Immigration and asylum | The Guardian
Amber Rudd's return is a surprising yet inevitable new dawn
Fri, 16 Nov 2018 19:09:36 GMT

Theresa May’s steadfast supporter is back, seven months after the Windrush scandal brought her down

Amber Rudd’s return to frontline politics was both a surprise and inevitable, according to one former colleague.

Surprising because she was brought down so recently and so spectacularly by the Windrush scandal, which she had tried to defend despite a series of articles in the Guardian.

Related: Stephen Barclay appointed as Brexit secretary

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Kweku Adoboli had served his time. Deporting him was unspeakably cruel | Luke Butterly
Fri, 16 Nov 2018 13:00:04 GMT

Britain was the former City trader’s home from childhood – yet he has been sent ‘back’ to Ghana

Kweku Adoboli came to the UK at the age of 12, and has lived his life here for the past 26 years, attending school and university. Yet on Wednesday night he was deported to Ghana, a country he has not lived in since he was four, and to which he has no connection. How did this happen?

Adoboli was jailed in 2012 for his part in losing billions for UBS, while working as a junior banker at the Swiss bank. Few individuals ever go to jail as a result of bank losses – yet Adoboli was convicted on two counts of fraud and sentenced to seven years. He served half his sentence.

Related: Kweku Adoboli deported to Ghana on flight from Heathrow

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John Kerry: Europe must tackle climate change or face migration chaos
Fri, 16 Nov 2018 00:17:13 GMT

The ex-US secretary of state, speaking at a Guardian Live event, predicts mass movement from Africa

Europe faces even deeper political turmoil and the possibility of mass migration from Africa unless the world urgently addresses the threat of climate change, the former US secretary of state John Kerry said on Thursday.

Speaking at a Guardian Live event, at Central Hall in London, he said he was deeply disturbed at how issues such as climate change, cyber wars and the future of the oceans were not ballot box issues, admitting it was hard to translate these issues into an acceptable set of choices for voters.

Related: John Kerry: US 'cannot afford truculent child president'

Related: We have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe, warns UN

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Windrush victims classed as criminals in government blunder
Thu, 15 Nov 2018 17:16:20 GMT

Tally of wrongful deportations and detained likely to rise after Home Office error

The Home Office has admitted that the number of Windrush people known to have been wrongly deported or detained is likely to rise from the figure of 164, because officials have misclassified a number of affected people as criminals and excluded them from the count.

The admission prompted Labour’s Harriet Harman to accuse the Home Office of “blundering in their attempt to sort out a Home Office blunder”.

In November last year, Paulette Wilson (left), who has lived in the UK for more than half a century, spoke to the Guardian's Amelia Gentleman about her treatment at the hands of the Home Office - and revealed that she had been held at Yarl’s Wood detention centre and threatened with deportation. It was the first of a series of stories that developed a picture of how many members of the Windrush generation were being mistreated by the government under the so-called ‘hostile environment’ policy. By February, with other examples mounting, the government had relented in Wilson’s case, but faced acute criticism from Caribbean diplomats who urged the Home Office to adopt a “more compassionate” approach.

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'A race to save lives': calls for action after deaths of homeless Indians in UK
Thu, 15 Nov 2018 13:43:50 GMT

Charities press for Windrush-style taskforce to help those who want to return home

Stuck in a bureaucratic limbo that left him unable to return home to India but also unable to work or access services in Britain, Sodhi Singh spent more than a decade sleeping rough on the streets of London.

“They don’t want me in India and they don’t want me in the UK. I’d rather be dead than living on the streets,” he said, two weeks before he died in hospital this month after being found unconscious in the car park of Redbridge council’s offices in east London.

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Kweku Adoboli deported to Ghana on flight from Heathrow
Wed, 14 Nov 2018 18:06:02 GMT

Former UBS rogue trader fought deportation having lived in the UK since childhood

The convicted former UBS trader Kweku Adoboli has been deported from the UK to Ghana, his country of birth, after Home Office officials put him on a flight from Heathrow airport on Wednesday afternoon.

