Displaying items by tag: Home office
Priti Patel is preparing to send back small boats carrying migrants in the Channel despite warnings from the French authorities that it could endanger lives. Border Force staff are being trained to employ ‘turn-around’ tactics at sea. Plans developed for two years would allow UK officers to force small boats back into French waters. It is unclear if the proposals would include taking migrants back to French shores. The proposals have already been rejected by the French government on the grounds that ‘safeguarding human lives at sea takes priority over considerations of nationality, status and migratory policy.’ Border Force will only deploy the tactics, developed in consultation with maritime experts, when they deem it safe to do so. Training is due to conclude this month. Conservative MPs want the home secretary to break international law and send all migrants arriving illegally by boat straight back to France.
Last year over 8,500 people crossed the Channel in small boats to the UK. The Home Office plans to make it much tougher for those who enter the UK illegally to claim asylum. They will no longer have the same entitlements as those who arrive legally. The Government wants to deter organised criminal networks who attempt to smuggle thousands of men, women, and children into Britain. Under the new plans, refugees who come to the UK through the government's official resettlement program will get indefinite leave to remain once they arrive. Those who arrive illegally, but still manage successfully to claim asylum, will receive a new ‘temporary protection status’ rather than an automatic right to settle. The Kent Refugee Action Network charity said that far from solving the problem the new ‘deliberately divisive policy’ will ‘make people think that there are good refugees, who do the right thing, and bad refugees, who don't do the right thing’.
Rev Brian Casey is making a fresh appeal to the Home Office not to deport 13 year old Giorgi Kakava, who has lived in Scotland since he was three. He faces being sent to Georgia, where he was born. He came to the UK with his asylum-seeker mother, who feared the gangsters her husband owed money to would either kill Giorgi or sell him to sex traffickers. She died in 2018 while awaiting the outcome of her asylum appeal, leaving Giorgi in the care of his grandmother and legal guardian Ketino Baikhadze. His residence permit expired in December. 90,000+ people signed a petition asking that he be allowed to stay in Glasgow. Rev Casey said it was a ‘scandal and a moral outrage’ that he was still living under a cloud of uncertainty. His plea for ‘decency and compassion’ comes as the Scottish parliament prepares to vote on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on 23 March.
In March, Prayer Alert intercessors prayed for an overhaul of the ethos of the Home Office, after Iranian Christian converts’ asylum applications had been unfairly rejected. Clergy have now been drafted in to teach religious literacy to hundreds of Home Office case workers tasked with deciding on asylum claims that involve religious conversion and persecution. The new training was developed with the support of Church House, Westminster, and other faith groups. Rev’d Mark Miller, vicar of Stockton, advised the Home Office on the training, and attended the first case workers’ meeting. He said, 'In the session, I asked staff what they thought was basic knowledge. Most of what they suggested wasn’t basic knowledge, it was “name the Ten Commandments”, rather than the significance of a faith in Jesus.’
An Iranian man seeking refuge in the UK has had his claim refused by the Home Office who wrote to say that his decision to convert to what he described as ‘peaceful’ Christianity and to leave Islam because ‘there is violence, rage and revenge’ was inconsistent. The letter quotes verses from Exodus, Matthew and Revelation as examples ‘inconsistent with a peaceful religion’. Recently an Iranian woman was rejected because the assessor believed her ‘faith was half-hearted' and did not think she was a true believer. She was mocked for admitting Jesus could not protect her from the country's tyrannical regime. The Bishop of Durham asked how a government official can arbitrarily pick bits out of a holy book and use them to trash someone's heartfelt reason for coming to a personal decision to follow another faith. See https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6844623/ANOTHER-Christian-asylum-claim-rejected-official-questioned-faith.html
Border Force is a new department of the Home Office, which has replaced some of the functions of the UK Border Agency. It manages UK border controls, enforcing immigration and customs regulations. We can pray for Paul Lincoln, the newly appointed director-general, that he may turn the tide of terror away from our borders. Pray for his team to work in unity with other organisations so that nothing is missed or overlooked, and for them to be aware of every hidden strategy against our safety. Pray for the teams who register all traveller services, monitor goods entering the UK, investigate immigration crime or suspicious activities at sea, and much more. May they rise up and become all that God has created them to be, so that this nation lives in peace.
Leading homeless charities were criticised after fresh revelations about their links to the Home Office. A report from Corporate Watch said that several homeless charities, including St Mungo's and Thames Reach, are ‘collaborating’ with the Home Office to remove foreign rough sleepers from the UK. Among the documents referred to in the report is a St Mungo's policy paper stating that if clients are not engaging with their service their details will be passed on to immigration enforcement teams by outreach workers. The refugee and migrant group Ramfel said it had become abundantly clear that there was more than a close collaboration between homelessness agencies and the Home Office. This is an issue of trust and confidence and if homeless people on the street cannot trust those that claim to be coming to assist them, then the meaning of charity needs a serious rethink.
Thousands of National Health Service (NHS) patients have had their data accessed by the Home Office as part of a crackdown on illegal immigration. The data are made up of non-clinical information, which includes names, dates of birth and the individual’s last known address. An investigation by the Guardian revealed for the first time the extent and details of Home Office requests for information. Between September and October 20126, 2,224 such requests were made: in 1,659 cases the details were traced, in 516 there was no trace, and in 69 instances requests were turned down. The number of requests has risen threefold since 2014, as the Government has toughened its stance on illegal immigration. Data can be requested about people who have absconded from immigration control, escaped detention, exceeded their time in the UK, sought to obtain leave to remain by deception, or failed to comply with reporting restrictions. It should be noted that NHS Digital retains the right to refuse requests which it deems to be against the public interest.