Weekly Immigration News Digest 7th – 20th July 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.
20 July 2018

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


Europe’s hostile environment deters asylum seekers | The Week | 19.7.18

The ‘hostile environment’ policy is so strong that number of individuals seeking asylum in Europe has almost halved in the past year. Although it is important to note, as the article does, that a major factor in the reduction of asylum claims can be put down to the fact that fewer people are willing to make the hazardous journey across the Mediterranean. The rest of the article discusses Trump and Merkel and the immigration situation in Germany, but the bottom line is that Europe, including the UK, is on a crackdown. Read the full article…

MPs propose permit-free work for skilled migrants to combat post-Brexit immigration policy vacuum | The Independent | 19.7.18

MPs on the science and technology committee have drafted an immigration proposal regarding skilled migrants, due to the impact that the lack of policy has had on the sector. The report produced by these MPs suggests that a 6-month visa-free and permit-free period is established for skilled workers. There were also proposals for a five-year permit for skilled workers, thinking about more long-term migration. Throughout the article there is further emphasis on the damage that has been caused to the science and innovation community by the delay in confirming the new immigration system. Read the full article…

LGBT asylum seekers denied refuge in UK due to unfair demands – charity | Thomson Reuters Foundation News | 12.7.18 Read the full article…

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Home Office routinely disbelieves LGBT asylum claims, says new report | Pink News | 12.7.18 Read the full article…

These two articles comment on the newly released report by the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group (UKLGIG) which has found that LGBT+ asylum seekers have a much tougher and less fair application process. Reuters say that ‘excessive proof’ of sexual orientation is required in applications based on sexuality, which results in ‘insensitive and inappropriate’ questioning by state officials. Along the same lines, Pink News have found from the report that the Home Office is ‘setting the bar too high’ for such applications. This article is much more extensive than the first, discussing various examples and evidence used in claims, which are ‘routinely disbelieved’ or dismissed. The language is more emotionally charged than in Reuters’ article, describing the ‘humiliation’ of claimants.

Legal Aid Decision Offers New Hope For Unaccompanied Migrant Children | Lawyer Monthly | 16.7.18

The Children’s Society have led a 5-year campaign which has recently caused the government to reinstate legal aid in non-asylum immigration cases to vulnerable, migrant children who are alone in the UK. Children have been struggling to pay the high fees for legal representation since 2013 when there were cuts to legal aid, at the same time as rising Home Office fees. Delighted by the news, the chief executive of the charity commented that this decision ensures that the immigrant children, some of the most vulnerable individuals in the country, can access justice. Read the full article…

UK asylum seekers who face destitution ‘wait months’ for support | The Guardian | 9.7.18

Individuals who have claimed asylum and are awaiting that decision to come back, are entitled to government financial support and accommodation if they are considered to be facing destitution. However, the charity Refugee Action have found that the average time asylum seekers have had to wait for this support to come through is more than three times the 14-day period outlined by the Home Office. Cases cited in this article include a pregnant woman facing homelessness. A statement from a spokeswoman for the Home Office is quoted at the end of this article, and it refers only to the ‘generosity’ of providing such support, with no comment on the reported waiting times. Read the full article…

Sajid Javid puts Theresa May’s ‘hostile environment’ immigration policy on hold following the Windrush scandal | The Sun | 13.7.18

The devastation and distress which has been caused by the Windrush scandal has led Home Secretary Sajid Javid to pause the ‘hostile environment’ for three months, whilst the Home Office finds the best way to move forward without trapping legal immigrants in the net designed to catch illegal immigrants. This ‘pause’ will entail freezing all data sharing between the Home Office and HMRC, the department for work and pensions, the DVLA. For all those who have been negatively affected by the government’s ‘hostile environment’ policy, this move is a positive and progressive one with the hope of change. Read the full article…

Children locked up, parents denied lawyers and women forced to describe their rape: The UK treats refugees just as badly as Trump does | The Metro | 7.7.18

This article discusses the UK’s immigration system as unfair and unjust, drawing on examples and statistics of those in immigration detention centres and of children who must grow up without one of their parents. It presents the state of the immigration system in the UK as only marginally better than that in Trump’s US. Read the full article…