Thursday 18 December 2014

East Midlands Strategic Migration Partnership Briefing

The East Midlands Strategic Migration Partnership Briefing brings together different sources of information relating to Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Migrants.

  • Asylum and Refugees
  • Migration
  • Training
  • Events
  • Vacancies

Asylum and Refugees 

Home Office Asylum Support telephone line new opening hours

Please note that until further notice the Asylum Support telephone line in Solihull will only be open Monday to Friday from  14.00 – 16.00 the number to call is  0121 704 5488. For assistance with applications for support - Migrant Helpline can be contacted on 0808 8000630 or for information -UKVI customer contact centre -  0300 123 2235.  

New CentreForum report sets out the need for 21 changes to the UK asylum system

The policy thinktank CentreForum, has published a paper setting out views on how the UK’s asylum system should be reformed to bring about fairer outcomes and make procedures more efficient.
‘A place of sanctuary? Creating a fair and efficient asylum system’ argues that the current system is anachronistic in that it was designed to manage a large influx of asylum seekers at the turn of the millennium. Asylum numbers have fallen sharply since then and, while the overall debate about migration has intensified, hostility towards those seeking sanctuary has mellowed somewhat. It is therefore an opportune time to reform some of the most draconian elements of the asylum process without undermining public confidence.
Drawing on sector expertise and the author’s own analysis the paper makes 21 recommendations in the areas of institutional reform; detention; destitution; women and children; and the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). The intention behind each recommendation is to make the asylum system more responsive to today’s challenges – rather than those of previous decades.
The paper is the final publication of a three part series aimed at setting a liberal agenda in UK immigration policy. CentreForum previously published ‘Migration: a liberal challenge’ (January 2014) and ‘The business case for immigration reform’ (December 2013).

To view the paper go to CentreForum.org - A place of sanctuary? Creating a fair and efficient asylum system

Border and immigration inspector complains that government has compromised his independence

The independent chief inspector of borders and immigration, John Vine, has criticised the Home Office in a letter sent to MPs sitting on the public accounts select committee.
The chief inspector is responsible for providing an independent assessment of the effectiveness of the immigration control procedures administered by the Home Office. For several years its reports have been made directly available at the point when the chief inspector has been satisfied on the rigour and accuracy of their findings.
In his letter to MPs, Mr Vine explains that in September 2013 the Home Secretary told him that in future the publication of reports would take place on a schedule directed by her office. He sets out his misgivings with this decision, saying that it he feared, "... that a consequence of her decision might be that reports would not be published promptly, reducing the impact of their findings." He believed that inspection findings should be placed in the public domain in a timely manner.
After making this concerns known at the time of the Home Secretary's decision Mr Vine believes that he has proven correct.
He says that "The majority of my reports since January 2014 have been subject to significant delays between submission to the Home Secretary and being laid in parliament. I consider that lengthy delays in publishing reports risk reducing the effectiveness of independent inspection, which depends to a large extent on timely publication of findings, and it is contributing to a sense that the independence of my role is being compromised."
Mr Vine has announced that he will be stepping down early from his role as chief inspector. It is believed that this is related to his dissatisfaction with the way his reports are now being handled by the Home Office.

The chief inspector's letter to MPs on the public accounts committee can be viewed at http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/public-accounts-committee/the-management-and-removal-of-foreign-national-offenders/written/15745.html

Inquiry MPs call for halt to expansion of immigration detention

Two MPs most closely involved in monitoring UK asylum procedures have called for a suspension of government plans to expand immigration detention until a parliamentary inquiry panel has completed its work.
Sarah Teather, MP for Brent East, who is leading the All-Party Parliamentary inquiry into immigration detention, has called on the Home Secretary Teresa May to halt expansion whilst her panel is carrying out the most in-depth examination into the policy of detaining thousands of refugees and migrants each year has been completed.
The panel held its third evidence-gathering session yesterday when it heard evidence from HM Inspector of Prison, Nick Hardwick, former immigration detainees Tacko Mbengue and Aderonke Apata, former immigration detainee, Grant Mitchell, Director, International Detention Coalition, and Dr Alice Edwards, Senior Legal Coordinator, United Nations Commissioner for Refugees. It is expected to report its findings in January or February of next year.
Ms Teather has been backed in her call by fellow MP Julian Huppert. Mr Huppert, who is the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees, has called on the immigration minister James Brokenshire to give evidence on behalf of the Home Office to the inquiry panel.