Adoboli, who was arrested in Glasgow on Monday when he went to report to the Home Office, was taken to Harmondsworth immigration removal centre on Monday. He was not informed about when and how he would be deported but on Wednesday afternoon he was taken by five escorts to Heathrow airport and was due to be put on a flight at about 5pm to be returned to Ghana, where he has not lived since the age of four.

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Migrants take 12-metre fishing boat in 'unprecedented' trip across the Channel
Wed, 14 Nov 2018 00:42:28 GMT

French authorities surprised at unusually large vessel Iranian group took to make the trip to the UK

A group of Iranian migrants took a 12-metre (40ft) fishing boat from a French port and sailed across the Channel to Britain, slipping past border officials to complete their journey.

Seventeen migrants, including three children, reached England early on Tuesday aboard the fishing boat believed to have been stolen from a port near Calais, British officials confirmed.

Related: Home Office scraps scheme that used NHS data to track migrants

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Skills shortages harming UK business, employers warn
Tue, 13 Nov 2018 10:31:22 GMT

Figures reveal biggest fall in workers from eastern Europe since record began

Britain’s employers have warned that severe skills shortages are holding back the economy after the latest official figures showed the biggest fall in the number of workers from eastern Europe since modern records began.

The British Chambers of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses urged the government to deliver a post-Brexit migration system to meet their needs amid signs that the fall in unemployment in recent years was putting upward pressure on wages.

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Windrush victims criticise complexity of compensation form
Tue, 13 Nov 2018 06:00:36 GMT

Campaigners warn not enough is being done to advertise the consultation document

Victims of the Windrush scandal have criticised the consultation phase of the government’s proposed compensation scheme, saying it is too long and complex.

Campaigners also warned not enough had been done to advertise the consultation and urged the government to quickly provide financial help to those facing destitution.

Related: 'It's inhumane': the Windrush victims who have lost jobs, homes and loved ones

In November last year, Paulette Wilson (left), who has lived in the UK for more than half a century, spoke to the Guardian's Amelia Gentleman about her treatment at the hands of the Home Office - and revealed that she had been held at Yarl’s Wood detention centre and threatened with deportation. It was the first of a series of stories that developed a picture of how many members of the Windrush generation were being mistreated by the government under the so-called ‘hostile environment’ policy. By February, with other examples mounting, the government had relented in Wilson’s case, but faced acute criticism from Caribbean diplomats who urged the Home Office to adopt a “more compassionate” approach.

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Windrush : 11 people wrongly deported from UK have died – Sajid Javid
Mon, 12 Nov 2018 20:29:03 GMT

Officials unable to contact many of those affected, suggesting death toll could be higher

Eight more members of the Windrush generation who may have been wrongly deported by UK authorities have been found to have died, taking the total to at least 11, the home secretary has confirmed.

Sajid Javid said British officials had also been unable to contact many of those thought to have been caught up in the scandal, suggesting the true death toll could be higher still.

Related: Sajid Javid pushes for Home Office changes after Windrush errors

Related: Uncovering Windrush: 'Only after months of reporting did the government apologise'

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Home Office scraps scheme that used NHS data to track migrants
Mon, 12 Nov 2018 14:44:53 GMT

Secret data-sharing deal dropped after legal action by Migrants’ Rights Network

The Home Office has abandoned a controversial “hostile environment” scheme using NHS data to track down patients believed to be breaching immigration rules.

In the face of a legal challenge brought by the Migrants’ Rights Network, a memorandum of understanding between the Department of Health, NHS Digital and the Home Office is being scrapped.

Related: Uncovering Windrush: 'Only after months of reporting did the government apologise'

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Former UBS trader Kweku Adoboli could be deported to Ghana
Mon, 12 Nov 2018 12:36:26 GMT

Man jailed for seven years in 2012 for £1.8bn fraud arrested at Scottish police station

The convicted former UBS trader Kweku Adoboli has been arrested and could be deported to Ghana in the next few days, he has said.

Adoboli was taken into custody after attending a regular reporting session at his local police station in Livingston. He is in a holding centre in Glasgow and has been informed that he is to be taken to Harmondsworth immigration removal centre near Heathrow. Adoboli fears the Home Office wants to put him on a private charter flight to Ghana.

