HOLDING MPS WHO VOTED AGAINST PROTECTING REFUGEE CHILDREN TO ACCOUNT

bradleyBradley Hillier – Smith, LD4SOS Council member, who was part of the all party Pro-Refugee Alliance Campaign which worked to defeat 25 anti Dubs MPs, and was successful doing just that in 13 seats, writes : So proud of our campaign this election which has succeeded in playing a small role in ensuring a more pro-refugee voice in parliament, such that a proposal to take in more refugee children would now be confident of passing and would not be defeated! Refugees are welcome here and we have worked hard to make that a reality.

This is the list of MPs who voted against the Dubs Amendment MPs voted against Dubs Screen Shot 2017-06-26 at 18_edited-1

The full statement is here :

 

 

We are very proud of our campaign this election. We travelled up and down the UK talking to hundreds (if not thousands) of voters, spreading awareness of pro-refugee tactical voting online, seeking to overturn the majorities of the MPs who voted against the dubs amendment, to secure pledges from candidates to reopen the scheme to transfer unaccompanied refugee children to the UK and to work with political parties to get manifesto commitments to take in more refugees. Of our top 25 targets, 13 anti-dubs MPs have been ousted. We are also proud to have worked with the Liberal Democrats to secure a manifesto commitment to take in 50 000 Syrian refugees and 3000 unaccompanied children. Now there are 12 Lib Dem MPs committed to that pledge in parliament. The original dubs vote was lost by 18 votes. With the Conservative majority diminished by 12 and with the aforementioned 12 committed Lib Dems and a Labour increase of 29 seats, a similar proposal to take in unaccompanied refugee children would be confident of being passed into law today. We are unbelievably proud to have played a small part in that glimmer of hope. We will continue to fight for a UK where refugees are welcome.

Bradley Hillier-Smith

 

LEGAL HELP FOR YOUNG ASYLUM SEEKERS

Lord Roger RobertsLord Roger Roberts, LD4SOS president, has lost no time in having a Bill prepared in time for the ballot for Private Members Bills. Congratulations for getting on with business that is important to these young people who need legal representation, and good luck in the ballot to him.

BILL PRESENTED TO ENSURE LEGAL SUPPORT FOR YOUNG ASYLUM SEEKERS – TO

Make provision for unaccompanied asylum seeking children to receive legal advice and for extending the deadline period for an unaccompanied asylum seeking child to appeal an asylum decision.

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows: –

1 Legal advice for unaccompanied asylum seeking children

(1) The Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 is amended as follows. (2) Insert the following new section— “(96A) Legal advice for unaccompanied asylum seeking children

(1) The Secretary of State has a duty to ensure the provision of legal advice for unaccompanied asylum seeking children as soon as possible after a child is first encountered by any public authority. (2) The legal advice under subsection (1) must consist of, but is not restricted to, the provision of a level 3 immigration advisor for the unaccompanied asylum seeking child. (3) The Secretary of State must make provision to meet the fees and costs associated with legal advice provided under subsection (1). (4) In this section— “level 3 immigration advisor” means an individual who is registered with the Office of Immigration Services Commissioner and who provides advice on claims for asylum and may appear on behalf of their clients at a First-Tier Immigration Tribunal; “public authority” means any public authority within the meaning of section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998, other than a court or tribunal; and “unaccompanied asylum seeking child” has the meaning given in paragraph 352ZD of the Immigration Rules.”

2 Extending the deadline period for appeals

(1) The Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal) (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) Rules 2014 are amended as follows. (2) After “tribunal” in paragraph (4) of rule 1, insert the following— “”unaccompanied asylum seeking child” has the meaning given in paragraph 352ZD of the Immigration Rules;” (3) In rule 19, insert the following— “(3A) Irrespective of whether the person is in or outside of the United Kingdom, the notice of appeal for an unaccompanied asylum seeking child must be received not later than 12 months after they are sent the notice of the decision against which the appeal is brought.”

