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Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit

March 2017

 
 
 

LET THE CHILDREN IN

 
 
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The announcement by government that they are to stop the scheme to bring vulnerable lone refugee children to the UK under the Dubs amendment to the Immigration Act 2016 has shocked and outraged many of us. The government seeks to blame local authorities. However, many believe that the government failed to properly consult local authorities or to provide adequate resources to continue the programme.
 
There are thousands of children still living in extremely difficult conditions throughout Europe including Greece, Italy and France. Children are alone and at risk of exploitation and abuse.  Many are putting themselves in extreme danger in order to survive or to reach safety, for example through prostitution or attempting to cross borders illegally. 
 
The UK should be leading the way in offering sanctuary to refugee children in Europe.  The decision to stop the transfer scheme after accepting only 350 children goes against the spirit of the Dubs amendment and has been criticised by voluntary organisations and MPs of all parties.  By ending safe and legal routes to sanctuary, the government is effectively leaving children in the hands of the traffickers.
 
GMIAU worked with children at the camp in Calais before it was closed and is working with some of those left behind to reunite them with family members in the North West.  This work must continue and other vulnerable children in Europe should also be given refuge in the UK under the Dubs scheme.
 
What can you do to help?
  1. Write to your MP. Tell your MP that you want them to stand up for the children who have no voice. They may not have a voice but you have. Ask your MP to show support by pressing the government to let more Dubs children in.
  2. Write to your local councillors. Ask them if they support the call to keep the Dubs scheme open, how many spaces are available for children in their area, and whether the Home Office has ever consulted them on the places available. To find out how to contact your local MP and councillors go to www.gmiau.org  and in the bottom left hand corner type your postcode into ‘contact your politician’. Please send any responses to GMIAU – we are supporting other organisations to challenge the government’s assertion that there are not enough places for more Dubs children.
  3. Sign Alf Dubs’ petition. Lord Dubs - who arrived in the UK as part of the kindertransport – has set up a petition to challenge the government to let more children in. Sign the petition here.
  4. Donate to GMIAU and help us represent separated children who have arrived in the UK and can’t access legal aid. Go to www.gmiau.org and click on ‘donate’ or click here for a direct link to our Just Giving Page. 
  5. For more information about how to get involved in this campaign contact Denise McDowell by emailing denise@gmiau.org or telephoning 0161 769 8822  

 

Rev Andy Braunston, our Chair leaves after 10 years

It was a bittersweet evening as Trustees, staff, volunteers and students gathered to thank Rev Andy Braunston for his outstanding leadership and valuable contributions made over the last decade as Chair of the Board of Trustees at Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit.  

 

 

When no good deed goes unpunished

Families in the UK that open their doors to child relatives fleeing the camps of Calais are being penalised by stringent rules on legal aid.
 
It was a cold winter day last year and the small waiting room at Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit is cramped as usual with clients waiting to be seen by their lawyers. Among those in the crowded space are two teenage Afghan boys.
 
They stand up when their names are called, and are accompanied by their sister, her husband and the couple's young child. There is also a smartly dressed white British male in tow.
 
They all troop through to the interview room. The teenagers arrived recently from a refugee camp in Calais, allowed into the UK because their older sister lives here and is married to a settled British national.
 
The boys look tired and seem withdrawn. They had met the white British man at swimming classes. He explains he wants to help in whatever way he can to support the children. He says a lot of his friends disapprove, but he doesn't care.

Spring into spring with a sponsored event

 
There are a wide range of sponsored events and activities in the Manchester area in which you can get involved to help people seeking asylum, refugees, children and vulnerable adults. The Manchester 10 k and half marathon is happening on 28th of May! Or why not sign up for a parachute jump!? Explore our SPONSORSHIP PACK to find all the details!
 
As a member of Team GMIAU we will be with you along the journey as you prepare for the big day. Whether you need information or advice before your big challenge, remember that we are always on hand to help. Just ring Sara on 0161 359 3013 or email sara@gmiau.
 
 
 
 
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1 Delaunays Road, Crumpsall, Manchester, Greater Manchester M8 4QS United Kingdom

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