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Further to previous posts on this subject, there have been suggestions that the legacy ‘case resolution exercise’ is producing some surprisingly humane outcomes. An organisation previously unknown to me called Positive Action In Housing (PAIH – I’ve included a link on my blogroll as they seem to be making good use of a blog format) put out a so-called ‘press releases’ last week that announced their approval at what they claim is a 90% success rate for legacy cases in Glasgow.

I can’t imagine any journalist actually reading the sorts of ‘press releases’ that the likes of PAIH and the Immigration Advisory Service transmit to the ether on such a regular basis. To whom do they send them, or are they just published on their websites? It looks a lot like ego-onanism to me. Just put the items on a blog and have done with it, please! It’s what blogs are for.

I have a few reservations about the reliability of the PAIH information. For starters, I can’t understand why the National Asylum Support Service (NASS) would have this kind of information. NASS doesn’t make decisions, they just provide accommodation. The Home Office is so fragmented and deaf to internal communication that it would be very surprising if someone had told NASS what was going on. It certainly hasn’t been made public.

If it is true it suggests a surprising and, for them, impressive amount of internal co-ordination at the Home Office and is very good news for asylum seekers stuck in the legacy backlog.  Unless the tabloids get hold of the story and kick up a fuss. Luckily, no-one seems to have read the ‘press release’ though.

I have heard encouraging information from other lawyers. There are tales circulating about status being granted, for example, because a place at school has been found for an asylum seeker’s child and removal would disrupt the child’s education. This would never normally form the basis for a grant of status, so it would appear that far more relaxed criteria than normal are being applied.

This won’t save anyone with criminal convictions, though. Ever since the deportation crisis under Charles Clarke, the Home Office has been paranoid about even very minor misdemeanours.

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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.


2 Responses

  1. I’m curious about PAIH. For a housing advice and information charity, there is actually nothing at all on that blog about housing issues – access, support, homelessness etc.. No contact details at all, reposted news stories with the journo’s email as author link. Hmmm.

    When I have a free moment, I might have a bit of dig.