The3million gearing up for the immigration bill, and helping EU citizens with Covid-19.


First published in April 2020.


Many of us have will have planned family holidays this Easter – and Passover and Ramadan – which now won’t happen. We hope that you can still take a break, especially those of you who have been working in very challenging circumstances over the past weeks. We are portraying some of you in our #RightThereWithYou campaign and encourage you to post your own experiences using this and the #COVID19 hashtag.

What are we up to right now?

To prepare for the second reading of the immigration bill after Easter we want to highlight the contribution of migrants to the UK, extending it beyond the “ILR for doctors” conversation. We are currently collecting case studies, so please get in touch if you have a good story to tell: maike.bohn@the3million.org.uk

COVID-19 has changed the way all of us work and communicate and it has also affected our face-to-face work in Westminster and Brussels. We are using this opportunity of a quieter period in our outward lobbying to liaise with other groups in the immigration sector, calling for scrapping policies that make migrants’ lives even more difficult during these times, such as the minimum income requirement, ‘no recourse to public funds’ and the NHS surcharge.

How does the COVID-19 crisis affect EU citizens?

We recently submitted written evidence to the Home Affairs Committee for their inquiry into the Home Office’s preparations for and response to COVID-19 – raising key concerns about access to social security, support to apply for settled status and the effect of travel restrictions on eligibility for the settlement scheme. If you have been affected, please email: research@the3million.org.uk. The deadline for submissions is 21st April and we will feed in your concerns and issues.

We also wrote jointly with other organisations (eg. Here for Good and JCWI) to the Home Secretary to understand how COVID-19 will generally impact the application process, specifically on current unresolved applications and those who need support with their applications, and enquiring under what circumstances an extension of the June 2021 deadline would be considered.

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Finally, we have had answers both from the Council and the European Parliament to our request to be given an expert observer’s role on the specialised subcommittee on citizens’ rights, together with British in Europe.

David McAllister, Chair of the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee, writes: “The significant work in advocating citizens’ rights since the start of the EU-UK Brexit negotiations of the two organisations, the3million and British in Europe is very much appreciated by decision-makers and citizens alike. I thank you for your commitment and value your important input into the process. […] Looking forward to seeing more of your excellent work in defending citizens’ rights in the aftermath of Brexit, as indeed you can always count on the strong support of the European Parliament.”

Our core team is taking a few days off to draw breath and get ready to step up campaigning again after Easter. We hope you can do the same.

I wish you and your families health and good spirits in the weeks ahead until we speak again.🔷

 

Many organisations are asking you to donate money for EU citizens but if you do, please choose the3million. Since 2016, they have been the leading organisation of EU citizens in the UK and no-one is better placed to continue to fight for their rights and against discrimination.

If you can help their campaign to continue, you can:


 






[This piece was originally published in the3million newsletter and re-published in PMP Magazine on 14 April 2020, with the author’s consent. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

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THE AUTHOR

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the3million is the largest group of EU citizens in the UK, with a team of 50-ish active volunteers working on advocacy, policy, legal, media, social media, grassroots and events.