Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Charities involved in deportations

One night last week while walking through my locality in south wales i was somewhat surprised to see an 'Immigration Compliance and Enforcement' van parked along the street (see pic). I was a bit taken aback as i've never seen one of these vehicles in the area before, but a report recently released by Corporate Watch may help explain what it was doing there https://corporatewatch.org/news/2017/mar/05/rough-sleeper-immigration-raids-charity-collaboration-st-mungos-thames-reach


The report reveals the extent to which local authorities, employers, landlords and - quite shockingly - charities for the homeless are working with the UK home office and Immigration Services to get people deported. St Mungo's are one of the homelessness charities reported to be passing information about homeless people to the Home Office, information which has resulted in their removal from the UK. While outreach teams from St Mungo's and another charity 'Change, Grow, Live' are carrying out 'joint patrols' with Immigration enforcement squads. A recently disclosed document from St Mungo’s entitled 'Enforcement policy for EU and non-EU nationals' states that if the rough sleepers are deemed to have no right to remain in the UK and do not agree to return home voluntarily “these individuals details will be passed onto the ICE (Immigration Compliance and Enforcement) by the outreach team”.

Civil liberty campaigners have understandably been horrified by these revelations and have accused the UK government of adopting a 'border on every street' policy. Martha Spurrier director of Liberty commented “Using homeless charities to spy on the homeless is a new low, even for a government bent on bringing border controls into every corner of our lives.Turning unaccountable citizens into immigration officers can only lead to racial profiling, discrimination and alienation, raising tensions in already divided communities".

Corporate Watch is rightly calling on workers with homelessness charities to stop acting as an arm of the UK immigration services and to stop passing on information about rough sleepers to the Home Office. And later this morning from 10am there will be an online protest in the form of a twitter and email 'storm' against homelessness charities that are cooperating with the Home Office on forced removals. For more details of the online protest and how to participate visit this link https://nelmacampaigns.wordpress.com/2017/03/02/homelessness-charities-and-local-authorities-complicit-in-detention-and-deportation-of-rough-sleeping-eu-nationals/

And given the reported difficulties EU nationals are apparently going to face to remain in the UK following Brexit - like filling in forms nearly 100 pages long - Van's like the one pictured above are likely to become a common feature on UK streets http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/eu-citizens-rights-uk-brexit-application-permanent-residency-form-85-pages-european-union-a7613991.html 

2 comments:

  1. I see no problem here. If somebody is on the street in the UK and they aren't from the UK it's quite probable English isn't their first language, they smell BAD, possibly have mental illness and don't have any money. WHY would these people staying in London for instance be good for them??? If they were put into a hostel I can assure you it won't be a great place either. They need top be in their home countries with Family, friends or at least be around people that know of them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First off you seem to be making an awful lot of general assumptions there Sam - particularly regarding homeless peoples personal hygiene and their mental health. It might surprise you to know that there are people in britain who are homeless who work, indeed due to the chronic shortage of social housing there are sadly an increasing number of such people http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-2273809/Young-middle-class--homeless-Meet-sofa-surfer-generation.html

      Secondly i am surprised you can see nothing wrong with charities acting directly as a wing of the state? The people organisations like St Mungos would have helped to get deported would have trusted St Mungos workers with information about themselves, and would rightly have expected St Mungos to have helped them get off the streets not pass on information about them to the home office.Furthermore it's impossible for anyone to say such people would be better off as a result of deportation - they may have been fleeing violent persecution or physical or sexual abuse for example.

      Delete