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

In case you missed it: the week in immigration news


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Free Movement’s pick of the past week’s media reporting on immigration and asylum.

Last week saw a flurry of Brexit business. Theresa May wrote an open letter to EU citizens living in the UK in a less than convincing attempt to reassure (Huffington Post). It was sent ahead of a European Council meeting on Brexit negotiations, where EU leaders agreed there had been progress on citizens’ rights and other ‘divorce’ issues, but not sufficient to move on to discussions about the future UK-EU relationship (Bloomberg).

The Telegraph reports that the UK has already backed down on one sticking point. The Brexit cut-off date after which newly-arrived EU immigrants will not have a pathway to ‘settled status’ is to be March 2019, rather than March 2017 as previously floated. Meanwhile, Amber Rudd said that registration for EU citizens already here will begin by the end of 2018 (Guardian).

A fresh crop of Home Office horror stories came to light. The wife of an Indian photographer writes of being “locked in a legal ordeal for seven months” (Politics.co.uk), while in Scotland an American couple face deportation for failure to comply with the changed terms of their entrepreneur visa (STV).

Amelia Hill is carrying on something of a one-woman appeal service: two of her stories on refused spousal visas (both Guardian) were swiftly followed up with news that the Home Office had changed its mind. As Colin put it: media exposure can work!

In asylum news, Open Democracy reports on conditions for pregnant women in asylum accommodation run by G4S, while the Guardian has run an investigation into the plight of the ‘Dubs children’, one year after hundreds of unaccompanied young people seeking asylum were brought over from Calais. The Equality and Human Rights Commission has called for an investigation into alleged abuse at Brook House immigration removal centre (BBC News).

The Conversation runs a fact check on whether there are really “over a million foreigners living illegally in Britain” (spoiler: nobody knows).

What we do know is that hostile environment measures aimed making life harder for people in this position are having unintended consequences. Right to Rent rules “aimed at preventing illegal immigrants from renting properties is fuelling a black market in forged IDs”, a BBC investigation has found.

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