Immigration and asylum | The Guardian
Home Office reverses decision to make stroke victim's wife leave UK
Fri, 20 Oct 2017 11:56:59 GMT

Leah Waterman was earlier told she must return to Philippines, leaving severely disabled husband to care for children

The wife of a British stroke victim told by the Home Office that he must become the sole carer for their two young children has been told she will receive a right to remain visa after the Guardian highlighted their plight.

The Home Office had previously insisted Leah Waterman had to return to the Philippines, leaving her husband, Simon – who uses a wheelchair, requires 24-hour supervision to keep him alive and cannot speak, write or reliably understand what is said to him – as the sole carer for their two young British children.

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Brexit talks: where are the negotiations up to?
Fri, 20 Oct 2017 08:02:40 GMT

Theresa May’s speech in Florence aimed, it seemed, to revive stalled Brexit negotiations. We review progress in the talks so far, and assess what progress has been made

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Home Office issues visa to stranded Royal Navy pilot's wife
Thu, 19 Oct 2017 20:11:55 GMT

Marianne Rawlins, an American who was denied right to join British husband, receives apology for ‘inconvenience’

The Home Office has issued a visa and apologised to the wife of a Royal Navy pilot left stranded in the US while her husband serves in the UK.

Marianne Rawlins, 34, has been granted a UK visa to join her husband, Lt Commander Simon Rawlins, after the UK Visa and Immigration department initially ruled her application was not straightforward and required extra information.

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'No-deal' Brexit and attitudes on immigration – Politics Weekly podcast
Thu, 19 Oct 2017 17:25:12 GMT

Anushka Asthana is joined by Torsten Bell of the Resolution Foundation, the Guardian’s Rowena Mason and Jonathan Freedland to discuss Brexit. Plus Bobby Duffy of Ipsos Mori on changing attitudes to immigration

As Theresa May heads out to Brussels to try to break the Brexit deadlock, back home a growing chorus of Conservatives tell her to prepare to walk away with no deal. But what would that mean in practice?

Joining Anushka Asthana this week are Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland, deputy political editor Rowena Mason and Torsten Bell, the director of the Resolution Foundation whose report this week showed heavy costs for consumers if Britain exits without a deal.

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Family split across Atlantic accuse Home Office of inhumanity
Thu, 19 Oct 2017 15:46:20 GMT

UK government refused to reverse visa decision even though it admitted it was wrong to ignore exemption for US father

A British-American family hit by costs of £45,000 and split across the Atlantic have accused the Home Office of “inhumanity” and say they may be forced to return to the US after the government refused to reverse a visa decision that lawyers say is based on a misinterpretation of its own rules.

The Home Office had said it was “urgently reviewing” the Westerbergs’ application after the Guardian highlighted the plight of the family, a US man with an English wife and two children who are British citizens.

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Royal Navy pilot's wife left homeless in US by Home Office delays
Thu, 19 Oct 2017 11:21:11 GMT

American Marianne Rawlins is sleeping on friends’ couches while she waits for visa to join decorated serviceman in UK

The wife of a Royal Navy pilot who has served his country for more than 20 years and clocked up over 400 flying hours during his service in Afghanistan is trapped in the US while he serves in the UK because the Home Office will not give her a visa to join her husband.

Marianne Rawlins, 34, said she was now homeless after her husband, Lt Commander Simon Rawlins, nicknamed Top Gun by his colleagues, relocated to the UK earlier this year and she packed up her life and belongings in the expectation of joining him.

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EU citizens' rights groups dismiss May letter as meaningless
Thu, 19 Oct 2017 10:32:52 GMT

Letter assuring EU citizens in the UK that they will be allowed to stay is a PR exercise aimed at other leaders, campaigners say

Campaigners for the rights of EU citizens in the UK and British nationals in Europe have said a letter from Theresa May reassuring them they will be allowed to stay where they are post-Brexit is “meaningless” and a PR exercise aimed at other EU leaders.

Activists lobbying on behalf of the 3.6 million EU citizens in the UK said the letter was welcome but addressed to the wrong people. “We want to stay in this country. So we agree on that. But this letter is for the eyes of the leaders of the Council of Europe. If she really meant this, this letter would have been sent 12 months ago,” said Nicolas Hatton, the co-founder of the3million group.

