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

Free Movement Weekly Immigration Newsletter #26

Welcome to the weekly Free Movement newsletter!

We are finally down to the last few days before the election, and Refugee Council has published what looks like a pretty strong list of “day one” recommendations for the new government on asylum. The King’s Speech will take place on 17 July and we wait to see if Labour will be looking to pass any legislation on immigration and/or asylum at the outset. 

The asylum appeals backlog continues to get coverage elsewhere, as the Financial Times have covered it in today’s piece looking at whether Labour can fix the UK’s asylum system.

Last week Bail for Immigration Detainees reported that the last of its clients detained pending Rwanda have now been released. Hopefully that means that everyone caught up in that has now been released. For anyone who is interested in the behind the scenes of the government’s social media posts on the initial Rwanda detentions, this Freedom of Information response (although names are redacted) is somewhat interesting (particularly the concerns about “the optics of the handcuffs shot”).

On Free Movement, as you can see from this morning’s post on the latest instance of the Court of Appeal having to step in where the Upper Tribunal has failed to rectify a poor First-tier Tribunal decision, I am feeling quite underwhelmed with our tribunals at the moment. This concern is heightened by issues we have covered previously on the lack of lawyers available to help people navigate through the appeals process, as well as the huge increase in appeals

Last week I wrote up the successful challenge to a previous Home Secretary’s decision to drop some of the recommendations made by Wendy Williams in the Lessons Learned Review that she carried out following the Windrush scandal. We also updated one of our many niche but important posts – this one on adopted children and immigration and nationality law.  For everything else on the blog and elsewhere, read on.

Cheers, Sonia

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What we’re reading

Can Labour fix the UK asylum system? – Financial Times, 1 July

My journey through the immigration system shows things must change – Huck, 27 June

Does Digital Status Unlawfully Penalise EU Citizens Accessing the UK’s Private Rented Sector? – Modern Law Review, 25 June

Africans pay the price of visa denials to Europe – LSE blog, 24 June

African and Asian artists condemn ‘humiliating’ UK and EU visa refusals – The Guardian, 25 June

Top scientists turning down UK jobs over ‘tax on talent’, says Wellcome boss – The Guardian, 29 June

First Gazan orphan given visa to live in UK – Amer’s story – Channel 4, 26 June

“They’re profiting from the misery of the world”: How the Hinduja exploitation trial in Switzerland is a typical case study of the exploitation of domestic workers in the UK and around the world – Kalayaan, 27 June

Seven asylum seeker suicides recorded in Home Office housing in less than four months – Liberty Investigates and the i, 27 June

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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.


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