Refugee and migrant supporters are concerned with emerged reports that the Home Office working with religious and community organisations to embed immigration enforcement teams in their services (see here and here). The Guardian reports that those who take part in these ‘immigration surgeries’ are assured the sessions are not offered as part of “an enforcement approach” to immigration cases and told that taking part may help them regularise their status.
The Home Office response notes, “Fingerprints are not taken at immigration surgeries. No personal information of those attending surgeries are held by Immigration Enforcement, unless that person requests a voluntary return appointment.” Asylum Matters and Right to Remain have produced a briefing note outlining our concerns with the Home Office’s approach available here.
In addition, a number of organisations including Liberty and the Public Interest Law Centre wrote to all London councils raising separate concerns over the Home Office’s Rough Sleepers Support Service, which the letter states “is being used to co-opt councils and charities into the delivery of immigration controls,” and offers “no funding to help migrant and refugee rough sleepers access independent immigration advice or accommodation.”