Related: Why does the government want to punish Kweku Adoboli twice? | Jacqueline McKenzie

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Failure to get to grips with UK’s housing crisis | Letters
Sun, 11 Nov 2018 17:47:30 GMT
Paul Nicolson says making public spaces more beautiful should not be the top priority, Jeremy Beecham highlights concerns about Jomast, and Jerry Hodgkinson says taxpayers are subsidising Persimmon’s payroll as well as its profits

Setting up a housing commission to make public spaces more beautiful is an odd choice of priorities by a government in the midst of a housing crisis that highlights the lack of provision for the human need for shelter in the UK (Tory cronyism: a seemingly endless source of bigotry, 8 November). It is typical of this government’s talent for seeing only the surface of human needs and failure to see poverty from the point of view of impoverished people. There are ever-increasing numbers of homeless families and individuals. A commission to increase the number of truly affordable homes, immediately address the housing crisis and so improve public health, would have been the right choice. For the health and wellbeing of men, women and children, the minimum household income must be enough to fund a healthy diet, water, fuel, clothes, transport and other necessities, after the rent, council and income taxes are paid in all truly affordable homes, beautiful or not.
Rev Paul Nicolson
Taxpayers Against Poverty

• It is an oversimplification to say that accommodation for asylum seekers and refugees is provided by Serco, G4S and Clearsprings Ready Homes (Report, 8 November). In the north-east G4S has sub-contracted some of the provision to Jomast, about whose performance there is local concern, with suggestions, among others, that unlike G4S unrelated tenants are required to share bedrooms. There is little evidence that the government takes “the wellbeing of asylum seekers and the communities in which they live extremely seriously”.
Jeremy Beecham
Labour, House of Lords

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Uncovering Windrush: 'Only after months of reporting did the government apologise'
Sat, 10 Nov 2018 09:00:38 GMT

Amelia Gentleman shares the highs and lows of piecing together one of the most important stories of the year

How long had you been researching and investigating before the first piece was published? Can you tell us what prompted you to start looking into it? Was there any point when you thought you might not be able to publish?

The investigation took months of work before the Guardian’s reporting of catastrophic Home Office failures erupted into a massive political scandal. From the moment I met Paulette Wilson, the 61-year-old, former House of Commons canteen worker, who had been detained and threatened with deportation after being misclassified as an illegal immigrant, I realised her case had been badly mishandled. But it was only after weeks of talking to small immigration charities around the country and hearing from more people affected that it began to be absolutely clear that these were not peculiar, one-off cases but that something had gone wrong at the Home Office on a huge scale.

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Why are there no asylum seekers in affluent Windsor, prime minister? | Helen Pidd
Fri, 09 Nov 2018 15:22:18 GMT

The UK’s most deprived wards, including several in Greater Manchester, are carrying a hugely disproportionate weight

Three years ago, Theresa May gave a speech promising that the UK would be a “beacon of hope” to those fleeing persecution. “Let Britain stand up for the displaced, the persecuted and the oppressed,” she said. As home secretary, she announced an overhaul of the system that at the time saw 34,363 asylum seekers supported in the UK and which should, she suggested, “distinguish carefully between economic migrants and genuine refugees.” Back then, in October 2015, May’s own local authority area in wealthy Berkshire looked after precisely three of them.

Three years on, there are now 42,352 asylum seekers receiving government support while they wait ever longer for a letter granting them refugee status and the right to remain in the UK. None of them are in Windsor and Maidenhead, where May has been MP for 21 years. Nor are they in Runnymede, the affluent slice of Surrey commuterville represented by the chancellor, Philip Hammond. In Bromsgrove, where the current home secretary, Sajid Javid, is MP, there was just one asylum seeker receiving support from the local authority in the first quarter of this year (the latest period for which figures are available): support that usually consists of a room in a shared house and £37.75 a week to pay for food, clothing and toiletries.

