120 women 'on hunger strike' in immigration centre
Sky News – 25 February
120 women detained at Yarl’s Wood immigration centre are on hunger strike in protest of ‘continued incarceration of migrants in the UK’. The strike began on 21 February, and is hoping to protest the long-term detention of rape survivors, survivors of human trafficking and other vulnerable individuals.
Over 10,000 refugees resettled in the UK under flagship scheme
Gov.UK – 22 February
Despite criticisms of the government’s Syrian Refugee Community Sponsorship Scheme (as reported below), Gov.UK has reported the success of the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS). Home Office immigration statistics have revealed that the government is over half way towards reaching its target to resettle 20,000 people under the scheme.
Net migration of EU nationals to Britain falls by 75,000
The Guardian – 22 February
Official figures have shown that net annual migration has fallen to a five year low in Britain. The figure has reduced by 75,000. Brexit and the uncertainty that currently comes with it is undoubtedly a large factor in this reduction.
Diane Abbott calls for fairer immigration system for families
The Guardian – 21 February
In an upcoming policy pledge, Diane Abbott, shadow home secretary, will be announcing Labour plans to create a fairer immigration system for families. Labour are planning on scrapping the 100,000 or less migration target and ending the current family break-up in the immigration system. Abbott has also cited a lack of humanity in the current system.
Farmers tell Gove: lack of migrant workers now 'mission critical'
The Guardian – 20 February
The availability of seasonal fruit and vegetable pickers has now reached a critical stage, according to Ali Capper, chair of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) horticulture team. Labour from the EU 27 is in decline, and farmers are now calling for a return of the seasonal agriculture workers scheme.
Asylum accommodation: call for evidence
Gov.UK – 19 February
Gov.UK has released an article revealing that the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) has started an inspection into the accommodation given to asylum seekers under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. The inspection will focus on how new mothers and pregnant women are dealt with.
UK hits visa cap on skilled workers for third month in row
The Guardian – 18 February
For the third month in a row, Britain has reached its visa cap for skilled non-European workers. This is the first time the quota has been reached in seven years, and immigration lawyers feel this may be a long-term problem. This is particularly worrying considering the current staffing crisis the NHS are facing, and the ‘accelerating decline’ in EU nationals coming to work in Britain.
Brothers sanctioned over 'without merit' immigration JR claims
The Law Society Gazette – 16 February
Mr Nazeer and Mr Saleem, who used to run a high street solicitors firm, have been sanctioned for making numerous ‘“totally without merit” judicial review claims in immigration and asylum cases’. Saleem was ordered to pay nearly £40,000 in costs, and Nazeer £13,014.
Government under fire as just 53 Syrian refugees resettled by flagship scheme
HuffPost – 16 February
Freedom of Information Request (FOI) submitted by The Huffington Post has revealed that only 53 Syrian refugees have been resettled under the UK government’s Syrian Refugee Community Sponsorship Scheme. This is a long way off from the original Conservative pledge to take in 20,000 Syrian refugees by 2020.
Business leader warns May against harsh immigration policy
The Guardian – 16 February
Adam Marshall, the director general of the British Chambers of Commerce has warned MPs about a potential labour shortage crisis, urging them to release details on a ‘post-Brexit immigration system’. According to BBC surveys, three-quarters of companies are experiencing difficulties higher or equal to those in the last 25 years trying to recruit new employees.
Home Office Brexit app for EU citizens put in doubt
The Guardian – 15 February
Plans to roll out a Brexit app for EU citizens to register for ‘permanent settled status’ have been put on hold, as Teresa May warns EU citizens coming into the UK after 29 March 2019 would not be given an automatic right to remain. The app has been designed to make the application process quicker and more streamlined for EU citizens who are already settled in the UK.