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Call for a picket of Liam Byrne's surgery

ARC | 17.03.2008 09:32 | Migration | Birmingham

Saturday 5th April 2008, 9:00-11:0am
Saltley Methodist Church, 140 Alum Rock Road
Birmingham, B8 1HU

Despite widespread opposition, controversial plans to bar many asylum seekers from all but emergency health services are being considered by the Home Office.

Since 2004, most failed asylum seekers and other undocumented migrants have been unable to access free NHS secondary care. And now the government is considering further restrictions on free healthcare by bringing primary care into line with secondary care. This would make some of the most vulnerable people in the UK ineligible for free NHS primary care, denying their right to the most basic of health care provisions and putting their health at risk.

West Midlands Anti Racist Campaign, ARC, is calling for supporters to resist this latest attack on the rights of asylum-seekers, refugees and immigrants by protesting at the surgery of Liam Byrne MP, Minister for Immigration at the Home Office.

"we all need to speak out before changes are made that exclude vulnerable people from access to free NHS care" MEDACT

Please come and support this event and circulate this mailing to your own contacts. We are hoping to get a healthy no. of medics to the protest so, if you know of any nurses, doctors or other medics who might be sympathetic, please let ARC know.

To access Liam Byrne's surgery we need someone who is resident within his Hodge Hill constituency. If you know of anyone please let us know.

You are invited to the next planning meeting for the protest, to be held at 7:00pm on 19 March at the Drum.We all need healthcare Asylum seekers face health ban

Called by: West Midlands Anti-Racist Campaign, ARC
supported by: Medact



REcent contact with Liam Byrne

18.03.2008 10:39


I volunteer supporting asylum seekers at an Asylum Detention Centre. I am writing this anonymously, as I wish to protect my clients there and also, I have contact with Liam Byrne in that role, and dont want to prejudice any future correspondence that may reflect badly on my clients.

I recently worked with a client who, despite having 2 british children and having been here for nearly 20 years, was now judged "eligible" for deportation - he had a flight date on a sunday afternoon. On a friday afternoon, the judge ruled he still had legal rights of appeal. On Saturday afternoon, documents were faxed to immigration with the judges ruling that he should not be deported. On sunday, despite trying to contact Liam Byrne's office, the HO, Immigration Dept, the MP (who had up to that point been brilliant) and the lawyer, all of whom were off for the weekend, he was deported, because, as immigration at the airport told me, they need originals, not faxes to cancel a flight. He got deported and will never see his kids again, because it was a sunday.

Both the MP and I had been in contact with Liam Byrne two or three times each during the week preceding this. He had not responded. His office finally sent us an urgent fax..... on monday, saying there was now nothing he could do. Stalling for time, I wonder?????

I have since spoken to other volunteers, who inform me that it is more often than not the case that asylum seekers are deported on sundays.... could this be because it guarantees that there are at least 24 hours, if not 48, beforehand in which nothing can be done?????

I will not be able to take part in this particular protest, for the reasons stated above, but good luck and well done to all who do.

Asylum Supporter