Immigration and asylum | The Guardian
The immigration crisis facing London's Chinatown
Sat, 21 Jul 2018 06:00:29 GMT

Waiters, chefs and others plan to down tools on 24 July in protest against a growing number of Home Office raids

The streets of London’s Chinatown are full to the brim with tourists coming and going from supermarkets, brightly painted restaurants and bustling bakeries. As the sun shines down, a mix of smells, sights and sounds fill the air.

But inside the doors of Imperial China restaurant on Lisle Street the mood is more sombre and business owners and members of the London Chinatown Chinese Association (LCCA) are gathered to discuss their fears about the future of the area. They say a tightening of immigration rules means that the area, established in Soho since the 1970s, could disappear.

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Windrush mother wants Home Office role in son's death considered
Fri, 20 Jul 2018 17:32:13 GMT

Dexter Bristol died following a 10-month battle to prove he was not an illegal immigrant

The mother of Dexter Bristol, a member of the Windrush generation who died this year, has urged a coroner to consider what role the Home Office’s “hostile environment” policies played in his death.

At a pre-inquest review at Poplar coroner’s court in east London, Sentina D’Artanyan Bristol asked assistant coroner Dr William Dolman to extend the scope of the inquest to examine what role the policy played in her 57-year-old son’s death. A postmortem revealed that the cause of Bristol’s death was acute heart failure.

“We saw him get more and more depressed and anxious. He died being denied an immigration status which was rightfully his.”

Related: 'They erased a bit of my life': Windrush generation on Home Office treatment

Related: Revealed: depth of Home Office failures on Windrush

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The Receptionist review – an intimate voyage into London's underworld
Fri, 20 Jul 2018 07:00:00 GMT

A Taiwanese graduate becomes embroiled in the sex trade in Jenny Lu’s angst-ridden study of the immigrant experience

First-time feature director Jenny Lu directs this intensely felt personal drama about the immigrant experience in the UK and the accompanying state of invisibility – part survival strategy, part byproduct of prejudice and hypocrisy.

Tina, played by Teresa Daley, is a young Taiwanese arts graduate living with her British boyfriend in London, frantically sending out CVs, getting no job offers and desperately short on cash. Then she gets word that someone needs a “receptionist”, but not at the kind of hipster media company she once yearned for. Tina has to be the “receptionist” for a brothel run out of a rented suburban semi by the motherly Lily (Sophie Gopsill), which employs two cynical yet melancholy sex workers (played by Amanda Fan and Chen Shiang-chyi, the latter a veteran of movies by Edward Yang and Tsai Ming-liang).

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Windrush victims face cap on compensation
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 15:59:13 GMT

Maximum could be set to avoid ‘disproportionately’ high payments, says Home Office

Victims of the Windrush scandal could have their compensation capped under government proposals to ensure no individual receives a “disproportionately” high payment from the public purse.

A minimum size of claim could also be set in order to avoid “significant administrative expenditure” from processing low-value applications, the Home Office has said.

Related: As home secretary, I’m determined to fix the Windrush injustices | Sajid Javid

Who are the Windrush generation?

Related: Revealed: depth of Home Office failures on Windrush

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DNA tests on asylum seekers dubious in law, Home Office admits
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 15:50:09 GMT

Admission about legal basis emerges during case brought by boy stranded in France

Asylum seekers who were subjected to DNA swabs to prove their origins may be able to sue the government after the Home Office admitted the lawful basis for taking those samples was “dubious”.

The admission emerged during a legal challenge brought by an unaccompanied child asylum seeker stranded in France who was desperate to be reunited with his older brother, a refugee in the UK.

Related: Lack of legal aid puts asylum seekers' lives at risk, charity warns

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As home secretary, I’m determined to fix the Windrush injustices | Sajid Javid
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 13:21:43 GMT

We are launching a consultation so that people can have their say on how compensation should work

The wrongs suffered by the Windrush generation shocked us all and since becoming home secretary I have made it my personal mission to rectify the injustices of the past. Over the past few months I have heard many sobering stories about the difficulties they have faced. These have struck a personal chord, particularly because the same thing could have easily happened to my parents, who came to this country from the Commonwealth in the 1960s.

The government has already announced a series of urgent measures to put things right. We have set up a taskforce that has helped more than 2,000 people get the documentation they need to demonstrate their right to be here and more than 500 people apply for citizenship for free. We have also introduced legislation to give a legal footing to our Windrush scheme, which outlines the support we are offering. On top of this, we have been proactively reaching out and engaging with those affected, both in the UK and overseas.

Related: 'They erased a bit of my life': Windrush generation on Home Office treatment

Who are the Windrush generation?