For more information on the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into immigration detention, go to http://detentioninquiry.com/

Sanctuary Summit launches 'Birmingham Declaration' in support of rights of asylum seekers and refugees

Following on from a national meeting of supporters of refugee sanctuary which took place on 15th November a call for support for a 'Birmingham Declaration' has been made public.
Speaking in support of the Declaration Maurice Wren, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council said, “Let’s reclaim the centre ground of political debate with empathy, compassion and common sense. Working together we’ll drive those who denigrate and demonise migrants to the extremes where they belong.”
In a message of support came from the Archbishop of York, the Right Reverend John Sentamu referring to refugees as being among the most vulnerable in society. Another highlight was the appearance of the ‘Glasgow Girls’, former school students who campaigned for the rights of friends who had fled persecution to be granted refuge in Britain.
The Summit was organised by national and local organisations working with migrants and refugees, and chaired by two refugees, Zrinka Bralo and Forward Maisokwadzo – former journalists from Bosnia and Zimbabwe who now campaign for the rights of migrants and refugees.
The “Birmingham Declaration”, a set of principles and ‘asks’ that have already been signed by 26 national and regional organisations. The declaration affirms Britain’s long tradition of offering protection to those fleeing persecution, and its reputation for fairness and justice. It goes on to say that most British people are sympathetic towards those who come here seeking protection, and asks for an end to destitution and indefinite detention. It is planned to carry on gathering support for the Declaration across the faith, community, public and private sectors, before sending it to all party leaders.

To view the Birmingham Declaration and follow directions to sign up to its principles, go to https://sanctuarysummit2014.wordpress.com/201-2/

Migrant Children's Project Newsletter November 2014

To sign up for the latest news and information relating to migrant children. Click here 

Migration

Migration Statistics Quarterly Report, November 2014

The Office for National Statistics has released the latest quarterly report of migration statistics. The report highlights:

  • Net long-term migration to the UK was estimated to be 260,000 in the year ending June 2014, a statistically significant increase from 182,000 in the previous 12 months. 
  • While net migration has increased since the most recent low of 154,000 in the year ending September 2012, it remains below the peak of 320,000 in the year ending June 2005.
  • 583,000 people immigrated to the UK in the year ending June 2014, a statistically significant increase from 502,000 in the previous 12 months. There were statistically significant increases in immigration of EU (up 45,000) and non-EU (up 30,000) citizens.
  • An estimated 323,000 people emigrated from the UK in the year ending June 2014. Long-term emigration has been relatively stable since 2010. 
  • There was a statistically significant increase in immigration for work (up 45,000 to 247,000), driven by increases for non-EU citizens (up 14,000), EU2 citizens (up 11,000) and EU15 (up 10,000). Estimated employment of EU nationals (excluding British) resident in the UK was 16% higher in July to September 2014 compared to the same quarter in 2013.
  • National Insurance Number (NINo) registrations to adult overseas nationals increased by 12% to 668,000 in the year ending September 2014 from the previous year. Romanian citizens had the highest number of registrations (104,000), followed by Polish citizens (98,000).
  • 32,000 Romanian and Bulgarian (EU2) citizens immigrated to the UK in the year ending June 2014, a statistically significant increase from 18,000 in the previous 12 months.
  • Immigration for study remained stable (176,000) in the year ending June 2014.
  • The statistically significant increase of 30,000 in immigration of non-EU citizens to 272,000 was in part driven by an increase in immigration to accompany/join others up 19,000 to 54,000. This follows a steady decline in non-EU immigration since the recent peak of 334,000 in the year ending September 2011. 
  • Work and study visas grants continued to rise in the year ending September 2014, by 6% (+9,500) and 3% (+6,100) respectively. These trends reflected higher levels of both skilled work visas granted and university sponsored applications.
  • There were 24,300 asylum applications in the year ending September 2014, an increase of 2% compared with the previous 12 months (23,800), but low relative to the 2002 peak (84,100).

