Updates, commentary, training and advice on immigration and asylum law

Free Movement Weekly Immigration Newsletter #16

Welcome to the weekly Free Movement newsletter!

The only version of the Prime Minister’s press conference that I recommend reading is this fact checked one by Lizzie Dearden.

As my periodic reminder that there are two countries involved in this process, it is worth checking in with what is happening at Rwanda’s end. The bill which will facilitate many of the provisions of the treaty was laid in parliament on Wednesday and passed by their Chamber of Deputies last week. One part of the draft law includes the setting up of an appeal tribunal, something that one might have thought would take a while to set up, recruit and train judges etc. It would be interesting to know to what extent this process is underway and when it is expected to be completed, and will the treaty be brought into legal effect before this has been done? 

I did say last week that the Public Accounts Committee session on Rwanda would be one to watch, for those who missed it (and that does include me as I can’t bear to watch these things) the transcript is now available. Some interesting bits to point out is from questions 54 to 70, where the Home Office official went to great lengths to avoid having to explain what will happen to the tens of thousands of people who are here and cannot be sent to Rwanda. No need to wait on them though. As I have mentioned previously the pre action letters and judicial reviews have been going in to challenge the use of the inadmissibility process, and this article sets out some of the arguments that Asylum Aid have been using effectively. 

Also interesting in that committee session was the response to Olivia Blake’s question on when the 7 March to 19 July 2023 backlog will be processed (i.e. the second of the inadmissibility backlogs). The Home Office said that they will start processing those cases next month. Will this be the point at which there is finally some published guidance on how this group will be granted leave given that is largely prohibited under the Illegal Migration Act

On Free Movement, if you haven’t already done so, please read the article I wrote on Friday about a teenager who went abroad to help with his recovery from tuberculosis and who lost his travel document. The Home Office had failed to keep a record of his indefinite leave to remain and refused to let him back into the UK.

Despite subsequently accepting that he had held indefinite leave, the Home Office has continued to fight the case. He has been outside the UK since 2008, and has been stuck in Ethiopia, a country where he does not have lawful status. What he and his family have been through is beyond contemplation. While he won in the Court of Appeal last week, that is not the end of the matter as his case is now to be remitted to the Upper Tribunal unless the Home Office backs down and concedes. Such a concession is the absolute bare minimum that should be done, and so I expect that it will not happen and he will have to spend at least several more months waiting in Ethiopia.  

I also wrote up the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration’s report on deprivation which was quite the slog but as ever there were some really interesting points to dig out, and a couple of practitioners have already commented on how useful this was. 

For the rest of what was on Free Movement last week and what we have been reading elsewhere, read on.

Cheers, Sonia

Get the best of Free Movement delivered weekly straight to your inbox

What we’re reading

Is youth mobility between the UK and EU finally on the agenda? – Colin’s Substack, 19 April

Sunak rejects offer of youth mobility scheme between EU and UK – The Guardian, 19 April

My friend, Anthony Williams, died too soon. What trauma are other Windrush survivors still going through? – The Guardian, 17 April

Asylum seekers moved out of ex-RAF site in Essex after safety risks found – The Guardian, 17 April

Afghanistan interpreter told his British citizenship bars family from UK visa – The Guardian, 21 April

UK small boats policymakers referred to ‘bloody migrants’, says civil servant – The Guardian, 20 April

Home Office worker arrested for ‘selling’ UK residency – BBC News, 18 April

Rollout of eVisas begins as Government aims for digital immigration by 2025 – Independent, 17 April

Migrants in Dunkirk undeterred by UK’s Rwanda bill – BBC News, 20 April

Irish journalist Sally Hayden denied entry to Rwanda to report on 30th anniversary of genocide – The Journal, 16 April

Relevant articles chosen for you
Picture of Sonia Lenegan

Sonia Lenegan

Sonia Lenegan is an experienced immigration, asylum and public law solicitor. She has been practising for over ten years and was previously legal director at the Immigration Law Practitioners' Association and legal and policy director at Rainbow Migration. Sonia is the Editor of Free Movement.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.