Immigration and asylum | The Guardian
Home Office has utterly failed in immigration detention, MPs find
Thu, 21 Mar 2019 00:01:02 GMT

Irresponsibility led to people being wrongly detained, committee chair says

The Home Office approach to immigration detention is careless and cavalier and has led to people being wrongfully detained, an influential parliamentary committee has concluded.

The home affairs select committee said in a scathing report that the department had overseen serious failings in almost every area of the immigration detention process.

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Shamima Begum family challenge Javid's citizenship decision
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 19:26:43 GMT

Relatives say it was unfair to remove UK citizenship when others who went to Isis territory were allowed back

The family of Shamima Begum has formally started court challenges against the home secretary, saying Sajid Javid’s decision to strip the teenager of her citizenship is unfair because hundreds of Britons who went to Islamic State territory have been allowed back.

Begum fled her east London family for Syria in February 2015, aged 15, along with two school friends after reading terrorist propaganda online. There she married a terrorist fighter and had three children, all of whom died as infants.

Related: Shamima Begum's lawyer held back by Syrian forces

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Home Office held 'illegal interview' with asylum seeker
Wed, 20 Mar 2019 11:00:14 GMT

Woman attended immigration centre in Sheffield and was met by Zimbabwean officials

Concerns have been raised that the Home Office acted illegally when it invited Zimbabwean government officials to interview an asylum seeker at an immigration centre.

The Zimbabwean woman, who has been in the UK for more than 16 years and has an ongoing asylum claim, attended Vulcan House in Sheffield in December to find Zimbabwean officials waiting to speak to her.

Related: UK urged to stop deportations to Zimbabwe

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Home Office apologises for failings that led to detention centre death
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 19:51:08 GMT

Officials admit shortcomings at inquest into death of man who was killed by another detainee

A senior Home Office official has repeatedly apologised for shortcomings that led to the killing of a “gentle and polite” man in immigration detention, at an inquest into his death.

West London coroner’s court is exploring the role of the Home Office, the Ministry of Justice, health professionals and detention centre subcontractors in the death of Tarek Chowdhury, from Bangladesh. The 64-year-old was killed by Zana Assad Yusif, 33, from Iraq, at Colnbrook immigration removal centre near Heathrow in December 2016.

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We must avoid a Brexit ‘Windrush’ | Letters
Tue, 19 Mar 2019 17:41:51 GMT
Thousands of children of EU nationals must not be allowed to fall foul of new UK immigration rules, warn Steve Valdez-Symonds and Carol Bohmer

You report (EU children: Risk of ‘new Windrush generation’, 18 March) on warnings that thousands of children of EU citizens are at risk of similar injustice and harm to that suffered by the Windrush generation. It’s important to shine a spotlight on this worrying prospect, which will only be avoided if it is far better understood.

It’s vital that the rights of children are considered separately to their EU citizen parents’ need to confirm their own status under the new immigration rules. Many children born in the UK to EU citizens are British citizens because one of their parents was settled in the UK at the time the child was born. If neither parent was settled at the time of birth, children are entitled to register as British citizens under UK nationality law; while children brought to the UK and grown up here have rights to register. It’s crucial to understand this – if a child’s citizenship is not confirmed or registered, they will grow up wrongly treated as migrants, subject to the immigration system and unable to prove their citizenship rights in the years ahead. Children taken into care are especially at risk.

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Thousands of children 'could become undocumented' after Brexit
Mon, 18 Mar 2019 07:00:30 GMT

Children of EU nationals at risk of becoming new Windrush generation, says legal charity Coram

Thousands of children of EU nationals risk becoming a new “Windrush generation”, a children’s legal charity has said.

They are concerned that vulnerable children could become undocumented in the same way as the Caribbean children who came to the UK decades ago only to suffer at the hands of the Home Office’s hostile environment decades later.

