One more weekend of waiting and then we’re going to be calling that dreaded number to find out just when we can expect a decision to be made on the FLR(M) Visa (for those just tuning in: PEO applications over 14 weeks old from the date of biometrics being registered can be followed up on – contact your PEO office for more details). I don’t expect them to pull anything out of the ringer any time soon, specially since on the Whatdotheyknow website (https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/body/home_office) they have been delaying and even outright refusing to ask questions that are perfectly within Citizens’ rights to know (a large majority of those from one fellow on the grounds that they found his requests “vexatious” which is really just lawyer jargon for “annoying”). Others, they’re just outright ignoring (you can tell because they say “long overdue” and they haven’t even given an estimate on when they will get to answering them).
I could blame this all on that bitingly sarcastic, oxymoronic, “British-efficency,” but somehow I just don’t think that is it. The people handling things are probably stressed out to their wit’s end trying to get as much done as possible while still following the rules and orders levied upon them from their higher-ups. In this I am putting the blame squarely on the shoulders of those who are in charge of this circus instead of the performers or their otherwise captive audience (i.e. me).
Decidedly, I’m frustrated and I’m angry over the news reports and stories that I’ve heard from others. The outright refusal to acknowledge that the current system is flawed on the basis that it is not just unfit for the task due to sheer over complexity, but a complete lack of understanding or support of those who have to live with and deal with those choices… it blows my mind in ways that no mind should ever be blown.
There have been, at least, some surveys going out in regards to how they are handling things. Most recently there was the one on their website about their website and how it could improve: http://www.homeofficesurveys.homeoffice.gov.uk/s.asp?i=89762vnlmb
Unfortunately, it automatically assumes that anyone on the website is actually looking for something and not just going there because we know there is a survey.
Poking around their website, I did find something that I know was asked about on Whatdotheyknow.com – the data on children entering detention in the UK under the Immigration act: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/children-entering-detention-under-immigration-act-powers
It is very distressing to know that as late as June of this year there were children being held at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Centre (http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/aboutus/organisation/immigrationremovalcentres/yarlswood) the same location where we are now getting corroborated testimonies (http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/sep/21/sexual-abuse-yarls-wood-immigration) from people held there of sexual abuse allegations.
It’s bad enough that vulnerable adults detained there may have been raped, but now one has to question the safety of the children, as well. What is appalling is that, at least through August of this year, there are still people being held at Yarl’s Wood.
This whole thing is horrific, especially since new Immigrants (people like me) do not have recourse to legal aid now that the new laws have taken affect (http://scotlandsbnp.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/legal-aid-to-barred-to-new-immigrants.html). This means that, even if they have a case against Yarl’s Wood, unless they have financial backing (and most would not), they have no means to bring about justice.
Understandably, people are speaking out. Many groups that I have mentioned before are organising events and protests, not least among them is Southhall Black Sisters (http://www.southallblacksisters.org.uk). I don’t want this momentum to die down without justice being served and independent reviewing bodies brought in to look at allegations and, as appropriate, determine who did what and how to prevent such exploitation from happening, ever, again.
I’m looking at you Parliament (http://www.parliament.uk). Specifically, the House of Commons (they’re supposed to be representing the common Jo in the first place, after all) but if the House of Lords wants to step up and do what is right, I wouldn’t object either.
Campaigns are already starting for 2015 elections (?!). I will remind you guys that immigrants do become VOTERS eventually. We’re paying attention; you represent the great nation that we want to be a part of, you’re supposed to be representing our families as well as us.
Regardless of the unlikelihood of it happening, would you EVER want anyone in your family to be treated in the way that they may be at Yarl’s Wood? Would you sit back and quietly let your sons and daughters grow up with one parent stuck on the other side of the ocean? Would you not try to move heaven and earth to bring your loved-ones out of a nation ripped apart by civil war? Would you condemn your ageing, blind, parent to live in a place with inadequate care? (http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk) No, you probably wouldn’t.
And yet, as it stands, that is exactly what you have forced others to do. You claim to care about family, yet you have sold these families down the river. Told them that they are less deserving of their rights as British Citizens because…? (http://www.migrationobservatory.ox.ac.uk/topics/impacts-of-migration) No, seriously, because what?
It isn’t because they drain the system, they don’t – their impact is negligible; it isn’t because they take jobs from Citizens, because they either filling skill-gaps in your economy or are doing the jobs that the British people don’t want to do; it isn’t because they don’t make enough money to not qualify for benefits – it’s a moot point, they can’t claim benefits in the first place; it isn’t because they “destroy British values,” their values ARE the same values that you have; you can’t say that it isn’t that they don’t integrate – integration is a two-way street that everyone must travel in order for there to be cohesion in society – you can’t blame that on the immigrants alone.
There is no reason (http://www.migrationwatchuk.co.uk/briefingPaper/document/235), is there? Good or ill, Migrants make little impact either way on the rest of the nation. To suggest otherwise is discrimination of the worst kind in that it is the type at the top of the heap that rolls down hill and feeds the bigoted extremes that all too often take matters into their own hands by lashing out on other minorities that are physically dissimilar (http://oneworld.org/2013/09/06/immigrants-to-uk-facing-rise-in-hostility-and-discrimination/) and that is wrong.