A Kafka-esque Encounter with Immigration

UK govAs an asylum law practitioner with Lifeline Options Community Interest Company (Birmingham), I am sure I am not alone in finding that communication with the various sections of UK Visas and Immigration is increasingly strange and Kafka-esque.

On about 22nd April I had to book “Further Submissions”, i.e. an appointment for an asylum seeker to hand in fresh evidence for consideration as a fresh application, in accordance with the rules laid down in October 2009. Handing in this evidence is often done at a statutory reporting occasion if the asylum seeker normally reports at an immigration centre, but in this case the client was based in Gloucester and he normally reports at a police station. The police are not allowed to forward evidence to an immigration centre, so I looked up the phone number of the relevant immigration reporting centre on his “IS96” reporting sheet. The number was a Bristol number and was part of “Wales and South West” region Continue reading

Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network – Annual report for AGM 2014

qarn logo smQuaker Asylum and Refugee Network is a network of Quakers across UK who share a concern about the injustices that are practiced in our name, and a determination to bring about change for those who have been forced to seek asylum and to reach out with support for those who share our concern. QARN members hold discussions and share information through the email group, and those who can meet together about four times a year in a different part of the country each time.

We have continued to meet – September, November 2013, February 2014.

We use our face-to-face meetings to discuss our concerns, and to find a Quaker response to the injustices we find.  We consider ways to bring this alive to other Quakers, and to plan our engagement with others who are walking the same path so that we can effectively combine our strengths to bring about positive change. Continue reading

Can you provide a safe place for an asylum seeker to stay?

BoazTrustLogoMay 9, 2013: A third of Boaz accommodation for asylum seekers is provided by hosts. These are local families and individuals in Manchester who have a spare room to offer to an asylum seeker on a temporary basis. This may be a week, a month or longer.

We are looking to increase the number of hosts in Greater Manchester. If you would like to know more about the scheme and come and meet us please get in touch. Email hosting@boaztrust.org.uk or call 0161 202 1056.

Ideally hosts would live within the M60 or Oldham, so asylum seekers can access support at the Boaz office in Ancoats, Manchester.

The hosting scheme is flexible to fit in with different living arrangements.

http://boaztrust.org.uk/2013/05/09/can-you-provide-a-safe-place-for-an-asylum-seeker-to-stay/

Donations are welcome

qarn logo smWe inherited some money in the early days which has been used to support the website,  materials to support our efforts,  and expenses incurred for meetings etc.  and to have a presence at various events such as BYM and Yearly Meeting Gathering.  We are currently organising a conference for February 2015.

We now need to attract regular funding.

If you would like to make a financial donation, please feel free to make a payment direct into our account:

Nationwide account: QARN
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Account number:

If you do make a direct payment, please could you email us as well so that we know to expect a donation, many thanks

You can send a cheque made payable to ‘Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network’,  to:
QARN Treasurer
c/o Central England Area,
40 Bull Street,
Birmingham
B4 6AF

You can contact us through the QARN email address: info@qarn.org.uk

We thank you for your support, whether it is financial, or in your interest and upholding of our work.

Neither criminals, nor animals!’ Britain’s immigration detainees speak out

Words of a detainee at Campsfield IRC (screenshot @GeorgeEvansDoc)

An activist in contact with people locked up in migrant jails reports on a week of unrest.

The UK immigration authorities and their commercial partners are trying to suppress a wave of protests sweeping British detention centres. In the past week hundreds of asylum-seekers detained at four high-security facilities have started hunger-strikes against draconian Home Office policies.

Last Friday (2 May) about 150 detainees at Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre, near Heathrow Airport, occupied the main courtyard in a sit-down protest against the so-called fast-track asylum system, in which individuals claiming asylum are placed immediately in detention and held whilst their asylum cases are processed.

Harmondsworth hit headlines around the world earlier this year after prisons inspectors discovered that guards had handcuffed a frail and demented 84 year old Canadian for 5 hours until he died. The centre, run for the government by the Geo Group, American’s second biggest contractor and an offshoot of the sinister old Wackenhut Corporation, holds about 660 men. Continue reading