Related: MPs condemn Home Office over new Windrush failings

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Mosque attacks and the narrative of exclusion | Letters
Sun, 17 Mar 2019 18:50:06 GMT

Guardian readers respond to the Christchurch shootings

Jonathan Freedland (We must confront the right’s hate preachers, 16 March) is right to castigate Viktor Orbán, Matteo Salvini and Donald Trump for their anti-Islamic rhetoric. But we must not omit the part played by British politicians in deliberately adopting language that promotes hatred of religious and racial groups. Boris Johnson’s “letterboxes”, David Cameron’s “swarm” of migrants, Theresa May’s “Go home” posters, Sajid Javid’s “asylum shoppers” all help to inspire the warped narrative of exclusion that the Christchurch murderer made explicit in his manifesto.
John Hambley
Snape, Suffolk

• Jonathan Freedland does not go far enough in arguing that political leaders such as Orbán and Trump have contributed to Islamaphobia. When has any political leader in this country, Europe or the US ever made an embracing and inclusive statement of nationhood like Jacinda Ardern’s when she said of all those killed in Christchurch – many of them probably immigrants and refugees – that, “They are us.”
Rod Edmond
Deal, Kent

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British amateur sports clubs cry foul as new visa rules hit home
Sat, 16 Mar 2019 16:00:07 GMT

Universities forced to ban talented players from competitions

With only three games left to play, this season should be one to remember at Tendring Volleyball Club.

For the first time in their 28-year history, the unbeaten men’s side are on the cusp of promotion to the national super league. But instead the Essex team’s euphoria has been replaced by dismay. If Tendring do go up, they, like many other amateur sports sides right now, will have to do so without some star players.

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Visa extension to boost numbers of overseas students in UK after Brexit
Sat, 16 Mar 2019 00:01:24 GMT

New measures will allow international students to seek employment for up to a year

International students will be given visa extensions of up to a year to look for work in the UK as part of a package of government measures to boost numbers of overseas students after Brexit.

The move represents a break with current policy, where students are allowed to stay for just four months after graduation.

Related: Relax rules on foreign students staying to find work in UK, report says

Related: Tuition fee cut 'would force universities to shrink course sizes'

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Sajid Javid urged to act on refugee family reunification bill
Fri, 15 Mar 2019 16:26:42 GMT

Letter from dozens of MPs calls on home secretary to pass bill pending for a year into law

Nearly 70 MPs have written to the home secretary, Sajid Javid, urging him to act over proposed legislation that would relax restrictive rules for reuniting refugees with their families.

Current immigration rules only allow adult refugees to apply for their married or civil partners and dependent children under 18 to join them. They are unable to submit applications for their parents, grandparents, siblings or children over 18.

Related: Ministers urged to relax immigration rules on family reunions

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Spring statement policies look to Brexit and a hi-tech future
Wed, 13 Mar 2019 17:24:45 GMT

Chancellor promises a global Britain and announces funds for science and digital projects

The chancellor outlined a package of measures at the spring statement designed to prepare Britain for life outside the EU, as well as for the hi-tech digital jobs of the future.

Alongside the central update on the economy, other announcements made by Philip Hammond included:

Related: Spring statement: fossil fuel heating ban for new homes, as Brexit war chest swells - live

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ID cards a possibility after Brexit, says UK immigration minister
Wed, 13 Mar 2019 12:20:18 GMT

Caroline Nokes floats ID cards as response to residence rules after free movement ends

Ministers could potentially consider some type of post-Brexit ID card system for the UK, the immigration minister has said, saying this would be a response to the sheer complexity of residence rules once free movement ends.

Giving evidence to the EU home affairs subcommittee in the House of Lords, Caroline Nokes said particular difficulties could arise in the event of a no-deal Brexit, as there would be seven separate ways under which EU nationals could legally be in the UK.

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Home Office under fire over man’s death in immigration detention
Mon, 11 Mar 2019 16:51:04 GMT

Tarek Chowdhury from Bangladesh was killed by another detainee at Colnbrook

The Home Office is under fire about how a “gentle and polite” man lost his life to a killer with a history of violence and mental health problems after officials locked them both up on the same wing in immigration detention.

An inquest which opened on Monday at west London coroner’s court is to explore the role of the Home Office, the Ministry of Justice, health professionals and detention centre subcontractors in the death of Tarek Chowdhury, 64, from Bangladesh, who was killed by Zana Assad Yusif, 33, from Iraq, at Colnbrook immigration removal centre near Heathrow in December 2016.

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'My patient was trafficked from Eritrea and raped. She cries, so do I'
Mon, 11 Mar 2019 08:00:07 GMT

Life as a specialist homeless GP in London involves a lot more than just practising medicine

• Guardian Jobs: see the latest vacancies in healthcare

There’s nothing more invigorating than being surrounded by inspiring people. I’m at a conference. There are passionate speeches about the effects of child poverty, and the devastating effects of NHS migrant charging, and workshops about rising homeless deaths. It’s one big crusade against health inequalities. I feel empowered and ready to change the world.

