Immigration and asylum | The Guardian
London-born twins face deportation to different countries
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 15:00:31 GMT

Exclusive: Darrell and Darren Roberts face deportation to countries they have never visited

Twins who were born in London and have never left the UK face deportation to different countries in the Caribbean where they have no close relatives, their families have told the Guardian.

Darrell Roberts, 24, has been issued with a deportation notice informing him that the Home Office plans to send him to the Dominican Republic following a prison sentence, even though he has no connection with the country. He believes officials named it in error; his father was born on Dominica, another Caribbean island.

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UK Brexit negotiator meets EU counterpart in bid to revive talks
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 18:11:03 GMT

David Frost and Michel Barnier will dine on halibut at Downing Street private dinner

The government’s chief Brexit negotiator, David Frost, is to host his EU counterpart Michel Barnier for a private dinner in Downing Street on Tuesday evening in a bid to revive flagging talks on a trade and security deal.

Less than six months before the status quo transition period is due to end, both sides have expressed concern about the lack of progress in the negotiations.

In London for talks: EU team led by @MichelBarnier arrived at St Pancras Station: constructive engagement for a agreement

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Windrush: at least five who applied for compensation die before receiving it
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 15:03:21 GMT

Figure revealed by home secretary highlights concerns about slowness of compensation scheme

At least five people have died before receiving the Windrush compensation they had applied for, the government has revealed, reigniting concern about the slowness of the scheme.

No details were revealed about who these individuals were, but the figures appear to come in addition to a number of people interviewed by the Guardian, who died before they were even able to file a compensation claim.

Related: That Clayton Barnes is still not a citizen shows the ongoing cruelty of ‘hostile environment’ | Kenan Malik

Related: Windrush lawyer Jacqueline McKenzie: 'The Home Office is treating people with contempt'

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Priti Patel accused of 'shameful' bid to deport girl at risk of FGM
Fri, 03 Jul 2020 11:15:42 GMT

Barrister says Home Office’s unwillingness to protect 11-year-old makes a mockery of FGM protection orders

Human rights lawyers have launched a scathing attack on the Home Office for failing to grant asylum to an 11-year-old girl found by judges to be at high risk of female genital mutilation if removed from Britain.

The girl, who is thriving at school and only speaks English, was brought to the UK in 2012 by her mother, herself a victim of what is known as type 3 FGM whose two sisters died after being cut in their native Sudan.

Related: ‘Many girls have been cut’: how global school closures left children at risk

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After the Glasgow hotel attack, a week of shock, anger and compassion
Fri, 03 Jul 2020 05:00:13 GMT

Grassroots groups have rallied to help traumatised former residents of the Park Inn

When Gabriel Vest ran into Asda on Sunday evening with £300 to spend on underwear and socks, staff at Glasgow’s southside branch were initially bemused. He explained he was buying emergency supplies for around 90 asylum seekers evacuated from the Park Inn hotel last Friday after Badreddin Abedlla Adam, from Sudan, stabbed six people before being shot dead by police. “Then they just wanted to help. I didn’t even have to queue.”

Vest, who ordinarily works with Bikes for Refugees, was bulk-buying for Maslow’s, a nearby community shop that supplies second-hand clothing for newly arrived migrants, and that day was hurriedly putting together packages for residents who had had to leave their belongings behind the police cordon. “I got a message from another volunteer who was at the hotel, to say there was one man who was still in his underwear because that was how he’d left his room when the fire alarm had gone off. He was left like that for two days. It was grim.”

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I survived the bombing of a migrant camp in Libya a year ago | Yonas
Thu, 02 Jul 2020 15:13:16 GMT

Those of us subjected to the horrific aerial attack have been left to fend for ourselves in Tripoli

On 2 July 2019, an aircraft bombed a migrant detention centre in Tajoura, a town on the Libyan coast. There were more than 600 people inside. I was one of them.

It happened almost exactly a year ago. Still, I will never forget the moment. All the refugees fell to the ground. We were screaming. The roof of our cell was destroyed and fell on us. The guards shot at people trying to escape. Afterwards, we were told that 53 people died, but we think it was many more.