    http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/migration1/migration-statistics-quarterly-report/november-2014/index.html 

The Home Office’s Immigration Statistics July – September 2014 released 27 November

It provides the latest figures on those subject to immigration control. The release is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-july-to-september-2014

 There have been a range of improvements to the following topic briefings and tables in this release.

  • Detention topic: new data on people held in prison establishments in England and Wales solely under Immigration powers as set out in the Immigration Act 1971 or UK Borders Act 2007 has been added to the detention topic brief. In addition, The Verne Immigration Removal Centre (IRC, formerly Her Majesty’s Prison The Verne) opened on 28 September 2014, near Weymouth in Dorset, which will increase the capacity of the Detention Estate by 580 when fully utilised.  
  • Family topic: more detailed analysis and additional tables for years ending June have been included in this release to assist users in understanding the trends in family data before and after the changes to the Immigration Rules in July 2012.
  • European Economic Area tables: historical data for 2004 and 2005 have been added to Table ee 02. These data were previously published in Table 4.4 of the Control of Immigration Statistics 2006 command paper.
  • Geographical regions: geographical regions used in the tables have been updated to reflect new country groupings that ONS have adopted following consultation in early 2014 http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/about-ons/get-involved/consultations/consultations/country-groupings-in-international-migration-statistics/index.html. This provides a more detailed breakdown of our figures by geographical region and does not in any way restrict the information already available at the level of individual country of nationality.

    Please email us if you have any comments on today’s Home Office’s Immigration Statistics release via: MigrationStatsEnquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk.

    Home Office Statistics are keen to engage with users of these statistics, any comment or feedback will be gratefully received. The conference of the Migration Statistics User Forum in September 2014 included a breakout session on ‘What users would like from Home Office statistical releases on migration’ where users were asked for their views to help develop and improve this publication. We are planning a more formal user consultation with specific proposals. This may include how the Migration Transparency Data webpage at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/migration-transparency-data could be more closely integrated. We would also appreciate feedback via a short survey that has been set up for users of the statistics to provide feedback, this can be completed by clicking  here.   

Practical implications of immigration checks on new lettings

Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) has published a new guide on the "Immigration checks on new lettings". These are required by the Immigration Act 2014, initially in parts of the West Midlands from 1st December 2014 but later to be rolled out nationally.
Most local authority and many housing association lettings will be exempt, but lodgers are covered by the scheme regardless of tenure. Social landlords need to be aware of the requirements both where it applies to their own lettings and to any lodgers which their tenants may have, and because of the expected impact on the private rented sector and on migrant communities.
This ‘Practical Implications’ briefing explains how the checks are intended to operate, answers questions which social landlords may have and suggests how you can meet the new requirements and respond to their effects. It is based on CIH liaison with the Home Office, landlord bodies and migrant rights organisations when the legislation was going through Parliament and now that it is being implemented.