Related: Revealed: depth of Home Office failures on Windrush

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Lack of legal aid puts asylum seekers' lives at risk, charity warns
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 10:00:41 GMT

Refugee Action says cuts mean there are not enough free advisers to work on cases

The lives of people seeking asylum are being put at risk as they struggle to access free legal advice for which they are eligible, a leading refugee charity has warned.

Asylum cases were protected from cuts to legal aid provision in 2012 but as all other areas of immigration law were removed there was a subsequent plunge in the number of legal aid providers in areas of asylum law, Refugee Action has found.

Related: 'I feel safe now': how legal aid saved a gay man from deportation

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'I feel safe now': how legal aid saved a gay man from deportation
Thu, 19 Jul 2018 10:00:41 GMT

‘Naveed’ fled persecution in Pakistan but his plea for UK asylum was initially rejected

When Naveed met his boyfriend in an empty car park in Saudi Arabia, he thought they were hidden from the omnipresent gaze of the religious police, the mutaween.

But he was wrong. The couple were spotted, separated and thrown into a cell, in a country where homosexuality is punishable by death.

Related: Lack of legal aid puts asylum seekers' lives at risk, charity warns

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'They erased a bit of my life': Windrush generation on Home Office treatment
Wed, 18 Jul 2018 21:00:26 GMT

Four people describe ordeal of having their British citizenship questioned and downgraded

Tony Perry, 62, pictured above, arrived in Britain in 1959 from Jamaica to join his parents. He spent time serving in the navy and later became a social worker for Haringey council, helping troubled children. He has also worked as a pastor.

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Revealed: depth of Home Office failures on Windrush
Wed, 18 Jul 2018 21:00:25 GMT

Government received repeated warnings over several years but failed to take action

Repeated warnings about the developing Windrush scandal were made over the course of several years to both the Foreign Office and the Home Office but no action was taken, the Guardian has learned, revealing in new detail the government’s persistent failure to respond to the problem.

The issue of older Caribbean-born residents being wrongly classified as illegal immigrants was raised formally in 2016 by Caribbean foreign ministers with the then foreign secretary Philip Hammond during the biannual UK-Caribbean forum held that year in Freeport, the Bahamas. The high commissioner to one affected Caribbean country said officials alerted the Foreign Office to the problem at least half a dozen times from as early as 2013 onwards, to no avail.

Related: 991 deportation flights booked to Caribbean in year before Windrush row

Related: Windrush scandal: how has it changed the immigration system?

Related: 'I feel disgusted': how Windrush scandal shattered two brothers' lives

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Nigel Farage spread ‘fake news’. I know, because I took the real picture | Lasia Kretzel
Tue, 17 Jul 2018 15:41:49 GMT

The former Ukip leader used a doctored image to meet his anti-migrant agenda. He needs to think about the damage he’s doing

In the digital media age, declaring fake news has become the equivalent of crying wolf. Frequently, it is a slur hurled at journalists by those who do not like a story. Sometimes it is a real threat to informed discourse. It is disturbingly easy to propagate, and wields insidious power. This week, I learned just how damaging it can be.

I had just returned from an afternoon at the beach when a tweet with my name in it caught my eye. I recognised the image. It was one I had taken nearly three years ago at a pro-Syrian refugee rally while working as a reporter in Saskatchewan, Canada. In the original image, a woman wore an Amnesty International sign around her neck reading “My door is open for refugees”. But that’s not what this image said. The words had been edited to read “My legs are open for refugees”, in what looked like a Microsoft Paint chop-shop job by a 12-year-old, and it had been shared by none other than Nigel Farage. “What an insult to the victims of sexual abuse in Cologne and rape in Malmo. These people are sick,” he tweeted.

It was frustrating to see my work altered, taken out of context, and used to serve someone else’s agenda

Related: Trump takes war on 'fake news' to UK – and tells towering, easily debunked lies

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Call for postmortem after asylum seeker's death at car wash
Tue, 17 Jul 2018 14:25:28 GMT

Family of Mustafa Dawood, who died as immigration raid targeted premises, ‘seek truth’

The family of a 23-year-old Sudanese asylum seeker who died during a Home Office immigration raid are calling for a postmortem into his death to discover the truth about what happened.

Mustafa Dawood escaped persecution in Darfur, Sudan, which has one of the worst records in the world for human rights violations, and went to the UK in 2015.

Related: What is the true human cost of your £5 hand car wash?

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Where do the Brexit negotiations stand?
Tue, 17 Jul 2018 13:31:16 GMT

After two years, Britain finally produced its white paper on what it wants from a future relationship with the EU. It cost Theresa May a large chunk of her cabinet, and now goes to Brussels for consideration. This is how we got here.