The Libyan coastguard is funded by the European Union. We blame Europe a lot

Related: 'They don't help': refugees condemn UN over failures that drove them to sea

Yonas (not his real name) is an Eritrean migrant who is currently in Libya

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Hong Kong: Dominic Raab announces citizenship pathway as China imposes security law – video
Wed, 01 Jul 2020 14:30:29 GMT

Up to 3 million people in Hong Kong could be eligible to live, work or study in the UK under a bespoke immigration system announced by Dominic Raab in response to the imposition of national security legislation on Hong Kong by China. The foreign secretary accused China of a 'clear and serious violation' of the joint declaration signed with the UK, and pledged the government would 'honour' its commitment to citizens of the former British colony 

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Woman loses legal challenge to NHS charges for pregnant migrants
Wed, 01 Jul 2020 13:50:05 GMT

Charity and woman argued government policy hindered access to maternity healthcare

A woman who faces decades of repayments to the NHS for maternity care has lost a case in the high court challenging the government’s healthcare charging regime for migrants.

The woman, who cannot be named, brought the legal challenge along with the charity Maternity Action, which works to end inequality and improve healthcare for pregnant women.

Related: Charging migrant women for maternity care puts us all to shame | Nell Frizzell

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'Office for talent' to be set up for scientists who want to work in UK
Tue, 30 Jun 2020 23:01:06 GMT

Unit based in No 10 will help researchers navigate post-Brexit immigration system

Downing Street is to set up a cross-departmental unit called the “office for talent” as a way to help leading scientists, researchers and others live and work in the UK in the post-Brexit immigration system.

The plan, which the Liberal Democrats said was simply trying to make up the damage caused by Brexit, is intended to “ensure excellent customer service across the immigration system”, a government announcement said.

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Former England boxer Kelvin Bilal Fawaz wins 16-year battle to stay in UK
Tue, 30 Jun 2020 10:27:16 GMT

Exclusive: Fawaz, who was trafficked to the UK from Nigeria as a child, won his Home Office appeal last week

The former England boxer Kelvin Bilal Fawaz has won his 16-year legal battle to live and work in the UK after the Home Office granted him leave to remain for 30 months.

Fawaz, who has represented England six times and was once an amateur champion, has been struggling to establish his adult nationality and immigration status after being trafficked from Nigeria to the UK as a child and kept in domestic servitude.

Related: Former England boxer released from immigration centre

Related: How a champion boxer got caught in Britain’s immigration dragnet

Related: Lockdown gives asylum seekers reprieve and hope for change in policy

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Dr Durga Sivasathiaseelan: 'Charging migrants for NHS services needs to stop'
Tue, 30 Jun 2020 07:00:06 GMT

The GP, who runs a mobile clinic, on getting healthcare to rough sleepers and refugees during the coronavirus crisis

Dr Durga Sivasathiaseelan runs a mobile clinic bringing healthcare to people in deprived parts of London unable to access the NHS. When Covid-19 arrived and the small enclosed space in her van became too risky, she donned PPE and took to the streets.

“Most of our clients do not have a GP,” says Sivasathiaseelan who works for Doctors of the World (UK) (DotW), a charity supporting the health of marginalised people. Reasons include the belief that they are not entitled to one (everyone is), fear of charging or of data sharing (with the Home Office) , past experience of stigma or discrimination, or simply being unable to register.

Related: Treasury announces £85m for rough sleeper accommodation

Related: London faces surge in rough sleepers as coronavirus funding runs out in June

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Minister refuses to commit to inquiry after Glasgow attack
Mon, 29 Jun 2020 18:03:02 GMT

MPs say concerns about mental health of rehoused asylum seekers were ignored by Home Office

A Home Office minister has refused to commit to an independent inquiry into the treatment of asylum seekers in Glasgow, after a Sudanese man stabbed six people including a police officer at a city centre hotel on Friday before being shot dead by police.

Despite being pressed by representatives from all parties other than the Conservatives in the Commons on Monday afternoon to acknowledge the importance of learning lessons from Friday’s tragedy, Chris Philp said that he intended to await the outcome of the police investigation before making further comment.

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Covid-19 worsening plight of UK migrants, report finds
Mon, 29 Jun 2020 13:35:16 GMT

Survey uncovers evidence of exploitative employment and unsafe living conditions

The coronavirus pandemic has intensified the effects of the hostile environment on undocumented migrants in the UK, with many experiencing loss of income, unsafe working conditions and scared to seek help if they have the virus, a report has found.

The Kanlungan Filipino Consortium and human rights charity RAPAR uncovered evidence of exploitative employment and overcrowded living conditions, making physical distancing impossible.

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Muhammad Anwar obituary
Mon, 29 Jun 2020 11:35:09 GMT
Race relations researcher who saw political involvement as a key factor in integration for immigrants to Britain

Muhammad Anwar, who has died aged 75, did much to advance understanding of the problems and opportunities of ethnic minorities in Britain in the half century following his arrival in 1970 as a graduate student from Pakistan. In particular, he looked to involvement in democratic politics as a key factor in improving race relations.