Related: Theresa May writes to EU citizens in UK to reassure them over post-Brexit status

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'Absolutely unacceptable': UK accused of failing to protect domestic workers
Thu, 19 Oct 2017 06:00:15 GMT

Campaigners warn foreign workers continue to suffer abuse and exploitation in UK households after failure of safeguards designed to protect them

Campaigners have warned that thousands of foreign domestic workers remain enslaved behind the closed doors of some of Britain’s wealthiest neighbourhoods after the government failed to implement safeguards designed to protect them from abusive and exploitative employers.

In the past year, the Home Office has issued 18,950 visas under its domestic workers in private households scheme, which allows foreign families to bring domestic staff with them when staying in the UK.

Related: UK visa policy ‘increasing abuse’ of foreign maids, says damning review

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Revealed: rescued refugee children facing limbo – and worse – in UK
Thu, 19 Oct 2017 05:00:14 GMT

Exclusive: a year after Britain took in hundreds of ‘Dubs’ children, charities say delays are causing distress and at least one young person has been left sleeping rough

Lone children brought to the UK from Calais following a campaign last year are facing bureaucratic limbo and precarious living conditions, which has led in at least one case to a young person sleeping on the street.

A year after the arrival of the first children under the so-called Dubs scheme, which brought unaccompanied asylum-seeking children from Calais to the UK, the Guardian found that many are still waiting to hear if they will be allowed to stay in the country.

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Young Syrian faces being separated from family again after UK reunion
Wed, 18 Oct 2017 17:36:56 GMT

Mohammed Mirzo, 20, found his parents and siblings in Cardiff after four years apart, but could now be deported to Bulgaria

A vulnerable young man who was reunited with his family in Cardiff after being separated from them shortly after they had fled Aleppo has been told by the Home Office he has to leave them behind and apply for asylum in Bulgaria instead.

Mohammed Mirzo, 20, told the Guardian he suffered abuse and racism in the southern European country and feared for his safety if he was forced to return only a few months after making it to in the UK.

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Kamil Ahmad: failed by the Home Office, then murdered in Bristol | Rebecca Yeo
Wed, 18 Oct 2017 10:23:08 GMT
Kamil was both an asylum seeker and disabled. That combination would prove fatal as he was let down by the Home Office and the police

Kamil Ahmad was murdered in Bristol on the night of 7 July 2016. He had fled his home in Kurdistan, Iraq, after two years of brutal treatment in prison and years of conflict and violent repression following the occupation. He arrived in Bristol five years ago, at the age of 44, hoping to find peace and safety.

Related: British man guilty of murder of Kurdish asylum seeker

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UK to begin registering EU nationals for 'settled status' by end of 2018
Tue, 17 Oct 2017 17:48:00 GMT

Amber Rudd says Home Office’s default position will be to accept applications from 3 million EU citizens living in Britain

The registration of 3 million EU nationals in Britain will begin by the end of next year with the “default position” of the Home Office to accept applications, the home secretary has told MPs.

Amber Rudd said 1,200 extra staff were to be recruited by next April to provide an “easy access” registration process she promised would be “completely different” from the troubled permanent residency application system that has undermined confidence in the Home Office.

Related: Davis and Rudd contradict each other over whether 'no deal' Brexit 'unthinkable' - Politics live

Related: UK ministers told to 'get a grip' after accidental deportation letters

Related: Leaked document reveals UK Brexit plan to deter EU immigrants

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Wife of stroke victim who needs 24hr care must leave UK while he cares for children
Tue, 17 Oct 2017 12:47:32 GMT

Leah Waterman told to return to Philippines despite medics agreeing that her husband cannot care for himself, let alone be sole carer to their children

A British stroke victim who uses a wheelchair, requires 24-hour supervision to keep him alive and cannot speak, write or reliably understand what is said to him, has been told by the Home Office that he must become the sole carer for his two young British children while his wife travels to the Philippines to apply for a visa to care for the family.

Simon Waterman was living with his Filipino wife, Leah, and their children Kimi and Bryce, aged 10 and seven, in the Philippines when he had a severe stroke in September 2015. The family moved back to Abergavenny in South Wales in December so Simon could be near his family. When they applied for a visa for Leah to remain in the country, however, they were told there were “no exceptional circumstances” preventing her following the conventional route of applying for her visa from outside the UK.

Related: British-American family split across Atlantic after Home Office error

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British man guilty of murder of Kurdish asylum seeker
Tue, 17 Oct 2017 11:28:43 GMT

Jeffrey Barry, who has paranoid schizophrenia, killed Kamil Ahmad hours after being released from psychiatric unit

A man diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia has been found guilty of the murder of a vulnerable Kurdish asylum seeker in Bristol whom he had racially abused for years.