3 Extent, commencement and short title

(1) Section 1 of this Act extends to the whole of the United Kingdom. (2) This Act comes into force at the beginning of the day on which it is passed. (3) This Act may be cited as the Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (Legal Advice and Appeals) Act 2017.

WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR REFUGEE FAMILIES TO BE REUNITED SAFELY

None of us with an ounce of compassion or humanity would say that it is a good thing for anyone to be separated from their family against their will. Our own manifesto for the General Election says :

“●● Offer safe and legal routes to the UK for refugees to prevent them from making dangerous journeys, which too often result in the loss of life, for example via reform of family reunion rules to make it easier for refugees to join relatives already living in safety in the UK.”

Refugee Council are campaigning for people to contact their MP to ask them to sponsor a Private Members Bill “Refugee Family Reunion Bill”.

You can do this very easily by putting in your postcode into this site https://action.refugeecouncil.org.uk/togetheragain/ or of course use your own words if you can.

Below is a briefing from the Refugee Council, giving more detail, and thank you to them for drawing it up. Also more on their website https://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/latest/news/4952_saving_their_lives_broke_up_their_families

As refugees are forced to flee their homes due to conflict, violence and persecution, they can find themselves separated from their loved ones, further compounding their suffering.

For refugees already living in safety in the UK, the forced separation from their families and constant anxiety about their well-being can be devastating, preventing them from rebuilding their lives and undermining their successful integration into their new communities.

Refugee family reunion is a way to reunite divided families but the Government’s strict rules mean that many refugees do not qualify. Currently, adult refugees living in the UK can apply for their spouse and children under the age of 18 to join them. For child refugees alone in the UK, they are unable to apply for even their parents to join them.

This leaves families facing a stark choice: leave some family members behind, be it an elderly mother in Syria or a 19 year old daughter in a Taliban-controlled region of Afghanistan, or turn to people smugglers and embark on perilous journeys in a desperate attempt to join their families.

The result is that families are kept apart just when they need each other the most.

You have a chance to change this by contacting your MP

“As your constituent, I am asking you to enter the Private Members’ Bill ballot on 29 June and, if selected, to use the opportunity to introduce a Refugee Family Reunion bill.

A Refugee Family Reunion bill would make it easier for families torn apart by war and violence to be reunited. It would give refugees a safe, legal route to join family members who have already found refuge here, so that they are not forced to turn to smugglers .”

I hope you will take this opportunity to help refugee families by entering the Private Members’ Bill ballot.

Yours sincerely,

Liberal Democrat manifesto on asylum and refugee issues

We are very pleased with the Party Manifesto released yesterday, and you can see the policies around refugees and asylum seekers at section 7.8 on page 78. 

This is the  LD4SOS Manifesto for General Election June 2017which encompasses the party one, but has more information and detail on issues around those seeking sanctuary.  It is all based on existing party policy.

If you need it as a word document to take extracts from please do get in touch, it is there to be used and shared as needed.

If you would like any further information, please do get in touch with us.

 

STOP SHARING MEDICAL INFORMATION CAMPAIGN

Doctors of the World has just launched its #StopSharing campaign calling on the UK government to stop using NHS patients’ personal information to track down migrants. The deal struck in January between the Home Office and NHS Digital gives the Home Office easier access to migrant patients’ information, such as addresses, and allows them to track down, arrest and deport undocumented migrants. Patient confidentiality is essential for NHS staff to be able to do their job – and yet they have not been consulted about this deal, with concerns raised by medical organisations ignored.

Support the #StopSharing campaign by sharing the petition with your networks and taking action on social media. You can also help promote the “Safe Surgeries” toolkit for healthcare professionals which gives GP practices concrete ways to defy the data-sharing deal by keeping their patients’ addresses off NHS records, including using the GP practice address as c/o address. Resources to promote the campaign are here DotW website.