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Migration to UK from EU falls to lowest level for four years
Mon, 16 Jul 2018 15:53:24 GMT

Trend concerns businesses that claim drop in immigration is costing economy billions

The number of people moving to the UK from EU countries has fallen to the lowest level for four years, according to official figures.

Data from the Office for National Statistics released on Monday showed net long-term migration to the UK from the EU was 101,000 in 2017 – the lowest level since the year ending March 2013.

Related: UK population growth slows as EU jobseekers stay away after Brexit

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What is the true human cost of your £5 hand car wash?
Mon, 16 Jul 2018 14:18:43 GMT

The UK’s hand car washes tend to be extremely competitive with pricing, but they have also been linked to modern slavery. Are they ever fair for workers?

One night in August 2015, after a long shift at the Bubbles car wash in east London, Sandu Laurentiu was washing himself in the rat-infested shared flat provided by his employer. Shaip Nimani, 53, originally from Kosovo, had illegally bypassed the electricity meter at the property in Bethnal Green and tampered with the fuses to stop them blowing. The plumbing in the damp bathroom was not earthed. While he used the decrepit power shower, Laurentiu was electrocuted and killed.

Related: Slaves working in UK construction and car washes, report finds

There are drivers who are only interested in getting the cheapest wash. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is

Too often we rush in, give your £6 and drive off. We’re just saying, please stop and think first

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Michael Gove admits leave campaign wrong to fuel Turkey fears
Mon, 16 Jul 2018 13:38:15 GMT

Brexiter says he would have preferred campaign to have had ‘slightly different feel’

Michael Gove has admitted that the official leave campaign should not have stoked fears about Turkish immigration during the 2016 Brexit referendum.

In an interview included in a political book published on Thursday, the environment secretary, who was a key figure in the winning Vote Leave campaign, said that if it had been left entirely to him the leave campaign “would have [had] a slightly different feel”.

Related: Electoral law has been broken – this is a fight for the soul of our democracy

Related: Theresa May, Michael Gove and Jacob Rees-Mogg: where do they stand now?

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Widowed father ordered to leave UK against advice of Home Office's own lawyers
Mon, 16 Jul 2018 05:00:28 GMT

Andrew Farotade refused leave to remain under rules intended to tackle terrorism

A widower who is the sole carer of his four-year-old son has been forbidden to work and ordered to leave the country – even though the Home Office’s own lawyers advised them to drop the case.

Andrew Farotade, who is from Nigeria, won a £1,500 scholarship in 2009 to study his second master’s degree in engineering at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. He then worked for the Security Industry Authority in jobs in which he was responsible for the security of highly valuable, hi-tech equipment and intellectual assets worth millions of pounds.

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Sharp rise in number of super-rich prepared to invest £2m for UK visa
Sun, 15 Jul 2018 23:01:20 GMT

Applications for ‘golden visa’ increase by 46% in year despite government crackdown

There has been a 46% increase in the number of the global super-rich prepared to invest £2m for the privilege of living and working in the UK despite Theresa May’s ordering a crackdown on a wealthy visa scheme to root out “illicit and corrupt” money flowing into the UK.

More than 400 very wealthy overseas investors applied for tier 1 investor visas in the year to 31 March, a 46% increase on the number of applicants in the previous 12 months. The tier 1 investor scheme, widely described as the “golden visa”, allows visitors to stay in the UK for 40 months if they invest more than £2m in the UK economy.

Related: The ‘golden visa’ deal: ‘We have in effect been selling off British citizenship to the rich’

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Business hails Brexit white paper as a 'massive step forward'
Thu, 12 Jul 2018 17:55:54 GMT

Industry leaders welcome greater clarity but say there are worrying gaps in May’s plans

Business leaders have said that the government’s Brexit white paper is a “massive step forward” for the UK and have called on the EU to be pragmatic in its response.

However, the financial services industry attacked the government, describing the white paper as a “real blow” for the sector. While the document was hailed for its clarity on the UK’s negotiating position, many said there were still gaps in the proposals for businesses.

Related: Brexit white paper won't win over MPs or the EU

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Home Office urged to go further with suspension of hostile environment
Thu, 12 Jul 2018 16:13:50 GMT

Campaigners and MPs call for full review of policies amid concerns about their impact

MPs and campaigners have urged the Home Office to go further with its suspension of hostile environment policies, as it emerged that schools are still required to pass on the addresses of the children of suspected illegal migrants to immigration enforcement teams.

During an urgent question on the hostile environment policy, MPs from all parties expressed concerns about the ongoing impact on people who are living legally in the UK, but who do not have proof of their right to remain.

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