Jeffrey Barry was found guilty at Bristol crown court of killing and mutilating Kamil Ahmad just hours after being released from a psychiatric hospital. He stabbed him repeatedly before calmly phoning 999 and telling the operator what he had done.

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Labour losing ground to Tories in ‘left-behind’ towns as it gains in cities
Sat, 14 Oct 2017 23:03:14 GMT
Analysis of last election shows 10% swing to Labour in cities but Conservatives increase vote in small towns

Labour is losing ground to the Tories in Britain’s “left behind” towns and increasingly becoming the party of major cities, according to a new study of the UK’s fracturing political landscape.

Analysis by Professor Will Jennings of the University of Southampton for the New Economics Foundation thinktank shows a persistent and growing difference in political affiliation between cities and towns.

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'Thanks to Guardian readers, many children are now sleeping safely in warm beds'
Sat, 14 Oct 2017 07:00:01 GMT

Ishmael escaped Calais for security in the UK with the help of Safe Passage, one of three refugee charities supported by Guardian readers in 2016

Last October, Ishmael was one of many despairing migrants living in huts in Calais, risking his life regularly in an attempt to stow away in trucks to get to Britain, depressed to have fled violence in Syria only to find himself stuck in the squalor of the camp.

Now 18, Ishmael is settled with a foster family in north London and his English — almost non-existent when he left Syria alone aged 15 — is rapidly becoming fluent. He will soon begin a foundation course in politics at Birkbeck, University of London, the recipient of one of the college’s Compass scholarships, which provide financial support for asylum seekers.

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UK ministers told to 'get a grip' after accidental deportation letters
Fri, 13 Oct 2017 11:02:19 GMT

Government misinterpreted its own rules when mistakenly ordering European nationals to leave the country, says minister

The British government misinterpreted its own rules when it mistakenly sent more than 100 letters to European nationals ordering them to leave the country within a month or face deportation, a minister has admitted.

The government confirmed it would reimburse those who spent money fighting the wrongful orders and Brandon Lewis, the immigration minister, said he had written to each to apologise.

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British-American family split across Atlantic after Home Office error
Fri, 13 Oct 2017 09:02:27 GMT

Rajesh Westerberg, an American with an English wife and two British children, has returned to US while appeal is processed

The Home Office is urgently reviewing the case of a British-American family hit by costs of £45,000 and split between different sides of the Atlantic after it refused to reverse a visa decision based on a misinterpretation of its own rules.

Rajesh Westerberg, the American husband of an English wife and the father of two British citizens, has a master’s degree and a job offer of full-time employment with the Welsh National Opera.

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I sought refuge from torture in the UK. Only to be locked up again | Serge Eric
Thu, 12 Oct 2017 15:05:22 GMT
Torture survivors like me should never be held in detention centres. The government must act on a high court ruling – and end this torment immediately

I am a torture survivor who was once wrongly detained by the Home Office. So when I read that the high court has ruled that, by meddling with the torture definition and imprisoning survivors, the Home Office had acted unlawfully, I was shocked and relieved.

Related: Torture victims were wrongly imprisoned in UK, high court rules

Related: Polish immigrant dies after suicide attempt in UK detention centre

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How Europe's far right fell in love with Australia's immigration policy
Thu, 12 Oct 2017 05:00:32 GMT

European nativist parties have embraced Australia’s hardline tactics for managing asylum seekers and refugees – but their true agenda is to keep Muslims out. By Sasha Polakow-Suransky

In October 2015, six weeks after Tony Abbott was deposed as Australia’s prime minister in a fit of intraparty backstabbing, he arrived in London to give the Margaret Thatcher memorial lecture at Guildhall. Standing before an audience of Conservative party luminaries, he praised the Iron Lady before launching into a spirited defence of Australia’s controversial immigration policy. According to Abbott, his government’s harsh measures – forcibly turning around refugee boats to prevent them landing, and sending asylum seekers to detention camps on remote Pacific islands – had ended the arrival of unwanted migrants in Australia.

After a summer when more than a million asylum seekers had streamed into Europe, Abbott lectured the assembled Tories about the perils of loving one’s neighbour as oneself, calling it a “wholesome instinct [that is] leading much of Europe into catastrophic error”. Due to “misguided altruism”, Europe was weakening itself, argued Abbott, and the only way to reverse the tide, he insisted, was emulating Australia’s policy.

Related: The Nauru files: the lives of asylum seekers in detention detailed in a unique database – interactive

Related: EU-Turkey refugee deal – Q&A

Related: The ruthlessly effective rebranding of Europe’s new far right

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