Sign to stop Priti Patel's shameful treatment of EU citizens

UPDATE 27 May 2021: Despite assurances to the contrary, the Home Office continues to foster a hostile environment to anyone arriving in Britain. Visitors report being fingerprinted, detained and treated "like criminals" simply for not producing evidence of a return ticket or employment. Making the citizens of our closest neighbours and allies feel like criminals is unacceptable, that it continues weeks after the issue was first flagged and promises were made is downright scandalous.

UPDATE 15 May 2021: The UK will no longer be detaining citizens who fail to produce work visas. The U.K.’s Home Office has ordered border officials to stop transferring people detained without work visas to immigration removal centres while travel remains disrupted during the pandemic. 

The Home Secretary must issue crystal clear guidance to border staff, improve training and provide a cast-iron guarantee that people who have likely made honest mistakes are treated with understanding and respect.

But this is only during the pandemic, and confusion surrounding rules put in place overnight, overturning a lifetime right to live and work in the UK, remain. Those detained needs answers and compensation. Those who've lived and worked here need clear information. And all migrants, no matter where they come from need to be treated with humanity and respect. 

 

The Home Secretary is detaining EU citizens in squalid conditions, simply for seeking work in the UK.

This is another shameful action by the Home Office in a long string of mistreatment of migrants and asylum seekers. No one, no matter where they come from or why they've come here, should face such conditions on our shores.

Sign the open letter to Priti Patel. Call on her to right this injustice. 


To Rt Hon. Priti Patel MP, Home Secretary,

I was angered to learn EU citizens are being detained, sometimes for weeks, for not producing correct work visas at the border. 

Having issued assurances that this treatment would no longer continue under the Home Office's watch, I have recently learnt of EU visitors being fingerprinted, detained and treated "like criminals" simply for not producing evidence of a return ticket or employment. 

EU citizens have been locked up in squalid detention centres, deprived of their belongings and forbidden from contacting the outside world, just for looking for work in the UK without the right paperwork. Many of these people had simply not understood the recent changes to freedom of movement and not realised they needed new documentation. But regardless of the reason they are here, or where they've come from, no one deserves this kind of treatment. 

A Spanish national faced 10 days in Yarl's Wood Detention Centre without visitation rights after flying into the UK – in 2019 she had a job in Britain, and wanted to take up employment again. Her belongings, including her mobile phone, were confiscated. A Greek national was locked in a room which had no heating and had bars on the window at night, and crammed into a room with other detainees by day, until the Greek ambassador was forced to intervene.

No one who arrives in the UK should face these conditions, and particularly those whose rights have so recently changed.

The Home Secretary must issue crystal clear guidance to border staff, improve training and provide a cast-iron guarantee that people who have likely made honest mistakes are treated with understanding and respect.

EU diplomats report British nationals, who similarly could not produce work visas when arriving in Europe, are sent home on the next flight. Why is the Home Office not doing the same? Your actions have been described as “grossly disproportionate” by legal experts.

I ask you to act with compassion and proportionality towards our fellow citizens in the EU, and all migrants, refugees and asylum seekers who end up on our shores. I ask the Home Office to be entirely transparent about the number of EU citizens detained in this manner, and investigate methods of compensation for those unfairly imprisoned.

The people you are detaining come here in good faith. They are not criminals and they are not enemies. They are our friends and neighbours, and deserve to be treated as such.

Yours sincerely,

Sign your name to end this shameful treatment of EU citizens. 

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To Rt Hon. Priti Patel MP, Home Secretary,

I was angered to learn EU citizens are being detained, sometimes for weeks, for not producing correct work visas at the border. 

Having issued assurances that this treatment would no longer continue under the Home Office's watch, I have recently learnt of EU visitors being fingerprinted, detained and treated "like criminals" simply for not producing evidence of a return ticket or employment. 

EU citizens have been locked up in squalid detention centres, deprived of their belongings and forbidden from contacting the outside world, just for looking for work in the UK without the right paperwork. Many of these people had simply not understood the recent changes to freedom of movement and not realised they needed new documentation. But regardless of the reason they are here, or where they've come from, no one deserves this kind of treatment. 

A Spanish national faced 10 days in Yarl's Wood Detention Centre without visitation rights after flying into the UK – in 2019 she had a job in Britain, and wanted to take up employment again. Her belongings, including her mobile phone, were confiscated. A Greek national was locked in a room which had no heating and had bars on the window at night, and crammed into a room with other detainees by day, until the Greek ambassador was forced to intervene.

No one who arrives in the UK should face these conditions, and particularly those whose rights have so recently changed.

The Home Secretary must issue crystal clear guidance to border staff, improve training and provide a cast-iron guarantee that people who have likely made honest mistakes are treated with understanding and respect.

EU diplomats report British nationals, who similarly could not produce work visas when arriving in Europe, are sent home on the next flight. Why is the Home Office not doing the same? Your actions have been described as “grossly disproportionate” by legal experts.

I ask you to act with compassion and proportionality towards our fellow citizens in the EU, and all migrants, refugees and asylum seekers who end up on our shores. I ask the Home Office to be entirely transparent about the number of EU citizens detained in this manner, and investigate methods of compensation for those unfairly imprisoned.

The people you are detaining come here in good faith. They are not criminals and they are not enemies. They are our friends and neighbours, and deserve to be treated as such.

Yours sincerely,

Sign your name to end this shameful treatment of EU citizens. 

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