Immigration Bail Reporting Campaign - National Meeting

Start: Wednesday, March 03, 2021 6:00 PM Greenwich Mean Time : Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London (GMT+00:00)

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Wednesday 3rd March

6:00pm-8:00pm, Online with Zoom.

This is a meeting for anyone who has concerns about the immigration bail reporting system (signing), and who wants to organise to change that system.

In February 2021 over 50 refugee and migrant campaigners, representing groups from across Britain, met to discuss a national campaign for change in the immigration bail reporting system. the meeting was hosted and facilitated by Migrants Organise and These Walls Must Fall organisers from Right to Remain. From this meeting, working groups of people impacted by reporting/signing have formed, and are working to organise the upcoming event and to develop campaign strategy.

Aim of the meeting

This meeting aims to launch a national campaign against draconian immigration bail reporting conditions. The campaign would build on several months of activity on this issue, in our communities and through legal challenges.

AGENDA

  • Information about the reporting system right now
  • Speakers from across the UK on how the system has affected them
  • The demands of the campaign
  • Action you can take
  • Space to speak to others and share your thoughts

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PROGRESS SO FAR

On 3rd February 2021, over fifty migrant campaigners, representing groups from across Britain, met online to discuss a national campaign against immigration reporting (signing). This was just the latest stage in a year of highlighting and challenging this system.

In March 2020, as the pandemic really started to hit, Migrants Organise and others wrote to the Home Secretary calling for in-person reporting to be suspended. This eventually happened: the demand was successful. However, in the autumn as we approached another lockdown, the Home Office started texting people to say that signing was starting again.

In November, The Independent published an article highlighting the dangers of in-person signing during the pandemic, and reported the legal challenge by Duncan Lewis solicitors. The Home Office decision to restart signing didn’t make any sense. Through the pandemic we have all learned to keep in touch while keeping distant. These appointments are not “essential”, not during a lockdown, not ever. Migrants Organise were alarmed at the Home Office’s “reckless” decision to maintain reporting conditions during the second lockdown, and that it was “completely contradictory” to the government’s strategy of containing the virus.

Also in November, a group of These Walls Must Fall campaigners, Voice for Voiceless Immigration Detainees Yorkshire (VVIDY), wrote to the Home Secretary, and the letter was co-signed by dozens of organisations. This time, the Home Office didn’t budge.

VVIDY met with local MP, Olivia Blake, who agreed to support the cause. The MP tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament (a motion which calls for a debate as soon as possible). The campaigners at VVIDY, who all have direct experience of the reporting or detention system, called on supporters to ask their MPs to sign the motion.

Now, after these actions have still not moved the Home Office, and with Covid running out of control in our communities, it is time to step up the campaign.