Policy on Migration and Asylum issues

Liberal Democrats for Seekers of Sanctuary have submitted an amendment Amendments to F16 submitted by LD4SOS to be submitted 03 09 18 for consideration by the Federal Conference Committee to a policy motion F16, A Fair Deal for Everyone: Prosperity and Dignity in Migration (Immigration and Identity Policy Paper) going to our September conference.

You can see how the motion would read, if all our amendments are taken by conference committee, and agreed by conference, here F16 A Fair Deal for Everyone as it would read if all the LD4SOS amendments were accepted

We have worked hard to make this a motion that we can be proud of and support as Liberal Democrats. One we can go out and promote in accordance with our values, and campaign on to make a real difference.

The original motion is here on page 35 https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/libdems/pages/43501/attachments/original/1533112838/Aut18_Agenda_for_web.pdf?1533112838

relating to a policy paper you can see here : https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/libdems/pages/43501/attachments/original/1533290054/Policy_Paper_131_-_A_fair_deal_for_everyone.pdf?1533290054

A DRAFT AMENDMENT TO A POLICY MOTION TO LIB DEM CONFERENCE ON MIGRATION AND ASYLYM

Liberal Democrats for Seekers of Sanctuary have submitted a draft amendment Draft amendments to Autumn Conference motion F16 from LD4SOS updated 26 08 (slightly altered on 29/08/18 from a previous version here) for consideration by the party to a policy motion going to conference.

You can see how the motion would read, if all our amendments are agreed, here.F16A Fair Deal for Everyone updated 26 08

Please do let us have any comments.

The original motion is here on page 35 https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/libdems/pages/43501/attachments/original/1533112838/Aut18_Agenda_for_web.pdf?1533112838

relating to a policy paper you can see here : https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/libdems/pages/43501/attachments/original/1533290054/Policy_Paper_131_-_A_fair_deal_for_everyone.pdf?1533290054

 

 

 

Shaw report on Immigration Detention.

At last, on the final day of this parliamentary session, the 2nd Shaw report, “Welfare in detention of vulnerable persons progress review” on Immigration Detention was put before parliament by the Home Secretary.   There was little chance for MPs and Peers to have read and thought about the report for the ensuing brief debate.

However LD4SOS have now been able to read the report in full, and you can see here their reaction to it. SHAW REPORT 2 2018 as well as see the links to other relevant sites.

We have not lost our focus on the huge importance of detention being something of the very last resort for as little time as possible, as well as ending detention of vulnerable people.  Improvements to the system are welcome, but a radical overhaul is needed.

BREXIT WHITE PAPER AN ALCHEMY OF CAKEISM & CHUTZPAH

Dr. Reuven (Ruvi) Ziegler, Associate Professor in International Refugee Law and member of LD4SOS Council writes :

In the area of asylum, the UK government’s Brexit white paper is an alchemy of cakeism and Chutzpah:

It seeks to retain the elements of the ‘Dublin III’ system of allocation of responsibility for determining protection claims that the government likes, namely the general ability to retain refugees to their first EU country of entry (via the EURODAC identification system); and to remain involved in EU controversial engagements with third countries that prevent asylum-seekers from reaching Europe.

All the same, as the government repeatedly states, it refuses to commit to European Court of Justice jurisdiction, presumably including over matters of asylum; and there is no mention of the UK’s continued adherence to other Common European Asylum System standards that it is currently bound by e.g. in respect of the grant of subsidiary protection status.

In general, and contrary to the spirit of the Global Compact on Refugees, the paper frames asylum as a security threat and seeks a role for the UK in fending off that threat.

He says that the paper should cover :

  1. ongoing operational cooperation, for example working with Frontex to strengthen the EU’s external border, and Europol to combat organised immigration crime;
  2. a new legal framework to return illegal migrants and asylum-seekers to a country they have travelled through, or have a connection with, in order to have their protection claim considered, where necessary. People should be prevented from making claims in more than one country, and on multiple occasions. A clear legal structure, facilitated by access to Eurodac (the biometric and fingerprint database used for evidencing secondary asylum claims) or an equivalent system will help achieve this; c. new arrangements that enable unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in the EU to join close family members in the UK, where it is in their best interests and vice versa;
  3. a continued strategic partnership to address the drivers of illegal migration by investing and building cooperation in source and transit countries;
  4. continued UK participation in international dialogues with European and African partners, frameworks, and processes, such as the Rabat and Khartoum Processes, to tackle illegal migration upstream; and
  5. the option to align and work together on potential future funding instruments through the cooperative accord on overseas development assistance and international action outlined in chapter 3.4.

NOTE:

Extract from the White Paper :

2.5.1 Asylum and illegal migration

  1. Properly managed migration brings benefits to local communities and economies. But high levels of illegal migration present a global challenge, enabling organised crime, people trafficking and modern slavery to prosper.
  2. The UK has a significant presence overseas, conducting capacity and capability building in source and transit countries and deconstructing criminal business models, through participation in development programmes and through seconded national experts. It is vital that the UK and the EU establish a new, strategic relationship to address the global challenges of asylum and illegal migration.
  3. The UK therefore proposes a comprehensive, ‘whole of route’ approach that includes interventions at every stage of the migrant journey and ensure no new incentives are created to make dangerous journeys to Europe.

 

IMPACT OF IMMIGRATION DETENTION ON MENTAL HEALTH

The British Red Cross has recently published its report on the humanitarian consequences of detention “Never Truly Free”.Never-Truly-Free-March-2018 (3)-ilovepdf-compressed (3)

The report focuses particularly on the impact on mental health. The service users detained were caught in a state of uncertainty which was incredibly distressing. They did not know if they would be deported to the country from which they had fled; nor when they would be released. Two of the service users saw others try to commit suicide; 4 had considered it and 5 actually had attempted suicide. 25 of the 26 had had no access to mental health services. Most reported they left detention feeling as if they had been treated like criminals – that being in prison would actually have been better as they would know when they would be released. After release they were often unable to get asylum support; they still had to report frequently and lived in fear of being detained again.

The report was raised by Sally Hamwee in a House of Lords debate https://www.theyworkforyou.com/lords/?id=2018-06-27b.220.0&s=speaker%3A13422#g224.0 when she quoted extensively from it about the awful health, particularly mental health long term consequences on those detained “Immigration detention has a known negative impact on mental health. Most detainees will have experienced some form of trauma in their life before detention, the effects of which can be exacerbated in detention”. It also stated: “The damage done by detention does not simply go away once someone is released and the negative impact on mental health persists long after detention”.

She went on to challenge how the Government were assessing how vulnerable people were when deciding whether they could be detained or not. (people are not supposed to be in immigration detention under rule 35 if they are deemed to be “ particularly vulnerable”). It is a complex argument, and she made the point that by their very nature, so many who arrived in the UK had undergone trauma.

The report makes a number of recommendations most of which are part of our Lib Dem policies. They include using detention only as a last resort, statutory maximum length of detention being 28 days, and vulnerable people should not be detained. It also recommends that the onerous and traumatic experience of immigration reporting should be overhauled including never detaining people when they attend to report, and providing end to end asylum support.