UK: The hostile environment: woman reporting rape to police arrested on immigration charges

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The hostile environment: woman reporting rape to police arrested on immigration charges
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"A woman who reported being kidnapped and raped over a six month period to the police was arrested as she sought care, can reveal.

The shocking case reveals how far Theresa May's 'hostile environment' towards immigrants has gone and raises serious questions about whether immigration enforcement practices are now discouraging the victims of crimes from reporting them to the police."

See: Woman reports rape to police - and is arrested on immigration charges (, link). The article continues:

"The woman, who was five months pregnant at the time of her arrest, attended a London police station in March to report that she had been kidnapped and raped in Germany between September 2016 and March 2017.

Officers took her to the Havens sexual assault centre, which provides care for women who have been sexually assaulted.

But while there, she was suddenly arrested and taken into custody at an east London police station. She was then interrogated over her immigration status."

See also:‘I can’t eat or sleep’: the woman threatened with deportation after 50 years in Britain(The Guardian, link):

"Paulette Wilson had been in Britain for 50 years when she received a letter informing her that she was an illegal immigrant and was going to be removed and sent back to Jamaica, the country she left when she was 10 and has never visited since.

Last month, she spent a week at Yarl’s Wood detention centre before being sent to the immigration removal centre at Heathrow, where detainees are taken just before they are flown out of the country. It was only a last-minute intervention from her MP and a local charity that prevented a forced removal. She has since been allowed to return home, but will have to report again to the Home Office in early December and is still worried about the possibility of renewed attempts to remove her."

And: Removal Windows, Injunctions and Out of Country Appeals: The Acceleration of Enforced Removals (Free Movement, link):

"At the beginning of this month the Home Office brought into force new guidance on the suspension of removal directions for pending judicial reviews. There are two crucial changes to the policy:

(1) At present, when a judicial review is brought within 3 months of a previous judicial review or appeal, the Home Office will only suspend removal on receipt of an injunction. This period is now extended to 6 months.

(2) The second is new, building on the new removals process established by the Immigration Act 2014. Where a person is notified that they are liable to removal, the Home Office gives 7 days (or 72 hours if a person is in detention) notice period before removal. During this notice period, the person can seek legal advice regarding their liability for removal. This is followed by a 3 month “removal window” during which the person can be removed without further notice. The Home Office will now not normally suspend removal where a judicial review is brought within the 3 month removal window unless an injunction is granted."

And in detail: 'Hostile environment': the hardline Home Office policy tearing families apart(The Guardian, link):

"Since the EU referendum, detentions and enforced removals of all foreign nationals, including EU citizens, have risen sharply. Analysis of government data shows deportations of EU citizens are at their highest since records began, with 5,301 EU nationals removed during the year ending June 2017, an increase of 20% on the previous 12 months. More broadly, the number of EU citizens detained has increased sixfold since 2009. Critics believe that Brexit has, in effect, given the Home Office the green light to target Europeans in the UK.

Relentlessly, inexorably, any British citizen who has simply had the temerity to fall in love with a foreigner and wishes to live in the country of their birth with their family is finding themselves at the wrong end of an uncaring bureaucracy. As is anyone living in the UK without the right paperwork, even if that paperwork was given to them when they moved here as children. As is any foreign national who finds themselves accused of wrongdoing, even if they dispute the accusations and have been living an organised, tax-paying life here in the UK for many years. Or any EU national who, thanks to legislation last year, is found sleeping rough.


The tactics, however, are multiplying: landlords are now required to carry out checks on tenants’ immigration status. Hospitals, community interest companies and charities receiving NHS funds must conduct ID checks on patients before treatment in order to bill them if they are found not eligible for NHS care. From January, banks and building societies will be compelled to carry out immigration checks on the owners of 70m current accounts."

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