Feature of the Fortnight
The Guardian has run a personal story about the human rights appeal for visitors and what happens when their visas are rejected. The article details the anguish of Icilda Williams, an 83-year old nurse who lives in Jamaica but previously resided in Britain and worked for the NHS for 30 years. Since retiring to Jamaica in 1996, Williams used a visitor’s visa to visit her family once a year, but this stopped in 2014 when she was refused entry. Her applications have since been rejected numerous times. Colin Yeo, barrister and writer for Free Movement, demonstrates that this is a widespread issue. According to Yeo’s article, there have been three separate cases reported recently where applicants who took their cases to the Court of Appeal were denied visitors visas last year. The article comments that the Court of Appeal has ‘stomped all over the idea of visitors to the UK being able to appeal visa refusals on human rights grounds’ and that these decisions demonstrate a severe problem with the way the Court is handling these appeals. Yeo examines all three cases in more detail in his article.
MPs criticise error-hit 'hostile environment' for illegal immigrants
The Guardian – 15 January
Following on from government orders to close the bank accounts of illegal immigrants, the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee has written a report citing a 10% error rate in the Home Office’s list of ‘disqualified people’. The report criticises the government’s ‘hostile environment’ policy, and expresses concerns over the distress and inconvenience the error rate has caused some people.
Home Office gets banks to check immigration status of account holders
The Guardian – 12 January
The government has ordered banks and building societies to start background checks on holders of current accounts, in an attempt to make it more difficult for illegal immigrants to remain in the UK. The Home Office may then close the accounts of illegal immigrants as part of an attempt to make Britain a ‘hostile environment’ for people unlawfully residing in the country.
Internal relocation may not be ‘unduly harsh’ on criminals
Free Movement – 9 January
Iain Halliday discusses the case of Secretary of State for the Home Department v SC (Jamaica)  EWCA Civ 2112, and the deportation and internal relocation of foreign criminals. Halliday mentions the complexity of the immigration rules and how the Court of Appeal has recently considered and provides summaries.
Caroline Nokes named as new Minister of State for Immigration
Electronic Immigration Network – 8 January
In Theresa May’s cabinet shuffle, Caroline Nokes (MP for Romsey and Southampton North) has been appointed the new Minister of State for Immigration. The electronic immigration network cite Nokes’ previous voting patterns, claiming she often votes for stricter immigration rules and asylum systems, whilst voting against laws that promote equality.
Big changes to continuous residence rule for ILR applicants
Free Movement – 8 January 2018
Joanna Hunt examines the recent changes made to the Immigration Rules, and how this will affect those applying for indefinite leave to remain (ILR). Wording of section Part 6A.3 of the Immigration rules has been altered so that an applicant cannot leave the UK ‘for more than 180 days during any 12 month period in the continuous period’ as opposed to having the 12 month periods separated into five distinguished blocks.
Revealed: Just one in five lone 'child' migrants caught lying about their age are thrown out of Britain
The Daily Mail – 2 January
Home Office data has revealed that only 21.9% of immigrants posing falsely as unaccompanied child asylum seekers are deported. Since 2010, more than 2,500 of the 13,600 child asylum seekers have been discovered to be over 18, yet only 580 have left the UK.
Theresa May 'preparing to take international students out of immigration figures'
Politics Home – 2 January
Theresa May is now preparing to back down on including international students in immigration figures in order to avoid ‘an embarrassing Commons defeat on the upcoming Immigration Bill’. Numerous senior ministers seemingly support a redefinition of the Immigration Bill, with some claiming including students in the count provides a distortive image.
Airport blunders have potentially allowed thousands of passengers into UK without passing through immigration checks
The Telegraph – 2 January
Figures released by the Home Office have suggested that thousands of passengers flying into Britain have been able to by-pass immigration checks due to errors such as, incorrect doors being opened when passengers arrive. The Government are now suggesting fines of up to £50,000 in order to combat the problem.