MPs back refugee family reunification bill
The Guardian – 16 March
A bill to allow child refugees to bring close relatives to the UK has been backed by MPs, and will now progress to the committee stage. The purpose of the bill is to expand the Home Office definition of ‘family’ and to re-introduce legal aid to help refugees with their applications. Although the bill has received initial support, Caroline Nokes has stated that the government are likely to block it at a later stage.
Home Office broke its own rules on avoiding family separations
The Guardian – 11 March
Home Office guidance states that a child must not be separated from both parents for immigration purposes if the result is that the child is put into care. However, The Guardian reports that the Home Office broke its own rules in the case of Mr Oranyendu, who was arrested whilst his partner was attending a funeral in Nigeria, leaving his children to be taken into care.
Britain’s EU migrants get a first chance to vote since the referendum
The Economist – 8 March
In an article by The Economist, it has been suggested that Brexit has revealed to EU Nationals who reside in Britain a whole host of rights many did not know they had, including the right to vote and run in regional elections. According to the Liberal Democrats, around one million EU nationals are eligible to vote in the upcoming May elections, although they cannot in general elections.
Inspection Plan: Chief Inspector seeks suggestions
Gov.UK – 6 March
David Bolt, the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, is currently drafting his Inspection Plan 2018 to 2019, and will
be detailing it to the Home Secretary (as per the UK Borders Act 2007). Bolt is welcoming suggestions from the public, with a deadline of 16 March, 2018. Contact details are provided on the government website.
Minister defends threats over Yarl's Wood hunger strike
The Guardian – 6 March
The threat of accelerated deportations in response to the current Yarl’s Wood hunger strike has been confirmed by the Minister of State for Immigration, Caroline Nokes. Nokes confirmed that many of the women on hunger strike have received letters warning them that their actions would not stop them from being deported and may accelerate their cases.
Home Office plans to deny immigrants access to data 'are illegal'
The Guardian – 5 March
Two groups, the3million and the Open Rights Group (ORG) are campaigning against a clause in the data protection bill, which would introduce an exemption for immigration information. This would stop immigrants facing deportation from accessing and challenging their personal data held on file. According to these groups, the clause would be in breach of the general data protection regulation (GDPR), which comes into force in May 2018.