UK’s fast-track asylum system ruled unlawful

June 23, 2015 by  
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IMG_6701Government appeal system for processing asylum seekers’ applications, which has been in use for a decade, must be quashed, high court rules

A fast-track immigration appeals procedure under which thousands of asylum seekers have been locked up each year has been declared unlawful by the high court.

Mr Justice Nichol said the process under which rejected asylum seekers arriving in Britain are detained and given seven days to appeal was “structurally unfair”. Read more

Pope Francis: Immigrant Children Must Be ‘Welcomed And Protected’

June 23, 2015 by  
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Pope FrancisPope Francis confronted the “racist and xenophobic attitudes” that often face undocumented immigrants by addressing the thousands of unaccompanied childrenincluded in their ranks.

In a message delivered to the Mexico-Holy See Colloquium on Migration and Development on Monday, the pope drew attention to these migrant children who he said often undertake the dangerous border crossing alone in order to escape violence in their home countries: Read more

Self-Harm in Immigration Detention January Through March 2015

June 19, 2015 by  
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harmondsworth detnetion centre19% Increase in Suicide Attempts of Immigration Detainees Q1/2015

There were 70 suicide attempts in Harmondsworth IRC, January through March 2015, a 311% increase over the previous quarter October through December 2014 in which their were 17.

Yarl’s Wood recorded 26 attempts 5 more than the last quarter of 2014, one individual made more than one attempt but UKHO would not specify the number of attempts.

In Total there were 160 recorded incidents of Self-Harm requiring medical attention. Read more

Release ‘critical’ reports into privately run immigration centres, ICO orders

June 19, 2015 by  
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 Harmondsworth immigration removal centre near Heathrow, west London. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images.


Potentially damaging reports into the running of two immigration detention centres by private contractors must be released by the Home Office within weeks, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has said.

The documents will give detailed breakdowns and insight into the running of Harmondsworth, Britain’s largest immigration detention centre, and Colnbrook, both near Heathrow in west London. Read more

Compass: Safeguarding Children from Destitution:

June 19, 2015 by  
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2015 June 18BASW: Local Authority Responses to Families with ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’

Implications for policy and practice: There is a range of steps which could be considered to address this situation.
The use of the ‘No recourse to public funds’ restriction as a means of immigration control – whether it is necessary and proportionate or alternatives could be deployed – is beyond the scope of this study. We suggest only that our findings should be taken into account in any review of the extent to which the NRPF restriction is used, not least for people who will be in the UK for long periods, recognising the implications for children in the small minority of families that become destitute and financial consequences for local authorities. Read more

Yarl’s Wood detention centre ‘is a prison’

June 8, 2015 by  
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2015 June 7BBC: By Leana HoseaBBC World Service

Hundreds of protesters held a demonstration outside the Yarl’s Wood detention centre on Saturday, calling for its immediate closure.

Activists, politicians and actors were joined by women who had spent time at the notorious Bedfordshire centre, where foreign nationals are detained before their removal from the UK. Read more

Shut YarlsWood gathering 6 June 2015

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Malka and JulietProbably 500+ well-motivated people shouting for Yarlswood to close. The women inside can see and hear those outside from a path round the back – and we made a lot of noise. They waved through the gaps in their windows. Let’s hope it gave them strength.

People who had been in Yarlswood and the system, also Juliet Stevenson, Natalie Bennett and the local MP spoke, along with others, the sun shone and as someone said … the winds of change blew Read more

CEC Governing Board statement on external borders of the EU especially the Mediterranean

June 5, 2015 by  
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Conference European Churches3 June 2015: Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it (Hebrews 13: 2)

The Conference of European Churches (CEC) expresses its deep concern about the repeated loss of life in the Mediterranean. CEC deplores that for over two decades tens of thousands of migrants have drowned in their attempts to reach safety or find a more dignified life in Europe.

Conflicts on the doorsteps of Europe have led to ever more migrants fleeing within and beyond their region. Many are trying to cross the Mediterranean to Italy or Malta, others climb barbed wire border fences in Ceuta in Melilla or cross to the Greek Aegean islands or Cyprus. Less known are flight routes across Eastern external borders of Europe, but observations from the field suggest that human suffering and death might also be a reality here. Read more

6 JUNE Surround YarlsWood: Demonstrate to END Detention & Shut Down Yarl’s Wood – STOP the scapegoating of immigrants!

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2015 June 6 YarlswoodYarl’s Wood is the central battleground for women’s rights in the UK; exposed as a site of mental and physical torture, of sexual abuse, a place where women are locked up indefinitely for no crime. The women of Yarls Wood are freedom fighters, organising to stop deportations and expose the truth about abuse and racism.

The women of Yarls Wood have bravely exposed the truth about sexual abuse by the guards, they have organised to resist deportations, they have spoken the truth over years – a truth that is now more widely known thanks to Channel 4 News undercover reporting. Read more

Mediterranean migrants: No one makes this journey just to pick up benefits

June 3, 2015 by  
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guardian_logoGuardian: Those who insist the west can’t take in the world’s misery must acknowledge how much of that misery we’re responsible for 


While travelling up the US-Mexican border several years ago, I met an anti-immigration campaigner in Columbus, New Mexico who went by the name of Quasimodo and who had carried a .38 pistol around with him ever since he went into an abandoned house and found some Latinos there.

“I looked around and there were 12 guys just 10ft away looking at me,” he explained.

“Did they attack you?” I asked. “No,” he said.

“Did they look as if they might attack you?” “No.”

“Has an illegal immigrant ever attacked you?” “No. But they could have had my fanny if they wanted it.”

They weren’t interested in his fanny (American for behind). They had more basic needs. As we wandered the cactus-studded desert around his house we saw bottles of water hung on trees that pro-immigration campaigners had put out for the migrants who’d made it that far.

“I know they think they’re doing a good thing,” Quasimodo explained. “But they’re really just encouraging people to make this dangerous journey and put their lives at risk.”

And so it was that, in order to satisfy a baseless fear, Quasimodo created a rationale where depriving the thirsty of water was in their own interests. Read more

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