Story of the week: Cameron clampdown on the judicial review of asylum, immigration and environmental decisions.
Ahead of the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) annual conference on Monday 19, its director general John Cridland and London’s mayor Boris Johnson spoke out against Cameron’s immigration policy. They said the plan to cut immigration into the UK from outside the EU to “tens of thousands” by 2015 were a block to the growth of the UK higher education market.
The same day, Cameron announced a clampdown on the judicial review of asylum, immigration and environmental decisions in a bid to speed up government. Out of 11,200 judicial review applications made last year, according to Ministry of Justice statistics, more than two-thirds (8,649) related to immigration and asylum cases.
David Cameron in announcing restrictions on judicial review omits to mention vast majority are about asylum and immigration not planning
On Tuesday the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration (APPG) launched an inquiry into new family migration rules led by shadow equalities minister, Kate Green. Its focus: new changes which have made it more difficult to sponsor spouses and partners or elderly dependents to come to the UK from outside the European Economic Area (EEA).
For 11 weeks the APPG will collect evidence from charities, analysts, employers, trade unions and other individuals affected by the new rules. Evidence can be submitted here: http://www.appgmigration.org.uk/content/family-inquiry-online-evidence-submission
Thursday, 22 November: the Home Office announced plans to relax rules for foreign troops serving in British armed forces. Previously, foreign and Commonwealth troops with any disciplinary conviction were not allowed to stay in the UK after they left service. Under the new rules, those with only minor convictions will be allowed to stay. The change comes in the wake of a campaign by senior military figures who accused the government of letting down personnel who have served Britain loyally in war zones.
On the same day the UK Border Agency (UKBA) were chastised for their backlog of asylum and immigration cases in a damning report by chief inspector of borders and immigration, John Vine. Having reassured MPs that their case stockpile was under control, over 100,000 case related letters remained unopened.
The Guardian’s Alan Travis described the UKBA backlog as leaving asylum seekers in “limbo”. Channel 4’s video follows Mama Rose, an anti-Mugabe Zimbabwean asylum seeker who has been in Britain for over a decade. Unable to work or claim benefits she is reliant on charity for food and clothes. “I just think one day I’ll say it would be better to die,” she said.