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30.03.2020 / News / Press releases / /

Lawyers call for immediate leave to remain for all migrants amidst COVID-19 chaos

Legal Sector Workers United (LSWU), part of the trade union, United Voices of the World (UVW), have today called for all migrants – irrespective of their migration status – to be granted immediate temporary leave to remain.

The announcement was accompanied by demands that the temporary leave to remain should include a lifting of all restrictions on access to public funds and the NHS and labour market, as well as a moratorium on immigration enforcement and data sharing with the Home Office.

Practitioners also slammed the continued use of detention centres, branding them ‘breeding grounds for COVID-19’ that threaten the health of detainees and the public, and calling for their immediate closure.

Franck Magennis, Co-Founder of LSWU and Barrister at Garden Court Chambers, said the following, “If in the midst of this crisis we fail to overhaul our immigration policy we will be unable to safely do our job. Legal practitioners are currently being forced to choose between discharging their professional duties and protecting their health and the health of their clients, and wider society; this cannot go on. It is time we took a leaf out of Portugal’s book”.

Isaac Ricca-Richardson, a paralegal and LSWU member said, “We’re duty bound to act in the best interests of our clients, but as any immigration practitioner will be able to tell you; it is impossible to act in the best interests clients with complex needs, mental health issues, trauma, and language barriers, if you’re having to conduct hearings through Skype or Zoom”. 

-Ends-

Editors notes.

For more quotes or an LSWU briefing outlining in greater detail the rationale behind the demands please contact:

Kane Shaw, Editorial Lead – Campaign Communications. Tel. 07950 927798. Email. kane@uvwunion.org.uk

Franck Magennis, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers. Tel. 07734 351792. Email. franckmagennis@gmail.com

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