All Articles: Enforcement

In a bid to slow the surge in COVID-19 cases, Prime Minister Boris Johnson last night set out new restrictions in England which range from the wearing of masks by shop workers to limits on the number of people attending weddings. These measures come hard on the heels of a...

23rd September 2020
BY Cryton Chikoko

In the absence of safe and legal routes into the UK, migrants and refugees are undertaking desperate and treacherous journeys across the Channel in small boats and dinghies. On 19 August, news broke of the tragic drowning of Abdulfatah Hamdallah, a young Sudanese man, who had attempted this crossing. The...

7th September 2020
BY Ala Sirriyeh

On 26 August 2020 at 7:45, a flight chartered by the Home Office took off from Stansted airport, heading for France via Dusseldorf. The passengers were asylum seekers from countries such as Iran, Sudan and Yemen. A similar flight took off two weeks before; another is reportedly scheduled for 3...

1st September 2020
BY Rachael Lenney

The government has no way of knowing whether its flagship “hostile environment” policy on unauthorised migrants is working, the National Audit Office has found. In a report published today, the NAO says that the Home Office is “currently unable to assess” whether hostile environment measures “have any meaningful impact on...

17th June 2020
BY CJ McKinney

The Home Office response to the coronavirus crisis has been hesitant at best. To the credit of the department, it has on the whole acted to protect its own staff and the staff of some of its major contractors, albeit sometimes belatedly. Basic steps to reduce immediate contagion risk were...

28th April 2020
BY Colin Yeo

This week, the courts have once again found that the government’s Right to Rent checks – which require landlords to verify the immigration status of their tenants – cause discrimination on the grounds of race and nationality where it would not otherwise occur. In line with the conclusion of the...

23rd April 2020
BY Zoe Gardner

What caused the Windrush scandal? According to an independent review by Wendy Williams, published today, the answer lies in increasingly harsh immigration and nationality legislation over the past 60 years. These laws — including those dedicated to the hostile environment — created a situation where long-term residents were required to...

19th March 2020
BY CJ McKinney

What follows is a real case from my practice. Names have been changed. My clients (let’s call them Mr and Mrs Restaurant) have run a restaurant since 2004. Their establishment is beloved in the local community, especially amongst families. It feels like a real community hub, and in amongst the...

24th January 2020
BY John Vassiliou

In a review of Amelia Gentleman’s book The Windrush Betrayal, David Goodhart of the Policy Exchange think tank said this: Over … [the] period [2004-2018] the number of voluntary removals rose sharply from 3,566 in 2004 to 28,655 in 2016, perhaps some evidence that, despite Gentleman’s assertions, the hostile environment...

15th January 2020
BY Nick Nason

As we’ve highlighted in recent blog posts, the Immigration Rules aggressively punish overstaying, to the point where accidentally staying beyond the expiry date of your visa even by just one day will basically ruin your life. “So what?”, you might say. “Overstayers are criminals and should be punished accordingly”. Clearly...

20th November 2019
BY John Vassiliou

While the UK government boasts of its trailblazing work to tackle the scourge of modern slavery, it is also rightly criticised for its systemic failures to prevent exploitation and protect victims once identified. A number of hostile immigration policies are directly at odds with the UK’s commitment to protect victims...

6th November 2019
BY Avril Sharp

I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by. Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt Law is frequently a question of deadlines. Points fixed in a calendar, some optimistically scribbled in, some tattooed on a limb. If you are lucky, the deadline is malleable. People...

23rd October 2019
BY Darren Stevenson

The Immigration Act 2016 authorises immigration officers to temporarily close down businesses persistently employing illegal workers. The provision is one of several that make up the hostile environment policy, which has been rebranded the “compliant environment”. The objective of the policy is to encourage those without permission to live and...

23rd September 2019
BY Samar Shams

Government attempts to tackle illegal working are halting, aimless and ill-adapted to the post-Windrush dispensation, an independent inspection report has found. David Bolt’s latest report says that “the Home Office’s efforts are not really working and may have had the unintended consequence of enabling exploitation and discrimination by some employers”....

10th May 2019
BY CJ McKinney

The government has proposed the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration as the interim monitoring body for the EU citizen settled status scheme. This briefing examines the powers, remit and impact of the Chief Inspector. The Chief Inspector is a person — currently David Bolt and previously John Vine...

8th March 2019
BY Colin Yeo

Today, the High Court has ruled that the ‘Right to Rent’ checks, a key policy of Theresa May’s so-called “hostile”, now rebranded as “compliant environment”, cause landlords to discriminate against prospective tenants on racial and nationality grounds.   Mr Justice Martin Spencer has handed down a damning verdict excoriating the government, saying that the scheme not merely risks causing illegal...

1st March 2019
BY Zoe Gardner

Today the High Court found in the case of R (Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWHC 452 (Admin) that the government’s Right to Rent scheme causes racial discrimination in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Joint Council for the...

1st March 2019
BY Colin Yeo

The government has collected less than half the fines issued to employers for hiring undocumented migrants over the past five years, according to a Free Movement estimate using data released under the Freedom of Information Act. The value of illegal working fines handed out to companies, even if reduced by the...

21st February 2019
BY CJ McKinney

A new report from the independent immigration inspector shines new light on how enforcement officials get their hands on data about migrants from other government departments. David Bolt, the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, also reveals that the department is building a centralised database of migrants’ legal status...

31st January 2019
BY CJ McKinney

Migrants who would not otherwise have the right to live in the UK can acquire that right by getting married to a British national, EU citizen or another migrant who is settled here. In theory, that route is open to abuse by couples who are not really in a genuine...

