Over the last year, many of you have joined us in raising concerns about the Immigration Act and the government’s proposals to introduce charging for primary and emergency healthcare for anybody who doesn’t have indefinite leave to remain in the UK. The Department of Health has now released its implementation plan and impact assessment for Phases 1-3 of its proposals to introduce charging for migrants and visitors to access the NHS. Read more
This month we are calling on you to urge your MP to support an Early Day Motion on raising asylum support rates, following the Government’s disappointing announcement that the level of asylum support will remain unchanged this year. We are also asking you to defend access to healthcare for people seeking asylumin the light of the Department of Health’s new implementation scheme for introducing charging for primary and emergency healthcare. Read more
Re: Call for a time limit on detention
As a Quaker and as one of your constituents, I wish to express my grave concern about the use of detention for immigration purposes. The decision to detain is not ordered by a judge and is not part of a criminal sentence. It is arbitrary, and the length of detention is indefinite. Britain has a long tradition of legal protection for civil liberties. This tradition is undermined every day that migrants are detained without time limit. Read more
We are interested to meet with other Quakers who share our concern at Yearly Meeting Gathering – August 2014 http://www.quaker.org.uk/yearly-meeting-gathering-ymg-2014
Boaz Trust: You may have seen recent news coverage of immigration detention centres. Several Boaz clients have spent time in detention centres and spoken about the trauma of being imprisoned indefinitely.
Earlier this month MP’s launched an inquiry into the use of immigration detention and are inviting individuals with experience of detention to submit accounts of their experiences before 1 October 2014. Charities and organisations can also contribute. Read more Read more
The latest unannounced official HMIP report on Haslar immigration detention centre reveals that the centre staff had blocked the websites for Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) and Amnesty International:
Detainees had access to the internet, but some key websites were blocked. The officer on duty in the internet suite could unblock any site. When we visited, the officer agreed to unblock the Bail for Immigration Detainees’ website but not Amnesty International’s without more senior approval. Read more
Firm revealed 10 staff were dismissed in relation to allegations of improper sexual contact with immigration centre detainees.
Appearing before the Commons home affairs committee, Serco executives said that the dismissals related to eight separate cases – out of a total of 31 which had been investigated – at the centre in Bedfordshire over the past seven years.
Outsourcing firm Serco has apologised after disclosing that 10 of its staff had been dismissed in relation to allegations of improper sexual contact with female detainees at the Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre. Read more
The Joint Committee on Human Rights today published a further report on the proposed residence test for civil legal aid, which the Government plans to implement on 4 August 2014. Citing evidence from CCLC and others, the JCHR concludes that the residence test will lead to breaches of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and calls for the secondary legislation to be withdrawn. The policy is subject to legal challenge, with the judgment expected soon.
Modern Slavery Bill
The Government has introduced legislation on trafficking, which is due to be debated in Parliament on 8 July. The Refugee Children’s Consortium and others have been calling for greater protections for child victims, including through a system of guardianship. The Government is instead piloting a system of child trafficking advocates, delivered by Barnardo’s.
Children entering detention held solely under Immigration Act powers, May 2014
Released 26 June 2014
Five children entered immigration detention in May, three at Tinsley House and two at Cedars. Read more