The Bristol Cable

The council have received funding to deliver a Government policy ruled unlawful today.

Council plans to work with the government’s Immigration Enforcement to detain and remove European rough sleepers from the UK has been thrown into doubt.

The High Court today ruled that the government policy on which the plans rest is unlawful. The ruling is a success for the Public Interest Law Unit who challenged the legality of the government policy that considered EU migrants as “abusing or misusing” their rights to be in the UK because they were found to be rough sleeping.

The High Court judge ruled that the government policy was discriminatory towards EU nationals.

As revealed by the Bristol Cable, the council made a successful application to the government’s Controlling Migration Fund for £180,000 to deliver this policy. The council planned to “build a stronger intelligence picture of migrant rough sleeping” in order to “to target detention of individuals for enforced administrative removal” if they do not leave the country voluntarily. Key Performance Indicators were set for how many migrant rough sleepers should be kicked out of the city and country.

The policy has attracted controversy in the city with migrant and refugee solidarity group City of Sanctuary calling on the council to divorce itself from a partnership with Immigration Enforcement. The council and the mayor have been steadfast in denying that there the plans are controversial.

In response to a question regarding the council’s plans, Mayor Marvin Rees recently stated: “we will not be involved in rounding people up”. However lawyers in the case today said the policy of “rounding up of EU rough sleepers who have not committed any offences and who then face being detained creates a climate of fear”.

The government have stated that they will not be appealing the ruling.

A spokesperson for Bristol City Council said: “Today’s ruling will require some analysis and discussion with the Home Office but we are not currently anticipating any major impact on our local programme of supporting homeless EU nationals. In the meantime we will continue to work with St Mungo’s and our own Streetwise team to access advice and guidance, emergency night shelter accommodation and support to voluntarily re-connect with family and home.”

Join 2,600+ Cable members working together to redefine local media.

Your support will help the Cable grow, deepening our connections in the city and investigating the issues that matter most in our communities.

Join now

What makes us different?

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related content

Local politicians, unions and organisations reject Government's new 'anti-refugee' immigration law

The mayor and dozens of other local voices have spoken out in an open letter against the proposed Nationality and Borders Bill.

Bristol History Podcast: Dr. Edson Burton In Conversation

This week I met with the writer, poet, historian and playwright Dr. Edson Burton. We discussed (among other things) how his historical outlook shapes his...

A morning with activists taking direct action against immigration enforcement

The group said the action was in response to the "institutional racism of the government's hostile environment policy".

Revealed: NHS under fire for steep increase in charging migrants for healthcare

Evidence suggests vulnerable people who should get free healthcare are being forced to cough up, while others are being chased by bailiffs.

Ken Macharia not detained after asylum refusal

60 supporters accompanied him to his monthly check-in at Bridgewater police station.

A community fights for asylum justice

Bristol Bison rugby player Ken Macharia speaks about his experience of detention, as the system comes under the spotlight.

Join our newsletter

Get the essential stories you won’t find anywhere else

Subscribe to the Cable newsletter to get our weekly round-up direct to your inbox every Saturday

Join our newsletter

Get the essential stories you won’t find anywhere else

Subscribe to the Cable newsletter to get our weekly round-up direct to your inbox every Saturday