7th January 2019
BY Nath Gbikpi

A migrant’s marital status can make a huge difference to their right to be in the UK. The spouse of an EU national exercising treaty rights in the UK will automatically have a right to reside in the UK. The spouses of British or settled citizens do not acquire such...

4th January 2019
BY Nath Gbikpi

Brexit notwithstanding, 2018 is likely to be remembered as the year the lid was blown on the government’s hostile environment policy. The debate about how difficult we want the lives of migrants unlawfully in the UK to be has now caught the attention of the mainstream media. It is therefore...

27th December 2018
BY Joanna Hunt

In R (FB and NR) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] UKUT 428 (IAC), the appellants challenged the legality of the Home Secretary’s removals policy (traditionally known as Chapter 60 of his Enforcement Guidance and Instructions, now titled Judicial reviews and injunctions). Specifically, the challenge tackled the policy of...

14th December 2018
BY Husein Meghji

I’ve been working on a submission to the Windrush lessons learned review. The final date for submission of evidence is 19 October 2018 and I’d urge anyone interested in immigration policy to consider putting in a response, no matter how short. I’ll be sending in this submission, with any amendments,...

15th October 2018
BY Colin Yeo

The whole purpose of the hostile environment is to exert indirect immigration control over migrants through employers, landlords, banks and public services. This is seen as an alternative to direct enforcement the old fashioned way, through arrests, detention and enforced removal. We saw in our post yesterday that direct enforcement...

2nd October 2018
BY Colin Yeo

“The government is cracking down harder on both illegal and legal migrants.” “The government does not control immigration.” These two contrasting statements are the prevailing yet paradoxical narratives on immigration in the United Kingdom today. An analysis of recent Home Office enforcement statistics suggests that neither offers an accurate picture...

1st October 2018
BY Colin Yeo

On 4 September the Republic of Ireland announced plans for a new “regularisation scheme” to allow certain undocumented migrants to remain in the country legally. The amnesty will be open to anyone who came to Ireland as an international student between January 2005 and December 2010 and is now undocumented. Although...

12th September 2018
BY Luke Butterly

Immigration lawyers are among the groups being asked by the Home Office to submit evidence about what caused the Windrush scandal and what would prevent a repeat. In a “lessons learned” call for evidence issued on 20 August, the department says that “immigration advisors and lawyers who may represent those going through the...

22nd August 2018
BY CJ McKinney

What happens when an American graduate, about to become eligible for indefinite leave to remain having lived lawfully in the UK for almost a decade, incorrectly thinks that he is eligible to apply for British citizenship and applies for that instead? You might think that, for example, the Home Office...

17th August 2018
BY John Vassiliou

What should the repercussions be if the Home Office accidentally splashes the personal details of asylum seekers all over the internet? If your answer is “compensation”, congratulations: you are at one with the Court of Appeal. The case is Secretary of State for the Home Department & Anor v TLU &...

27th June 2018
BY CJ McKinney

For members of the Windrush generation or others with a right to be in the UK but no documents to conclusively prove that, the government’s “hostile environment” policy has vastly upped the stakes. But at the heart of many of the problems faced by members of the Windrush generation lies...

30th May 2018
BY Tim Buley

The Home Office has announced a formal application process for victims of the Windrush scandal and other long-term residents to get documents proving their right to live in the UK. The “Windrush Scheme” will go live on 30 May, replacing a helpline that was set up under Amber Rudd. Instead...

24th May 2018
BY CJ McKinney

What is a genuine relationship? This idea of a love marriage is an invention of modernity,. It’s not so long ago that most people would be getting married through other kinds of arrangements. In Victorian England, all kinds of financial considerations would be in play as to who the right...

16th May 2018
BY CJ McKinney

Theresa May declared in an interview with the Telegraph in May 2012 that she wanted to create a “really hostile environment” for irregular migrants in the UK. In this blog post we look at the evolution of the hostile environment, consider what measures fall within the overarching policy and examine the effects...

1st May 2018
BY Colin Yeo

As explained in our detailed piece on the plight of long-resident Commonwealth citizens, free legal advice used to be available for those making immigration applications. Before it was scrapped in April 2013, this legal help was available to the “Windrush children” when applying for documents to confirm their status in...

17th April 2018
BY Nick Nason

Several cases have come to light in recent weeks and months of the treatment of Commonwealth citizens who arrived in the UK in the 1950s and 1960s. Unable to provide evidence of their right to reside in the UK, these legal immigrants are losing jobs, being detained, and being denied...

13th April 2018
BY Nick Nason

Government measures aimed at stopping irregular migrants from renting a home are not being properly evaluated, the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration has found. The controversial Right to Rent scheme is “yet to demonstrate its worth as a tool to encourage immigration compliance, with the Home Office failing...

28th March 2018
BY CJ McKinney

In the recently reported case of Elsakhawy (immigration officers: PACE) [2018] UKUT 86 (IAC), the Upper Tribunal dismissed an appeal concerning the applicability of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) to immigration officers exercising powers of “pastoral” interview. PACE is the law which safeguards the rights of those...

27th March 2018
BY Ruslan Kosarenko

Part 4 of the Immigration Act 2014 introduced a referral and investigation scheme for proposed marriages and civil partnerships involving a non-EEA national who could gain an immigration advantage from their nuptials. Under this scheme, register offices must refer all proposed marriages and civil partnerships to the Home Office if...

28th February 2018
BY nathgbikpi

The Home Affairs Committee of MPs today published its report on whether or not the Home Office has the capacity to deliver effective immigration services once the UK leaves the European Union next March. No, is the short answer. Not a lot of love from @CommonsHomeAffs Valentine's Day report on...

14th February 2018
BY Nick Nason
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