A number of scathing reports have been made in the news this week regarding the UK government with multiple stories circulating about the treatment of asylum seekers as well as groups who are settled in the United Kingdom. In this blog post, we round up some of the immigration news talking points of the week.
The EU Settlement Scheme May Discriminate Some Groups
Earlier this month, we posted on our blog about the EU Settlement Scheme a new scheme which has been rolled out for individuals who are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen living in the UK who want to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. Successful applicants to the EU Settlement Scheme will be able to continue living and working in the UK after 30 June 2021. Successful applicants will either qualify for settled status or pre-settled status. This depends on how long you’ve been living in the UK. This week however, an update has come out after an investigation into the EU Settlement Scheme which suggests that the current process may discriminate against vulnerable groups such as women and individuals with disabilities. The UK government have not refuted these claims suggesting that although they do not feel that the scheme is unlawful, it may be discriminatory to some groups.
The main complaints from campaigners against the scheme suggest that it does not cater to people protected by the 2010 Equality Act, and that the specific needs of underprivileged groups may be being widely ignored. Complaints include that individuals with some disabilities may find the online nature of the application process for the EU Settlement Scheme difficult to navigate, and some of the online checks of finances do not take into account some of the support which many women receive, such as child support.
United Kingdom Racing to Deport Asylum Seekers Before Brexit is Finalised?
New reports are suggesting that the amount of asylum seekers being deported from the United Kingdom is seeing a huge increase as we get nearer to the date when the UK officially leaves the EU.
Under the Dublin Regulation, it is a known rule that EU member states are within their rights to return asylum seekers who have entered their country to the first EU country where they first arrived. A huge increase has been seen in the number of EU countries utilising this rule, many seeing up to a 154% increase since 2019. This increase is harmful for asylum seekers who were already in an extremely vulnerable position, with their safety being put at increased risk due to the acceleration of the process. However, the Dublin Regulation seems to remain an easy option for EU states to remove large numbers of asylum seekers from their ground. In 2019, the UK accepted 714 asylum seekers through the agreement, the same year returning 263 to other EU states.
It seem though, that the UK are now rushing to deport asylum seekers, with the number of individuals being deported throughout 2020 rising, as is the case in a number of other EU countries. The speeding up of the process can cause exceeding danger for asylum seekers in vulnerable positions, and the process should be widely considered before any irreparable damage is done.
Home Secretary, Priti Patel, found to have broken rules
The United Kingdom’s Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has received much media attention and many complaints from immigration lawyers this year for the policy changes which she has instigated within the UK government regarding migration. This week, Patel hit the news again, this time after an inquiry into her found that she had broken behaviour rules.
Claims from individuals within the government stated that Patel had created fear amongst those she worked with, with allegations of bullying put to her. The report found that Patel has allegedly not treated civil servants with the deserved level of consideration and respect. It has been suggested that the Home Secretary broke ministerial code, and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson assisted in burying this. Today, Patel acknowledged her actions, issuing a public apology.