Warning of huge backlog of immigration cases in UK

Hearings at immigration and asylum tribunal centres around the country have reportedly halved amid claims of a dispute between government departments

A huge backlog of immigration cases is building up in the UK amid claims that the Home Office and Ministry of Justice are in dispute over who pays for tribunals.

According to lawyers representing appellants, the number of hearings at immigration and asylum tribunal centres around the country has almost halved since the election as a money-saving measure. Emergency sittings of immigration tribunals are being organised to tackle the buildup of cases as hearings are being listed 18 months ahead.

Related: Children in immigration tribunals ‘may have to represent themselves’

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EU migrants claiming benefits: questions the government must answer

The government says nearly half of EU migrants receive benefits during their first years in Britain, but how is it arriving at these figures?

The government is to release analysis that claims 43% of EU migrants receive UK benefits during their first years in Britain. This represents 224,000 EU nationals, out of 526,000 new arrivals.

According to the Times (£) – which has seen the figures before their publication on Tuesday – about 148,000 of these claimants, some 66%, receive tax credits, housing benefit and other welfare handouts available to people in work.

How did Number 10 produce new migrant figs to be uses by the PM today? Here is their methodological note. Thoughts? pic.twitter.com/vwf32JSfY5

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Fortress Europe by Matthew Carr review – a call for a more humane approach to immigration

Updated to take in this year’s catastrophes, Carr’s book provides ammunition against those who would stoke our fears

The UN’s International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, drafted in 1990, says migrant workers should be allowed the same benefits and guarantees (health and safety, overtime rates, holidays etc) as nationals from the state they are working in. It is instructive to look at the list of countries that have signed and ratified it. But, as Matthew Carr points out in this very necessary book, no European country has signed it yet; indeed, you won’t find many developed countries on the list at all. I can spot Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and Turkey; that seems to be about it.

The epigraph to Fortress Europe is from Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick: “In this world, shipmates, sin that pays its way can travel freely, and without passport, whereas Virtue, if a pauper, is stopped at all frontiers.” Which remains the paradigm to this day: if you’re wealthy, in relative terms, and have the right papers, not only can you travel anywhere, but you can settle there, too. If you’re not: forget it. You will be at the mercy of governments’ most atavistic, protectionist and chauvinist attitudes.

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Home Office accused of breaking rules on cuffing asylum seekers

Charity says female detainees at the Yarl’s Wood are being asked to wear handcuffs for visits to local hospital

The Home Office has been accused of breaching its guidelines on handcuffing asylum seekers, which were updated after an elderly man with dementia died while shackled in a detention centre near Heathrow.

The charity Women for Refugee Women has complained about the use of restraints on female detainees at the Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre in Bedford.

Related: Yarl’s Wood is symptomatic of Britain’s paranoia about migrants | Ellie Mae O’Hagan

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Cyprus base refugees seek judicial review of refusal to let them move to UK

Lawyers for families who have lived on British military base at Dhakelia for 17 years believe UK’s stance is contrary to 1951 refugee convention

Six refugee families who have lived on a British base in Cyprus for more than 17 years are seeking a judicial review of the government’s refusal to allow them to move to the UK.

The families – some of whom have had children while living in an isolated corner of a British military base at Dhekelia, on Cyprus’s south-east coast – believe the UK’s stance is contrary to their rights under the 1951 refugee convention.

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UN warns Cameron not to turn his back on refugees as winter nears

This is the moment our generation must act, says migration expert Peter Sutherland

Britain will be adopting a morally unacceptable position if it turns its back on the refugee crisis in Europe, according to the United Nations special representative for international migration.

As winter weather sets in across Europe, Peter Sutherland, a former attorney general of Ireland, and chairman of the London School of Economics, said: “This is not a transient issue. It challenges the moral fabric of the societies we live in. To think, to be told, that your country can in some way isolate itself from the crisis is insane. It’s completely wrong.” Sutherland added: “Are we going to allow refugees to stand in freezing rivers at our borders this winter, to live in freezing tents with their children?”

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Nigel Farage accuses Corbyn of wanting to scrap immigration limits

Campaigning in the Oldham West and Royton byelection, Ukip leader says Labour has ‘Blairite’ candidate who is standing for a divided party

Nigel Farage accused Jeremy Corbyn of wanting “complete freedom of movement”, including the scrapping of any immigration limits, as the Ukip leader campaigned for votes in the forthcoming Oldham West and Royton byelection.

Visiting Oldham’s war memorial in the rain on Friday, Farage said Labour had chosen a “Blairite” local council leader, Jim McMahon, to fight the byelection. McMahon is “very much at odds with Corbyn on very many things”, said Farage, suggesting his party could take advantage of “a sort of civil war” being fought in Labour ranks to overturn the 14,738 majority won in May by Michael Meacher, who died last month.

Related: Jim McMahon to stand as Labour candidate for Oldham byelection

Related: Oldham West and Royton byelection is referendum on Corbyn, says Farage

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We should heed Angela Merkel’s warning of a new Balkans war | Natalie Nougayrède

Talk of armed conflict is clearly an exaggeration, but the refugee and migrant crisis is testing Europe’s borderlands and values

Is Europe’s old flashpoint, the Balkans, rearing its head as a worry once again? A recent statement by Angela Merkel may have deserved more attention than it got. Speaking to some of her party members, the chancellor warned that if Germany closed its border with Austria, the outcome might be an escalation of already rising tensions in the Balkans. “I don’t want to see military conflicts becoming necessary,” she said.

With the approach of winter and the continuing inflow of refugees and migrants, Europe’s south-eastern flank will certainly be the place to watch in the coming weeks and months. But are we really talking about the outbreak of war? Merkel has been under sustained political pressure for opening the door to refugees two months ago. She has been trying hard to convince her domestic constituency, especially in Bavaria, that her policies are sound.

Related: Still the refugees are coming, but in Europe the barriers are rising

Even if only two western Balkan states are EU members, the whole region should be included in European discussions

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Diane Abbott: economic migrants and refugees deserve equal sympathy

Economic migrants from Africa not ‘lesser cause’ than Syrians fleeing war, shadow international development secretary says

Economic migrants coming to Britain should be treated with the same sympathy as refugees fleeing war, Diane Abbott has said.

The shadow international development secretary also said it is wrong and racist to claim, as some of her colleagues in the Labour party had done previously, that eastern European immigrants were the cause of wage cuts for English workers.

Related: Winter is coming: the new crisis for refugees in Europe

Related: 10 truths about Europe’s migrant crisis

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Better way to help those in the Calais Jungle refugee camp | Letters

Readers may not know that they can buy new clothes and trainers/boots online via Amazon’s Calais wish list for the people living in squalor and misery in the Jungle at Calais. Providing the items you list (We are humans not animals, G2, 4 November) is not an insurmountable task. I have just made a large bulk purchase of men’s waterproof trousers which Amazon informs me will be delivered by Monday next at the latest. Surely this is a more efficient and humane response than providing ill-fitting cast-offs to the 6,000 desperate people living in appalling conditions which our government refuses to do anything about.
Vivienne Barton

• If people really want to view these undoubtedly “iconic” outfits (Thatcher dresses go under hammer, 3 November), they should do it via the only means that PM Thatcher herself would have approved of: private enterprise. Let them pay in some non-public setting to see such wonders.
Gary Bennett

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