Migrant Rights Network newsletter

migrant rights network

Migrants Rights News ~ No: 12, from the Migrant Rights Network
November 2008

  • Parliamentary “Prayer” urged around New Changes to Immigration Rules
  • MRN Launches Research into Government’s ‘Civil Penalty Regime’
  • Migrants used as ‘Guinea Pigs’ for Controversial ID Card Scheme
  • Migration, Demography and Recession fire up CBI Migration Summit Debates
  • Reports and Research
  • Upcoming Events

(1) Parliamentary “Prayer” urged around New Changes to Immigration Rules
The Immigration Law Practitioners Association (ILPA) has urged both Houses of Parliament to ‘pray’ against a new Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules; in early November David Cameron, leader of the Conservative party led opposition to the Statement of Changes by lodging Early Day Motion 2448, praying against the Statement of Changes. A ‘prayer’ gives the opportunity for the new measures to be scrutinised, debated and possibly amended by Parliament, rather than automatically entering the Immigration Rules on 25th – 27th November 2008.

(2) MRN Launches Research into Government’s ‘Civil Penalty Regime’
MRN’s report into the ‘civil penalty regime’ – a new Government measure increasing employers’ responsibilities for the immigration status of their workers – will be launched at a debate in Parliament on 11th November. “Papers Please” – The Impact of the Government’s Civil Penalty Regime on the Employment Rights of Migrant Workers’ is an introductory mapping report, which highlights experiences of migrants in the workplace as a result of the new measures.

(3) Migrants used as ‘Guinea Pigs’ for Controversial ID Card Scheme
The UK Border Agency has announced that roll out of the controversial ‘National Identity’ scheme will begin this month, by issuing ID cards to specified categories of migrants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). The plastic cards, holding a chip containing personal details, digital image, fingerprints and immigration status, will act as a form of residence permit and are intended to soon replace the traditional stickers and stamps in the passports of legally resident foreign nationals. Details held on the ID cards will also be collected and stored on a national identity database.

(4) Migration, Demography and Recession fire up CBI Migration Summit Debates
The impact of the Government’s new Points-Based System (PBS) for immigration, within a context of financial crisis and impending recession, was hotly debated at the CBI Migration Summit held during October. The PBS aims to replace around 80 work and study immigration routes to the UK with a ‘5-tier’ system assessing migrants on their ability to attain required points for skills and attributes identified by the Government as needed by the UK.

5)  MRN seeks Treasurer
MRN is currently looking for a Treasurer to serve on our Executive Committee (Board of Trustees) and to liaise with its secretariat in London. The ideal candidate will have a background in accountancy, preferably within the charity or not-for profit sector and will have a serious commitment to the aims of the MRN.

(6) Reports and Research
No Place Like Home? A Shelter discussion paper. Addressing housing problems of migrants and asylum seekers is one of the most important challenges for modern social policy. Undoubtedly, housing issues in the context of international migration require more attention both from the state and civil society. To provide a forum for an in-depth policy debate, Shelter and the TUC held a seminar and launched a new discussion paper, seeking to clarify the current situation as well as suggest options for reform.

(7) Upcoming Events
London City of Sanctuary launch event, 7pm, 12th November, London

Launch of New Research on Chinese Migration, 14th November 2008, London

Managing economic migration and its impacts, Institute for Employment Studies Annual Public Employment Policy Conference 2008, 19 November 2008, London

‘Migrant Workers in the Economy: Rights and Responsibilities’, Open debate, Thursday 20th November 2008, London

‘The Illegals: First-hand testimonies from undocumented migrants living and working in London’ 21st November 2008, 1 pm. Iceandfire Theatre Company.

Conference: Understanding the Issues around Forced Marriages: 17 days of action to end violence against women, 26th November 2008, Stirling

Training: Issues faced by lesbian and gay asylum seekers when claiming asylum in the UK, UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group, Friday 28th November 2008, London

Undocumented Children in Europe Conference, PICUM Brussels, 22nd – 23rd January 2009

more on these events…


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