Today, with Liberty and Medact and many others, we have written to Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, to call for urgent changes to ensure the safety of migrants in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

We call on the Home Secretary to:

  • ensure access to healthcare - this means immediately suspending all NHS charging and data sharing with immigration enforcement, and launching a public information campaign that makes clear that healthcare services are available and safe for all migrants to use
  • ensure all migrants have access to vital public services by suspending 'No Recourse To Public Funds' conditions 
  • make assurances that no one will be penalised for missing appointments, reporting or court dates due to illness
  • make sure no one is made an 'overstayer' because of being self-isolated or unable to return to a country that is not safe to travel to, by extending or modifying visas 
  • release everyone detained under immigration powers to reduce the risk of COVID-19 entering the detention estate and causing avoidable harm
  • provide specialist support for those housed in shared Asylum Accommodation to enable safe access to medical services, testing, and where necessary, re-housing for particularly vulnerable people.

You can read the full letter here.

Add your name to the letter

Photo c/o FOE Scotland

Signatories 

Sophie Neuburg, Executive Director, Medact

Satbir Singh, Chief Executive, Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants

Martha Spurrier, Director, Liberty

Lucy Jones, Director of Porgrammes, Doctors of the World

Kerry Smith, Chief Executive, Helen Bamber Foundation

Medecins Sans Frontières UK Take Action Group

Colin Hutchinson, Chair, Doctors for the NHS

Miatta Fahnbulleh, CEO, New Economics Foundation

Pierre Makhlouf, Assistant Director, Bail for Immigration Detainees

Paul Parker, Recording Clerk, Quakers in Britain

Rosario Guimba-Stewart, CEO, Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network

Sonia Lenegan, Legal Director, ILPA

Sally Daghlian OBE, CEO, Praxis

Daf Viney, Director of Services, Hackney Migrant Centre

Lisa Mathews, Coordinator, Right to Remain

Natasha Walter and Marchu Girma, Directors, Women for Refugee Women

Luke Cooper, Convenor, Another Europe is Possible

Nazek Ramadan, Director, Migrant Voice

Mhairi Snowden, Coordinator, Human Rights Consortium Scotland

Leila Zadeh, Executive Director, UKLGIG

Runnymede Trust

Sophia Benedict, Women’s Services Manager, Pecan

Keep Our NHS Public

Health Campaigns Together

Docs Not Cops

English for Action

Akwaaba

Housing Action Southwark and Lambeth,

SOAS Detainee Support Group

Asylum Matters

Migrants Organise

Sheffield City of Sanctuary

Every Doctor

Every Child Protected Against Trafficking

Ali McGinley, Director, Association of Visitors to Immigration Detainees (AVID) 

NACCOM

Maya Esslemont, After Exploitation

Dr Mohamed Nasreldin, Director, North of England Refugee Service

Doctors in Unite

Anuradha Chugh, Managing Director, Ben & Jerry’s Europe

Freedom From Torture

Privacy International

Dr Edie Friedman, Executive Director, The Jewish Council for Racial Equality

Bristol Refugee Rights

Refugee Women's Centre

the 3 million

Southall Black Sisters

Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit

The Unity Project

Bristol Refugee Rights

Anna Vickerstaff, UK Team Leader, 350.org

Sanctuary on Sea

Northamptonshire Rights and Equality Council

Liberal Jewish Synagogue Drop-in for Asylum Seeker Families

Doncaster Conversation Club

SYMAAG South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group

Mafwa Theatre

Global Link

Hastings Community of Sanctuary

Lancaster and Morecambe City of Sanctuary

Baobab Women's Project CIC

Bawso

Good Chance

Anti Trafficking and Labour Exploitation Unit

Manchester Refugee Support Network

Lesbian Immigration Support Group

StandForAll

Clare Simpson, Director, Parenting Across Scotland

Edwin Sesange, African Equality Foundation

Unis Resist Border Controls (URBC)

Magpie Project

Oxford City Council

Lambeth Council 


Read more

Our briefing to MPs on immigration rules and Covid-19