: In a series of nationally coordinated workplace raids, Home Office enforcement teams arrest 12 individuals in Birmingham on suspicion of breaching student visa conditions. 16 June: Nine Egyptian men are accused of forming a criminal organisation for the illegal entry of migrants, causing a shipwreck and endangering lives in connection with the drownings in the southern Peloponnese, Greece.
18 June: With 500 still missing, new details emerge suggesting that women and children were forced to travel in the hold of the trawler that sank in Greece, and that Pakistani nationals were condemned to the most dangerous part of the trawler. No women or children are thought to be among the survivors.
20 June: To coincide with Refugee Week, United for Intercultural Action publishes its updated list of 52,760 deaths caused by Fortress Europe from 1993 to June 2023.
Reception and Detention
5 June: In Greece, social workers call for a reversal in legislation that sees unaccompanied young migrants with disabilities, currently housed in hostels that provide holistic care, expelled once they turn 18.
10 June: The government launches a £150-million fund for local authorities to help Ukrainians move into their own homes, while Afghan refugees face eviction from hotels with no further accommodation.
13 June: In the Court of Appeal, Braintree district council contests a High Court decision granting the Home Office use of the former RAF Wethersfield base as accommodation for 1,700 asylum seekers on the basis that use of the base does not constitute an ‘emergency’ and requires planning permission.
14 June: Following legal advice that a challenge to the siting of an asylum accommodation barge in Portland Port is likely to fail, Dorset council discontinues legal action.
15 June: The government awards a £1.6 billion, 2-year contract to Corporate Travel Management, an Australian travel firm, to cover the cost of three asylum accommodation vessels, including the barge to be based in Portland harbour.
16 June: Students and staff from the University of Oxford demonstrate against reopening Campsfield House immigration removal centre, contending that detention has ‘immediate and long-term negative consequences on people’s medical and mental health’.
17 June: Health professionals raise concerns about the rising numbers of children living in Home Office catered hotels diagnosed with malnutrition and becoming dangerously thin, with parents found to be rummaging through bins to feed their children. (Guardian, 17 June 2023)
6 June: A Frontex report obtained by Statewatch reveals that the EU border agency helped deport 25,000 people in 2022.
8 June: Ahead of NATO membership talks with Ankara, Sweden’s Supreme Court approves the extradition of a 35-year-old Kurdish man who is said to be a member of the People’s Democratic Party (HDK) and supporter of the PKK and has lived in Sweden since 2018.
14 June: The US accepts the resettlement application of an Afghan pilot who fought against the Taliban alongside British and US forces after his application to the UK’s Afghan Relocations and Assistance Programme application is rejected and he faces deportation to Rwanda.
Crimes of Solidarity
14 June: Three activists accused of causing ‘public nuisance’ for blocking Brook House immigration removal centre to prevent the forced removal of detainees to Jamaica are acquitted by a jury at Lewes Crown Court. )
16 June: In Lampedusa, Italy, authorities seize the German rescue ship Aurora on the grounds that the Sea-Watch crew violated a government decree demanding that rescuers go immediately to the port assigned them after an operation.




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