Weekly Immigration News Digest 23rd December – 5th January 2018

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By Annabel Stuart-Bourne Immigration Law Solicitor Linkedin
Danielle Cohen has over 20 years of experience as a lawyer and a reputation for offering professional, honest and expert advice.
5 January 2018

A selection of the most important immigration news of the week.


Asylum offices ‘in a constant state of crisis’, say whistle-blowers | The Guardian | 25.12.17 Read the full article…

AND

Home Office denies whistle-blower claims it is prioritising visa applications based on profit | The Independent | 26.12.17 Read the full article…

The article in The Guardian explains that two separate whistle-blowers have found the workers in the Home Office’s asylum office to be ‘undertrained and overworked’. It discusses the findings of the sources, one of which alleges that visa applications are selected by whichever will be more profitable. What is more, they claim that undertrained staff have been assigned to cases which should be handled by more senior, experienced workers. The UK Visa and Immigration Unit (UKVI) has suffered major cuts to their budget, contributing to this ‘state of crisis’. The Independent’s article firstly reports the allegations made by the whistle-blowers, before offering a somewhat apologetic response on behalf of the Home Office, quoting a spokesperson who denies the allegations that visa applications are selected on profit, rather than on the facts. They defend the work ethic of the staff, claiming that they are ‘prepared to go the extra mile’.

Take foreign students out of immigration figures, business chiefs tell Theresa May | Evening Standard | 2.1.18

The Prime Minister, opposed by many, wants students to remain among those whom this country considers to be ‘migrants’. It has been said that removing students from these figures will ensure the UK is a ‘welcoming option’. Individuals in opposition to Mrs May, both in the Cabinet and in business, recognise that international students are talented and beneficial firstly for universities, and later in jobs, and so it is crucial that we do not create a hostile environment for them. Read the full article…

‘Unlawful’ immigration clause could destroy data rights | Sky News | 6.12.17

As part of the government’s mission to create a ‘hostile environment’ for those living in the UK illegally, there is new legislation that could affect the data protection of immigrants, campaigners have warned. Those who are under investigation as part of the effective immigration control, could lose the ability to have any data collected about them erased, and they also may not be unable to find out what data has been collected and why. Using the example of the new plans to freeze the accounts of those whose immigration status is uncertain, this legislation could leave individuals in the dark about frozen assets, even if a mistake had been made. Read the full article…

I’m an MP, and I visited an immigration detention centre undercover – what I discovered was shocking | The Independent | 9.12.17

This article sheds some light on the unjust treatment of detained immigrants, who are prisoners in these centres. The journalist describes one man she met who, despite leaving West Africa where he suffered abuse, considered returning home to escape the treatment he receives at the detention centres. Read the full article…