You can download the briefing from the CIH website

Modern Slavery Commissioner

The Home Secretary has appointed Kevin Hyland as the UK’s first ever Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner.
Mr Hyland, the former head of the Metropolitan Police’s world renowned Human Trafficking Unit, has over 30 years’ experience investigating organised crime and has worked closely with slavery victims to secure a number of key prosecutions of perpetrators.
The newly-created role will see him spearhead the UK’s fight against modern slavery, with a concerted focus on strengthening law enforcement efforts in the UK and internationally and helping to ensure that public authorities identify and support slavery victims effectively.
The creation of an Independent Commissioner is one of the main provisions of the landmark Modern Slavery Bill, currently going through Parliament. Mr Hyland will act as designate Commissioner until the Bill achieves Royal Assent, expected to be next year. His work will complement the already existing role of Victims’ Commissioner.
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uks-first-independent-anti-slavery-commissioner-announced

Parliamentary Human Rights Committee says Modern Slavery Bill should do more for migrant domestic workers

The Parliamentary Select Committee on Human Rights has set its views on the provisions of the Modern Slavery Bill currently working its way through the legislative process.
The Committee welcomes the Bill and takes the view that, overall, it contributes to the protection of the human rights of vulnerable groups of people. But it identifies weaknesses with regard to the new post of Anti-slavery Commissioner, overseas domestic workers, supply chains and prevention orders and believes that these could be strengthened further.
The Committee is concerned that the Bill provides insufficient protection for the independence of the Anti-slavery Commissioner, specifically in relation to appointment, staffing, powers to report on subjects other than those authorised by Government, and Government redaction of reports. It takes the view that without greater independence and a broader mandate the new post risks becoming an adjunct of the Home Office concerned mainly with law enforcement, rather than a vital new part of national human rights machinery.
On the position of migrant domestic workers, the Committee states that it regards the removal of their right to change employer as a backward step in the protection of migrant domestic workers. It notes that the pre-2012 regime had been cited internationally as good practice, and calls for a return to the level of protection that had formerly been provided to this group of migrant workers.

To view the report of the Select Committee, go to http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/joint-select...

Home Office review of the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) for victims of human trafficking

Between its inception in 2009 and September 2014 approximately 6,800 people were referred to the NRM. The Review found many areas of good practice; however, they also saw a disjointed system where awareness of human trafficking was often low and of the NRM processes still lower. They heard of the difficulties faced by support providers in moving people on from the support provided under the victim care contract. There were many critics of decision making, the quality and communication of decisions and the ability to manage and share information effectively in the best interest of victims. The review recommends developing, with key partners, a comprehensive awareness strategy leading to increased recognition of human trafficking by the public and professionals. Please follow this link to read the review in full: https://nrm.homeoffice.gov.uk/documents/2014/11/nrm-final-report.pdf

Court of Justice of the European Union judgment – Dano v Job Center Leipzig – analysis from the Free Movement Immigration lawyers from the Garden Court Chambers

Following the judgment in this case, which looked at the case of an economically inactive Romanian woman resident in Germany and her entitlement to welfare benefits. Please follow this link for a detailed look at the facts around the case and what impact this could have for the UK: http://www.freemovement.org.uk/dano-and-the-exclusion-of-inactive-eu-citizens-from-certain-non-contributory-social-benefits/?utm_source=FM+master+list&utm_campaign=64bdf872e6-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_DAILY&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_792133aa40-64bdf872e6-105096605&mc_cid=64bdf872e6&mc_eid=75437788db 

3.7 Million Unauthorized US Immigrants Could Get Relief from Deportation – Migration Policy Institute

This press release from the Migration Policy Institute anticipates the possible impact of the announcement from the President on unauthorized immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents who can apply for temporary relief from deportation. Please follow this link for more information: http://migrationpolicy.org/news/mpi-many-37-million-unauthorized-immigrants-could-get-relief-deportation-under-anticipated-new
Thanks to the East of England Newsflash

Migration Observatory from Oxford University releases analysis of family migration rules

A new briefing by the Migration Observatory at Oxford University updates a previous assessment of the impact of the £18,600 annual income requirement for partner migration to the UK. The analysis reviews data from the Office of National Statistics Labour Force Survey for the second quarter of 2014, to look at the proportion of the working population who would be able to meet the rules. It finds that, in this period, 43% of British employees would have been unable to meet a £18,600 earnings requirement. Please follow this link to read the briefing analysis in full: http://www.migrationobservatory.ox.ac.uk/commentary/love-and-money-how-immigration-policy-discriminates-between-families

