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Around the Campaigns Monday 16th February 2009

John O | 16.02.2009 09:05 | Migration | Social Struggles | Workers' Movements | Birmingham | World

Yahya al Faifi Must Stay in the UK

Lobby of the Home Secretary
Thursday 19th February 2:00pm
Home Office
2 Marsham Street
(Tubes: St James Park, Millbank and Westminster)

Yahya al Faifi, a very brave and self-sacrificing trade unionist - and a deeply committed socialist - is facing deportation back to a tyranny in Saudi Arabia that regularly tortures and "disappears" dissidents. On 12 February, he received a rejection letter for his appeal against the refusal of his asylum claim appeal. Now, he and his family are in imminent danger of deportation from Britain.

This will be a labour and trade union movement event with banners, large numbers and as wide representation as possible.

Inquiries/further information:
Mariam Kamish

Online petition for Judith da Silva
Judith da Silva, an Angolan national and resident of Nottingham is currently detained in Yarl's Wood Immigration Centre and threatened with deportation to Portugal, and from there possibly to Angola. Miss da Silva has applied for asylum and to remain in the U.K via a Human Rights claim, both were refused. She is currently awaiting response regarding a bail claim and will appeal her decision regarding her right to remain in the U.K. Miss da Silva is in a very vulnerable situation.

Let asylum-seekers work (Leading article: The Independent 14/02/09)
Yesterday (Friday 14th) the Church of England Synod - which this week has shown an admirable concern for some of the grittier aspects of life in this country - called for asylum-seekers to be allowed to work pending a decision on their application. Speakers argued that the current system leaves people in poverty and without dignity, and they put their weight - by a vote of 242 to one - behind a call for the rules to change.

Permitting asylum-seekers to work is the single measure that would do most to improve their lives - but not only theirs. It would discourage them from working in the black economy, foster social integration and help to quell accusations of "scrounging".

Even better, of course, would be administrative streamlining that produced a system able to check claims more efficiently and consistently than at present, and make definitive decisions with more urgency. This is what changes introduced two years ago were supposed to do.

Recent National Audit Office figures show, however, that the backlog of applications doubled last year, despite a fall in the number of new claims, and that only one in 10 of those turned down was deported. Until we have an asylum system worthy of the name, applicants should not just be permitted but encouraged to seek employment. The current ban is counterproductive and inhumane.
Full story, The Independent: Saturday, 14 February 2009

£20,000 or unlawful immigration detention
The problem for Jamiu Omikunle wasn't so much the validity of his visa as the colour of his skin. He's the Nigerian student awarded £20,000 on Tuesday for having been unlawfully detained at Aldergrove airport, held in a detention centre in Scotland for nine days and threatened with deportation. Mr Omikunle was lucky. He had a friend in Belfast who found him a lawyer who tracked him down to Dungavel Centre in Lanarkshire. Nobody knows how many people legally present in the UK have been unlawfully expelled, or how many of these cases began with arrests at Belfast port or airports.
Full story: Thursday, 12 February 2009, Eamonn McCann, Belfast Telegraph

End of Bulletin

Source for this message:
Yahya al Faifi Campaign
Friends of Judith da Silva
Belfast Telegraph
The Independent

John O
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