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

In case you missed it: immigration in the media, 16-23 March


Older content is locked

A great deal of time and effort goes into producing the information on Free Movement, become a member of Free Movement to get unlimited access to all articles, and much, much more


By becoming a member of Free Movement, you not only support the hard-work that goes into maintaining the website, but get access to premium features;

  • Single login for personal use
  • FREE downloads of Free Movement ebooks
  • Access to all Free Movement blog content
  • Access to all our online training materials
  • Access to our busy forums
  • Downloadable CPD certificates

Here’s your round-up of the immigration and asylum stories that made national headlines this week.

Refugee fostering questions

The Mail says that the immigration system has failed in the case of Ahmed Hassan, the 18-year-old Parsons Green bomber, who is said to have admitted links with IS to Home Office officials shortly after arriving in the UK. A former foster carer, Penny Jones is quoted as saying “it makes me really angry that anyone’s life was put at risk. I feel very betrayed… the Home Office have let everybody down and social services could have found out more information”.

Trafficking asylum claim

The Independent carries the harrowing story of an Albanian woman recognised as a victim of trafficking and now turned down for asylum (whether other applications for leave have been or could be made is less clear from the article).

Brexit agreement

The legal text of a Brexit divorce deal has been partly agreed by EU and UK negotiators. As the BBC reports, it includes a transition agreement locking in free movement until the end of 2020. This means that “Britain will be forced to give full rights to EU citizens moving to the country during that time”, as the Times (£) puts it. The Spectator complains that “Britain has lost control of the Brexit talks”.

There is less coverage of the section of the agreement covering citizens’ rights, which is now entirely agreed between the negotiating teams (although not yet ratified). The Guardian covers the concerns campaign groups the3million and British in Europe, which accuse both sides of having “negotiated away some of the most fundamental rights of over 4 million committed Europeans”.

Chris Desira is even now updating our piece on what has been agreed on citizens’ rights, which should shortly reflect this week’s legal text as well as December’s agreement in principle.

Settled status sneak peek

Politics.co.uk has some detailed insight into what the application process for “settled status” for EU citizens will look like in practice. Ian Dunt writes: “the app will verify whether you are an EU national by using European data, or a national insurance number tied to nationality, or information provided on entry into the UK. It will check your presence in Britain by scanning HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) databases”. Important reading for anyone interested in this process.

Albert Thompson case

The Guardian reports that Theresa May’s interest in the case of the elderly Londoner denied NHS cancer treatment due to lack of immigration paperwork was shortlived. The PM wrote to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to say that it’s the hospital’s problem. Meanwhile the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford discovered that up to 57,000 people could, in theory, be in the same situation.

There was better news this week for two other high-profile cases of immigration injustice, both reported in the same paper. But as the JCWI points out, this will keep happening until something radical changes.

Asylum seekers sharing beds

Adult asylum seekers in Newcastle are still being forced to share bedrooms despite the local authority acting to ban the practice a year age, the Independent reveals. An organisation called Migration and Asylum Justice Forum is quoted in the piece, saying that “forcing adult strangers to share bedrooms is degrading and causes real harm”.

Passport blues

De la Rue, a firm that manufactures passports for dozens of different nations, was outraged when the tender for the new British passport was awarded to a competitor. The nation’s press rowed in behind the embattled multinational. See in particular the Mail, which began its campaign being outraged at the DUTCH, although the target has since been updated to the more traditional FRENCH.


Relevant articles chosen for you
Free Movement

Free Movement

The Free Movement blog was founded in 2007 by Colin Yeo, a barrister at Garden Court Chambers specialising in immigration law. The blog provides updates and commentary on immigration and asylum law by a variety of authors.