Civil Society Monitoring report on the implementation of the National Roma Integration strategy in the UK in 2012 and 2013

This report raises concerns about the lack of funding and support for Gypsy, Traveller and Roma engagement in civil society and while there is evidence of a number of projects being led by community groups in the UK, these initiatives are predominantly underfunded and, consequently, these communities are rarely represented in the political area. The report finds that the growing migrant Roma communities seem to be the most marginalised in decision making processes across the UK, with only a few local support groups in operation. This report identifies the flaws in the UK policy approach and raises concerns, when compared against some of the core approaches contained within the 10 Common Basic Principles of Roma Inclusion. This report calls upon the administrations within the UK to enter into a real partnership with Gypsies, Travellers and Roma to form a series of taskforces, to inform and guide future policy to ensure that the community members are seen as equal citizens. Please follow this link to read the report in full: http://www.romadecade.org/cms/upload/file/9773_file15_uk_civil-society-monitoring-report_en-1.pdf

Fundamental Rights Agency – Education, employment and gender: Roma survey results in focus

Three new reports just published by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights focus on different thematic areas of its Roma survey. Looking specifically at education, poverty and employment, and gender, the findings all point to widespread Roma exclusion, where Roma fare worse than their non-Roma neighbours. All three reports serve to provide the data needed to help make Roma inclusion efforts more targeted and inclusive. Please follow this link to access the reports in full: http://fra.europa.eu/en/news/2014/education-employment-and-gender-roma-survey-results-focus?_cldee=aW5mb0BlZGYub3JnLnVr&urlid=0

Thanks to the East of England newsflash

New campaign launched to end statelessness amongst children

The European Network on Statelessness (ENS) has launched its campaign ‘None of Europe’s Children should be Stateless’ to mark Universal Children’s Day and the 25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which lays down the right of every child to a nationality.
The campaign points out that children continue to be born stateless in Europe. It aims to raise awareness and promote measures to ensure that all children in the region can in practice realise their right to a nationality. The first year of the campaign will focus on conducting further research to identify more precisely current gaps in law, policy and practice that result in child statelessness.
These findings will be presented at a major regional conference in June 2015 which is intended to serve as a springboard for subsequent public-facing advocacy and campaigning necessary to secure reform. During both stages of the campaign ENS is committed to engaging the child rights community and other actors in seeking to achieve these objectives.
Other special features will include an outreach programme to schools and youth to help raise the profile of the issue and to engage youngsters in creating a platform for change.
You can read the full campaign launch statement at http://www.statelessness.eu/news-events/news/ens-launches-new-campaign-n.... This week’s ENS blog is also dedicated to the campaign and can be read at http://www.statelessness.eu/blog/launch-ens-campaign-none-europe%E2%80%9....
If you would like to learn more or to be added to a dedicated mailing list for updates about campaign activities and the forthcoming conference then please email info@statelessness.eu

NRPF Network Latest News

This month’s news bulletin contains updates about two consultations that we responded to. Firstly, the Department of Health has published the final regulations and statutory guidance relating to the provisions of the Care Act 2014. Secondly, the Social Security Advisory Committee have published their recommendations for the Government following the introduction of the housing benefit exclusion for EEA national ‘jobseekers’ on 1 April 2014.
One of the issues that came out of the DWP’s response to the Committee’s findings is that evidence of the full impact of the housing benefit change on local authorities is needed. In light of the Prime Minister’s announcement this morning about restrictions on benefits being extended to EEA workers, it is very concerning that there has not been a comprehensive assessment of the wider impact of such changes on local authorities.
The documentation of NRPF service provision will also provide key evidence for the DCLG’s New Burdens Assessment, so it is really important that local authorities consider joining NRPF Connect and contribute to any research being done to increase our understanding of this complex area of work.
The East Midlands Councils report on the Impact of International Migration is also included!http://www.nrpfnetwork.org.uk/News/Pages/default.aspx