Related: Preaching to asylum seekers about loneliness takes some nerve | Rivkah Brown

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Anger as influential economist has UK residency bid rejected
Thu, 08 Nov 2018 14:49:37 GMT

Professor Mariana Mazzucato, who has lived in UK for 20 years, says application refused and Italian passport kept by Home Office

The London-based international economist Mariana Mazzucato has said her application for permanent residency in the UK was turned down, prompting renewed anger about the government’s immigration policy.

Mazzucato, the founding director of University College London’s Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose and the author of several influential books on the economy, was born in Italy but has lived in the UK for 20 years.

I've lived in UK for 20 yrs with full time academic job. Had 4 kids here. My application for permanent residency was turned down. Supposedly credit card for application fee did not work (card was fine). Kept my Italian passport for 6 months. Could have called to check number? Nah

Oh and in case you are wondering: my ‘big’ error was making 4 look like 9 in my credit card number. The application costs money. No mercy. https://t.co/f6CDpSyFYT

This, from @MazzucatoM , one of world's leading economists, is unbelievable. Actually, it's worse. UK Home Office's behaviour is sickening. What the hell is happening to this country?
How can any EU27 citizen have any confidence?
How can any EU27 leader trust UK govt? https://t.co/rThJBcBfaB

This is awful .... @MazzucatoM has been a leading shaper in UK economic thinking and major contributor to UK society ... we seem to have our values all wrong

Mariana has made an incredibly important contribution to the intellectual life of the country, and indeed society at large. This both shames and diminishes us. https://t.co/ImOGLzPzDq

All my sympathies with @MazzucatoM, who must have much more important things to do than prepare the form and evidence and send it all back to the Home Office.

But the Home Office does this to hundreds of people *every single day*. Wasting huge amounts of *our* money in doing so.

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Home Office faces £1m bill for shortchanging victims of trafficking
Thu, 08 Nov 2018 14:49:23 GMT

High court orders government to make back-payments after it halved support

The government has been ordered to make back-payments to victims of trafficking that are likely to reach more than £1m, after a high court judge ruled that Home Office cuts to their support payments were unlawful.

The ruling followed the department’s decision in March to reduce support payments to people it accepted were victims of trafficking from £65 per week to £37.75, a fall of 42%.

Related: Home Office has no way of monitoring success of modern slavery crackdown

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Andy Burnham criticises 'mounting chaos' of UK's asylum system
Wed, 07 Nov 2018 17:34:39 GMT

Greater Manchester mayor threatens to stop housing ‘disproportionate’ numbers of people

Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, has become the latest leader to threaten to stop housing new asylum seekers as the government came under pressure to listen to the concerns of northern communities.

Burnham said there was “mounting chaos” in the government’s dispersal system, which was facing “catastrophic failure”. He said the region’s public services could not continue to support “disproportionate” numbers of people compared with elsewhere in the country. However, in a letter to Yvette Cooper, seen by the Guardian, the Home Office has resolutely stood by its position.

Related: UK’s asylum dispersal system close to 'catastrophic failure'

Related: Immigration minister apologises for Home Office's treatment of Windrush generation

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Eleven children found in refrigerated lorry entering UK
Wed, 07 Nov 2018 14:20:36 GMT

Border Force discovers group, thought to be from Vietnam, hidden in vehicle at Newhaven

Ten adults and 11 children as young as 12 have been found hidden inside a refrigerated lorry entering the UK.

The group, who said they were from Vietnam, were concealed in a shipment of sparkling water at the port of Newhaven in East Sussex last Thursday, according to the Home Office, which said the lorry was stopped after arriving from the French port of Dieppe.

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Immigration minister apologises for Home Office's treatment of Windrush generation
Wed, 07 Nov 2018 12:35:05 GMT

Caroline Nokes tells people affected that she is ‘ashamed’ of Home Office actions

Immigration minister Caroline Nokes has issued a “heartfelt apology” to members of the Windrush generation and admitted that she felt “ashamed” of how the Home Office had treated them.

Nokes was addressing dozens of the Windrush generation at a meeting at the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton, south London, and told them that she had come to listen to their stories and find out about their experiences.

Related: Sajid Javid vowed to 'do right' by the Windrush generation. He hasn't | Kimberly McIntosh

Related: UK's Windrush scheme begins refusing people deemed ineligible for citizenship

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