Powerful witnessing from Calais

2015 Aug 19 CalaisFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CalaisMigrantSolidarityActionFromUK/

If you know me please read this, feel free to share it if it resonates with you.

I think that the running theme that seems to come out of a visit to calais sprawling new jungle migrant camp is that its a place that verges on being inexplicable in words alone.
I consider myself to be a really strong person emotionally and yet my very short visit there to drop off the provisions that many of you kindly paid for has shaken my understanding of myself to its very core.
I consider myself to be compassionate, I am not compassionate enough.
I consider myself to be informed, I am not informed enough.
I believe that I see everyone as equal, I realise it is not enough to just “believe” this.
I think I question everything I read in the media, I now know that I don’t even come close.
I always thought that my values rested firmly in equality. I know now that my version of equality is completely wrapped up in my own little bubble of experience. Continue reading

Helping people in Calais – advice

Calais Migrant Solidarity16 August 2015: If you have Facebook keep an eye on this:

Matthew Wright: CALAIS UPDATE I’ve just had a question from a group member about bringing donations to the camp. I thought the exchange would be of general interest. Please see below. Thanks for reading.

Q.
“I hope this message finds you well. I’m sure you are very busy so I’m sorry to disturb you but I was hoping you might be able to help. My husband and I are coming ot the camp on Saturday 29th August.

I have been collecting clothes and food via a Facebook campaign and we want to deliver it personally but also help in some way and hopefully get a chance to meet and speak to the people living in the camp. Continue reading

Appeals heard under detained fast-track can be set aside and reheard

RtROn 2 July, the Immigration Minister James Brokenshire announced the suspension of the detained-fast track system (which handles certain asylum claims, deemed to be quick and easy to resolve).  Read the story of the legal cases that led to the suspension in our blog post here.In Detention Action’s successful legal cases, the High Court and the Court of Appeal ruled that the appeals process of the detained-fast track was unlawful and ‘ultra vires’ (meaning the rules went beyond the authority of those responsible for setting them).   This verdict was confirmed again in a judgment issued on 29 August when the Court of Appeal rejected the Home Office’s legal challenge.Despite this,  the Home Office is still trying to forcibly remove people who have had their appeals heard within the fast-track system. Continue reading

RtR Conference invitation 5 September 2015

RtRRight to Remain is holding its national conference on Saturday 5 September, in London.

The conference (which is free) will be an opportunity to hear about our activities over the last year and the work of asylum/immigration rights groups across the UK, share what your group/organisation has been up to, and make links, friends, and allies with groups and activists and professionals from across the country.   Join us in thinking about how enforcement (Home Office reporting, immigration raids, detention etc) affects communities across the UK, what is being done about it and how we can campaign to change these practices. Continue reading

Damning reports of Yarlswood and The Verne

Free Movement: Damning official reports on The Verne and Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centres

 BY Yesterday The Verne [ https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmiprisons/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2015/08/The-Verne-web-2015.pdf ]Immigration Removal Centre was criticised by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Prisons for its “prison-like” regime and high levels of violence and today HMIP described Yarl’s Wood [http://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmiprisons/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2015/08/Yarls-Wood-web-2015.pdf ]  as an issue “of national concern”. These are damning inspection reports and the Government’s only response is to express “disappointment” and point to the pending Shaw Review of welfare issues around immigration detention. More urgent action is needed to prevent further unnecessary suffering. Continue reading

Detention Inquiry Report – what you can do

Detention ForumWhat you can do before the 10 September debate on the detention inquiry report
If you are meeting your MPs or encouraging your supporters to speak to their MPs about this debate, here is a short write-up on the background and what you/they can do.   
Look at the #UnlockTheDebate from 1st Sep to 10 Sep, to prolong the impact of the debate.  Please do participate if you can. 
Very sadly, there has been another death in detention, this time in The Verne.  You can read about it in a local newspaper here
Lastly here is another write-up about Unlocking Detention.  Continue reading

How many asylum seekers are really coming to the UK as European migrant crisis continues

Independent: Only four per cent of first-time asylum applications across Europe in the first quarter of this year were lodged in the UK
LIZZIE DEARDENSaturday 08 August 2015

Despite panic about the “swarms” of migrants supposedly trying to reach British shores from Calais, only four per cent of Europe’s asylum seekers are applying to stay in the UK.

Statistics from the European Commission show that 185,000 people applied for asylum for the first time across the EU in the first three months of this year, but only a tiny fraction were in Britain.

Read more … http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/how-many-asylum-seekers-are-really-coming-to-the-uk-as-european-migrant-crisis-continues-10446622.html

The Home Office deports thousands of migrants on secret flights from a private jet centre

New Statesman: Some passengers will have been living in the UK since childhood; others might never have set foot in the country to which they are being deported.

BY DANIEL TRILLING PUBLISHED 

People are deported on night-time charter flights. Photo: Flickr/STML, by James Bridle

In late July, we received word that two Home Office charter flights were set to deport hundreds of men to West Africa, on the evening of the 28th. One was scheduled to leave from Stansted Airport, so we went to have a look. Continue reading

Rule 35

parliament_logo FOI on Rule 35 in first quarter 2015: With thanks to No Deportations

An FOI on the number of Rule 35 reports made by a Medical Practitioner to the Home Office in the first quarter of 2015 has been published. In total, between January and March 2015, 25 reports were made, relating to 24 individuals. A

s a consequence of these reports 12 people were released from detention (50%). Continue reading