Training

Eastern European Roma-Cultural Awareness Training

Immerse yourself in Roma culture for a day, find out the do’s and don’ts for engaging with East European Roma communities, and bring along your own practice issues to trouble-shoot with the trainers. If you work with, or expect to be working with, Roma families from Eastern Europe, you can pick up lots of great tips from a CPD accredited Cultural Awareness Training Day on 3 February in central Nottingham. The training will be delivered by the longest established Roma community organisation in the UK, the Roma Support Group. The trainers will be available during breaks to talk on a one-to-one basis, and will specifically address issues that you want to raise. The training will also include a session on safeguarding children, young people and adults. Included with the Training Day are an information pack, CPD certificate, lunch and refreshments. Full information, including price and on-line booking facilities, can be found at. http://www.ccclimited.org.uk/event/east-european-roma-cultural-awareness-training/ Or call on 0115 916 3104 – we’d love to talk to you.

Events 

Eastern European Migrant Pupils in English Schools

When: 11 Dec 2014 - 14:00 - 16:30

Where: King's College London, Waterloo Bridge Wing, Room G8, London

The event is dedicated to the launch of the final research report which is part of the British Academy-funded project 'The schooling and identity of Eastern European immigrant pupils in England'.
Pupils speaking the languages of Eastern Europe as their mother tongue are the fastest growing group in English schools. But what do we know about the attainment of 'new' Eastern European migrant pupils in England? What are the factors that contribute to or hinder these migrant pupils' educational success in England? How do they settle into British schools' cosmopolitan make-up?
We would like to present our main findings and invite you to participate in a discussion of the findings with invited speakers. Copies of research report will be available for attendees.
The event is free to everyone but please register at Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/eastern-european-immigrant-pupils-in-english-schools-tickets-13701651007

Vacancies

WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE A SPOKESPERSON ON THE BENEFITS OF EU MIGRATION TO THIS COUNTRY?

The Migrants' Rights Network is on the look-out for potential media spokespeople to make the case for EU migrants in the UK in the run-up to next year's general election. The current debate casts EU nationals who live and work here only in terms of their economic benefit (or cost) to the country when we all know there is so much more that their presence does to enrich life here for everyone.
So we need people from these communities to come forward who are prepared to speak to the media and other audiences and make the positive case for EU migrant communities. If that's you or someone you know we'd love to hear from you. You'll get free media training as well as support in handling the media so that you can make the best of your arguments. It will also be a chance for your organisation (if you represent or belong to one) to gain some profile while debating a hot national topic.
Get in touch with our project coordinator, Alan Ali, if you'd like to know more: a.ali@migrantsrights.org.uk

MRN vacancy: Policy and Campaigns Officer maternity cover (pt)

Migrants’ Rights Network is seeking a Policy and Campaigns Officer to join us for a maternity cover. We are looking for a confident and experienced campaigner to drive forward our advocacy work on key migrants’ rights issues during the period immediately prior to and following the 2015 general election. The postholder will work closely with the MRN Director, Communications Manager and Parliamentary Officer to maximize the impact of MRN campaigns, at a critical time for the immigration debate.
This is a part-time post (3 days per week), beginning in early March 2015 and running for nine months with the possibility of extension thereafter. The postholder will be based at the MRN office in Corsham Street, although some travel will be involved.
Find the full job description below. If you are interested in applying for this vacancy please complete the application form and send to MRN, along with a copy of your CV. Applications should be sent via email to r.grove-white@migrantsrights.org.uk with the subject line Policy and Campaigns Officer.
The deadline for applications is Friday 12th December 2014 at 5pm. Please note that applications received after this time and date will not be considered.
Further details are available at: http://www.migrantsrights.org.uk/news/2014/mrn-vacancy-policy-and-campaigns-officer-maternity-cover-pt