Issue 118 - 8th December 2008

Monday 8 December 2008

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In the Queen's speech it was announced that the government will be bringing forward a Bill entitled the Borders, Immigration and Citizenship Bill, "to strengthen border controls, by bringing together customs and immigration powers. The Bill would also ensure that newcomers to the United Kingdom earn the right to stay." The government said they would be ending the rights to stay in Britain after five years residence and replace this with a new system of "earned citizenship" All new migrants are to be required to demonstrate good English ability and a knowledge of life in the UK before becoming citizens. Those who work here legally, pay taxes, get involved in their communities and do not acquire a criminal record will be able to be become citizens within six years of arrival. The bill will also deny full access to benefits, including social housing, to those yet to complete a new period of probationary citizenship of between one and five years. and
At least 20 people drowned off the coast of Yemen earlier this week and two were reported missing after smugglers carrying them across the Gulf of Aden from the Horn of Africa forced them to jump overboard in deep water. The boat was reportedly carrying around 115 passengers, mostly Ethiopians. More than 43,500 people in over 850 smuggling boats have arrived in Yemen so far this year after making the perilous voyage across the Gulf of Aden from Somalia or Djibouti. Most of those smuggled across are Somali. At least 380 people have died and some 360 are missing so far this year. In 2007, some 29,500 people made the voyage to Yemen and the overall number of dead and missing reached 1,400. more info


BK (Democratic Republic of Congo) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2008] EWCA Civ 1322- The Court of Appeal upheld the AIT's country guidance on the issue of risk to failed asylum seekers upon return to the DRC. The AIT held that on the evidence there was no risk to such persons. The Court of Appeal held that the grounds of appeal amounted to "little more than disagreement on the part of the appellant with the conclusions reached by the AIT after hearing an abundance of evidence".

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