Related: 'As I take my foster son to school, friends of his parents yell abuse at me'

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Let’s get asylum seekers to work – email your MP to back the campaign | Letters
Fri, 08 Mar 2019 16:44:47 GMT
Frances Middleton, who is on the steering committee of Norwich City of Sanctuary, on the desperation and health costs caused by rules that stop asylum seekers taking a job

I was very glad to read of the support for asylum seekers from the world of the arts (Letters, 5 March). Thank you, all of you! I belong to the steering committee of Norwich City of Sanctuary, which supports the campaign, gathering momentum daily, to persuade the Home Office to change its rules about asylum seekers working, and also the iniquity of unlimited detention. I volunteer at an advice centre for refugees settled in Norwich. Our clients are always short of money, and sometimes desperate. There is nothing available to them while they wait for the wheels of the Home Office to roll interminably.

Not only is the lack of money a source of stress, but also the frustration of not being able to use their skills, or even do anything, means that their mental health is compromised hugely, leading to a drain on NHS services.

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Brexit: 'Home Office should lose its immigration duties'
Fri, 08 Mar 2019 07:00:38 GMT

Ministers have no clear policy and operations need urgent review, says thinktank report

The Home Office is the wrong department to manage immigration after Brexit, says a highly critical report by the Institute for Government (IfG) thinktank.

The department is pressing ahead with the full rollout of a registration scheme for an estimated 3.8 million EU citizens from 30 March, but the report lays bare systemic flaws in the Home Office and calls for an “urgent” root-and-branch review of its immigration operations.

Related: Home Office to amend registration rules for vulnerable EU citizens

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Commonwealth veterans face UK visa fees and deportation
Fri, 08 Mar 2019 06:01:36 GMT

British Legion says treatment of ex-soldiers is ‘a poor way to say thank-you’

Hundreds of Commonwealth military veterans who risked their lives serving in the UK armed forces face spiralling debts after being forced to pay “exorbitant” visa fees to remain in the country after their discharge, campaigners have said.

Before Commonwealth Day on Monday, the Royal British Legion is calling on the government to scrap the fees as a matter of urgency, saying it is scant thanks for veterans.

Related: Africans who fought for British army paid less than white soldiers

Related: Ex-head of British army backs compensation for African WWII veterans

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It’s not the ‘white working class’. The real home of bigotry is elsewhere | Faiza Shaheen
Thu, 07 Mar 2019 13:02:27 GMT
Poorer people get blamed for everything. But it’s actually middle-income earners who are most prejudiced

New research this week has undermined the widely held view that to be prejudiced you must be poor. It turns out that, rather than the working class or the poorest, it is middle-income earners – those in households with combined salaries of £25k-£50k – who are more likely to feel threatened by immigrants: Muslims, Gypsies and Travellers. Tell me something I don’t know.

For years, we have had a deeply divisive and incorrect conversation about the working class. We constantly hear the working class is white rather than multi-ethnic; that it is the white working class who disproportionately voted for Brexit, even though that is factually incorrect; and that it is among the white working class that we find the majority of British racism.

Related: The Guardian view on the hostile environment: the ‘right to rent’ and other wrongs | Editorial

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Home Office to amend registration rules for vulnerable EU citizens
Wed, 06 Mar 2019 16:58:47 GMT

Out-of-court settlement reached following charity’s threat to seek judicial review

The Home Office has reached an out-of-court settlement with a charity that had threatened a judicial review over the registration system for EU citizens.

The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) agreed to drop its application for a judicial review after Sajid Javid’s department made changes to its guidance to caseworkers in relation to vulnerable citizens.

Related: Brexit: Public support for EU nationals being able to work in UK up sharply since 2016, ONS says - Politics live

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UK court ruling raises hopes of asylum for torture survivors
Wed, 06 Mar 2019 13:27:51 GMT

Supreme court verdict on Sri Lankan man deals fresh blow to immigration policy

Tens of thousands of torture survivors could find it easier to secure sanctuary in the UK after a ruling by the supreme court.

In a landmark decision on Wednesday, the court overturned a previous finding that an asylum seeker from Sri Lanka organised his own torture to strengthen his claim to stay in Britain.

Related: I sought refuge from torture in the UK. Only to be locked up again | Serge Eric

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