"Excessively Cruel": Detention, deportation and separated families
- Tuesday 8 June 2021 (16:00-17:30)
Each year, countless numbers of UK-based families and communities are torn apart by immigration policies, with little regard for the suffering and harm caused. Immigration laws currently allow the Home Office to deport parents as long as it is not ‘unduly harsh’ to children. This phrase is interpreted by the Home Office’s own guidance as ‘excessively cruel’; meaning that the British government knowingly causes cruelty to UK children. Meanwhile, families are forced to live with chronic insecurity and the permanent threat of detention and separation.
Join us on 8 June at 4pm as we mark the launch of two reports on this subject and explore in-depth the long-lasting and far-reaching impact of the UK’s deportation system on children, families and communities. The existing system is in nobody’s interest. We call for sweeping changes to enable children to grow up with their parents and people to navigate the system fairly.
The panel will be chaired by Baroness Chakrabarti CBE and includes:
- Ace Ruele, British actor and father-of-three fighting to remain in the UK.
- Dr Melanie Griffiths, Birmingham Fellow and author of new report ‘Deportability and the Family: Mixed-immigration status families in the UK’ (Birmingham University).
- Sonali Naik QC, senior public law and immigration practitioner at Garden Court Chambers.
- Rudy Schulkind, Research and Policy Coordinator at Bail for Immigration Detainees and author of their new research into the impact of deportation on children and families.
This live event will include presentations from each panellist followed by a roundtable Q&A session with questions from the audience.
There is a suggested donation of £5 for this talk and every penny raised will go towards BID’s work providing free legal advice to people detained under immigration powers. If you are unable to donate at this time, please don’t worry as you are still most welcome to attend. To make your donation visit http://bit.ly/DonateToBID
About the Event Chair
Baroness Shami Chakrabarti
Shami Chakrabarti is a human rights lawyer, campaigner, life peer and privy counsellor. She was the director of Liberty (the National Council for Civil Liberties) from 2003 to 2016 and the Shadow Attorney General from 2016 until 2020. She is a Master of the Bench of the Middle Temple and carried the Olympic Flag at the London Games in 2012. She was formerly Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University and the University of Essex. She has written, spoken and broadcast widely and is the author of two books: On Liberty (2014) and Of Women (2017). Both are published by Penguin.
About the speakers
UK-born Actor Ace Ruele, who has worked on multiple video games, EastEnders and for Marvel, faces being removed from the country due to a crime he committed in 2007. Though he served and completed his prison sentence and has worked with charities and the Met Police to help tackle youth crime, the Home Office continues to pursue punishing him.
Dr Melanie Griffiths
Dr Melanie Griffiths is a Birmingham Fellow at the University of Birmingham, where she works on asylum and migration, immigration detention, deportation and legal oversight. She has written on a wide range of topics including the hostile environment, Operation Nexus, asylum appeals, families, masculinity, time and emotion. In 2014-17 she led the project ‘Detention, Deportability and the Family: Migrant Men’s Negotiations of the Right to Respect for Family Life,’ based at the University of Bristol. She has a PhD from the University of Oxford.
Rudy Schulkind, Bail for Immigration Detainees
Rudy Schulkind is Bail for Immigration Detainees’ research and policy co-ordinator. He works to challenge all forms of immigration detention through strategic litigation, parliamentary lobbying, media and campaigning work and publication of research highlighting systemic issues in immigration detention. A key component of this work is ensuring access to justice for immigration detainees facing deportation, particularly for those held in prisons. He has produced research and campaigned for legislative change to assist people facing deportation who have strong article 8 claims. Before his current role Rudy was a volunteer caseworker at BID and worked in journalism.
Sonali Naik QC, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers
Sonali Naik QC is a senior public law and immigration practitioner with over 28 years’ experience who specialises in public law cases and in all aspects of immigration, asylum and nationality law. Sonali is ranked for immigration in Chambers UK 2020 and has a significant Higher Courts practice. She conducts almost exclusively leading work at all levels: the Court of Appeal, the Administrative Court and in the Upper Tribunal in statutory appeals and judicial reviews. She has very substantial immigration and asylum experience in her High Court and appellate court practice, acting in various country guidance asylum cases, most recently in AS(Afghanistan) in the Court of Appeal, the latest leading case on internal relocation. Sonali has an extensive judicial review practice in the areas of Article 8 ECHR certification, nationality, challenges to Home Office policy, trafficking and unlawful detention. Sonali is Chair of Liberty and a trustee of Freedom From Torture and the Immigrant’s Aid Trust (charitable arm of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants), a member of the JUSTICE Council and she was appointed to the JUSTICE Working Group on Reform of Immigration and Asylum system. She won Lawyer of the Year at the Diversity Legal Awards 2018. She won Highly Commended for Outstanding Contribution to Diversity & Inclusion at the Chambers Bar Awards 2019. She was a finalist for Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year in 2016 and was featured as The Times’ Lawyer of the Week in January 2018.