Reporting/Signing campaign - planning meeting: Tues 2 February

Start: Tuesday, February 02, 2021 4:00 PM Greenwich Mean Time : Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London (GMT+00:00)

Reporting_q_stop_signing

Tuesday 2nd February

4pm-5.30pm, Online with Zoom.

This is a meeting for people with direct experience of the immigration reporting system (signing), and who want to change that system. We believe that there is no need for people to travel to these stressful appointments, and we believe that we can win on this issue.

The meeting is for people with direct experience of signing. It will be hosted and facilitated by workers from Right to Remain and Migrants Organise.

Aim of the meeting

To agree the framework for a national meeting, open to all, to build the campaign against in-person reporting/signing at the Home Office. To make sure that the people most directly impacted by signing are the ones shaping and leading the campaign for change.

What we will cover

  • Background to the reporting system
  • Overview of actions so far in the campaign
  • Ensuring the campaign is led by people directly impacted
  • Agree proposals to take to the national meeting
  • Set up a planning structure for the national meeting

The main business of the meeting will be finding agreement on what we want to achieve with this campaign, how we want to present the issue, the language we use, and the demands for change that we want. Migrants Organise and activists with direct experience of signing have drafted a campaign strategy document. We will discuss this at the meeting, finalise the document together, and then take it to the national meeting.

If you have any questions, please email the These Walls Must Fall organisers at contact@detention.org.uk


Background: About reporting/signing

Around 90,000 people have to report each week or month to an immigration reporting centre, while they wait for a final decision on their application to stay in the UK. Every visit has the threat of being randomly taken to a detention centre

The government was persuaded to stop the signing system during the first lockdowns. But now in this lockdown, with Covid running out of control in our communities, the Home Office has said it WILL NOT stop the signing system.

During the pause in signing during the first lockdowns, it became very clear that signing is not only highly upsetting for people, causing or exacerbating mental ill-health: we also saw that it is an unnecessary system. This is 2021. People keep in touch by phone, video calls and messaging services. There is absolutely no need to travel to reporting centres, particularly in the Covid pandemic.

The government says reporting is to keep records of personal information up to date, to check on the welfare of vulnerable people, and to encourage people to leave the UK. In fact, last year the Independent Inspector of Borders and Immigration found that the system failed in most of it's stated aims. The Inspector's report found that "for the majority of reportees, these reporting events have little value beyond the routine enforcement of compliance" [compliance with reporting conditions]. That is, the reporting system (costing around £9 million a year) is simply checking up on whether people are complying with the reporting system.

In-person reporting is unsafe during a pandemic, and an unnecessary harassment of migrants at any time. Lets get together and get this system stopped. We demand to live in dignity, not in a hostile environment.