Blogs by Juan Camilo
In summary, the government aims to:
- Introduce a health levy that migrants without permanent residence would have to pay when applying for a visa in order to be able to access NHS services.
- Extend charging visitors and irregular migrants for NHS treatment to primary care, including seeing a GP and potentially to emergency care.
- Introducing a new registration and data sharing system to enable the NHS to identify and charge patients.
A fuller briefing on the proposals can be found here.
In the past two weeks MRN co-hosted with the Refugee and Migrant Forum of East London (RAMFEL) three public meetings on the Home Office’s Go Home campaign and immigration spot checks. Overall, more than 200 people from diverse backgrounds attended the meetings, including lawyers, members of migrant support organisations, academics, people from the race equality sector, activists and concerned citizens.
The polemic around the billboard vans carrying the message ‘Go Home or Face Arrest’ has sparked some long overdue interest in the way the Home Office carries out its enforcement actions. Over the last few days a number of Twitter users have posted real-time reports of immigration raids together with accounts and pictures of how these operations take place.
On Friday MRN hosted a briefing by the Met Police and RAMFEL about Operation Nexus. Even though many questions were addressed at the session there was still a sense of uncertainty about the initiative, anger at how it is presented and concern about some of the implications for vulnerable migrants, their communities and those supporting them.
Ed Miliband's speech on integration was interesting for a variety of reasons. First, in stark contrast to the immigration speech by home secretary Theresa May, also last week, the overall tone of his comments was broadly positive.
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