In 1976 he published a book, Between Two Cultures, on Pakistani migrants to the UK. At the time, he noted, “racism and discrimination were rife, and participation in the political process was very low”.

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Home Office urged to investigate treatment of asylum seekers in Glasgow
Sun, 28 Jun 2020 18:31:45 GMT

Scottish government makes call after stabbings at hotel housing asylum seekers during lockdown

The Scottish government has told the Home Office it expects a “thorough investigation” into the treatment of asylum seekers in Glasgow during the coronavirus lockdown, after a Sudanese man stabbed six people including a police officer at a city centre hotel before being shot dead by police.

The warning came as outreach agencies demanded immediate practical support for those asylum seekers worst affected by Friday’s events, and after claims emerged that staff at the Park Inn hotel were told of concerns about 28-year-old Badreddin Abedlla Adam’s mental health the night before he carried out his attack.

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That Clayton Barnes is still not a citizen shows the ongoing cruelty of ‘hostile environment’ | Kenan Malik
Sun, 28 Jun 2020 08:00:25 GMT

Just how long will it take for the lessons of Windrush to be learned?

Clayton Barnes came to Britain from Jamaica in 1959. He spent a lifetime in this country, working, paying taxes, raising a family. He was in his mind British, as he was in the eyes of his family, his friends, his colleagues, of anyone who took a rational view of his case.

But not in the eyes of the Home Office.

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Tory rebels call for 28-day limit on detention of migrants
Sat, 27 Jun 2020 21:05:12 GMT

David Davis and Andrew Mitchell among MPs attacking ‘inhumane’ rules as report criticises immigration removal centres

Boris Johnson is facing a Tory rebellion this week over “inhumane” Home Office rules that allow the indefinite detention of asylum seekers and others involved in often complex and harrowing immigration cases.

The former Conservative cabinet ministers David Davis and Andrew Mitchell, supported by several other senior Tories, including prominent Brexiter Steve Baker, are pushing an amendment to the immigration bill to limit detention times to a maximum of 28 days.

How it works

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Police name man shot dead by officers after Glasgow knife attack
Sat, 27 Jun 2020 20:36:31 GMT

Hotel staff ‘were told of concerns about attack suspect’s mental health’

The man who died after being shot by armed officers during a knife attack in West George Street, Glasgow, has been named as Badreddin Abedlla Adam, 28, from Sudan, Police Scotland said.

Staff at the hotel were told of concerns about the suspect’s mental health the night before the incident, the Guardian has learned.

Related: Police officer stabbed in Glasgow now in stable condition

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Lock-change eviction threat lifted for asylum seekers in Glasgow
Thu, 25 Jun 2020 13:46:00 GMT

Mears rules out controversial policy imposed by previous asylum housing provider Serco

Asylum seekers in Glasgow will no longer face the threat of eviction by lock change, after the private housing contractor Mears confirmed it “does not recognise” the controversial policy.

Mears’ chief operating officer, John Taylor, told a media briefing on Thursday: “We would never change locks on people.” He said that if an individual refused to leave their accommodation after asylum support was withdrawn, Mears would use the court system to move them on while ensuring they had adequate legal advice. “We would try to do this in a sensitive way, and don’t want anyone becoming destitute,” said Taylor.

Related: Syrian man dies in Glasgow amid fears over refugees' mental health

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Tackling the lack of compensation for Windrush victims | Letters
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 17:03:27 GMT

Rob Behrens, the parliamentary and health service ombudsman, is concerned about the lack of complaints he has received, while Paul Hobbs wishes that politicians had a better grasp of current affairs

I have been concerned for some time that given the known problems with the Windrush compensation scheme – highlighted in exemplary fashion by Amelia Gentleman – very few complaints have reached me, the UK’s national ombudsman. With so few successful claims completed and serious problems being reported by claimants, those who are dissatisfied with the process or outcome of their attempt to get compensation can speak to their MP, who can refer their complaint directly to the ombudsman service.

The ombudsman service has a vital role to play in securing fair outcomes for people who have suffered injustice. I welcome the announcement of a cross-government group in an attempt to address the challenges faced by the Windrush generation (Windrush scandal: cross-government group aims to tackle ‘terrible’ treatment, 22 June), and I look forward to liaising with the group to ensure that people are made aware of all possible routes of redress.
Rob Behrens
Parliamentary and health service ombudsman

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