Nowhere Home in Oxford

Nowhere Home by Margreth Olin

Nowhere Home by Margreth Olin

Special screening of Margreth Olin’s award-winning documentary: Nowhere Home

When: Tuesday 30th April 2013: 6.15pm introductory talk, 6.30pm screening

Where: The Ultimate Picture Palace, Cowley Road, Oxford

Organised by: Oxford Institute of Social Policy (OISP) in collaboration with the Refugee Studies Centre (RSC) and the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) at the University of Oxford and the School of Social Policy at the University of Birmingham

Synopsis: Nowhere Home follows the fortunes of a number of young people from Salhus, a Norwegian centre offering temporary residence to unaccompanied asylum-seeking young people as they approach adulthood. While they all hope to remain in Norway, the threat of deportation when they turn 18—and uncertain futures in countries like Afghanistan or Iraq—hangs over them. A visceral and provocative film, Nowhere Home scrutinises what Human Rights Watch has called one of  the ‘major moral dilemmas’ facing Europe today.

Year: 2012 / 90m.

Distributor: Norwegian Film Institute

Watch the trailer online.

Tickets: £8 (£6 concessions). Online booking now open.

Proceeds go to Asylum Welcome (Charity no. 1092265)

Happy Valentine’s Day from the Home Office

ho_valentineTo ‘celebrate’ Valentine’s Day the UK Home Office is publishing on Twitter/Flickr a stream of archive pictures and videos  of sham brides and grooms arrested in UKBA operations. Repeating a ‘name & shame’ communication strategy used already to mark the arrest of a number of visa overstayers last summer (see my comment on the Mayapple Operation), Thresa May’s Home Office offers yet another proof of its ‘zero tolerance’ approach to unlawful immigration – no matter that it is its own continuous moving of the goalposts that is making many migrants unlawfully resident. This use of social media is rather disconcerting, especially because it show very little care for the pains the Home Office is inflicting on thousands of couples and families torn apart by immigration rules, pains that can hardly justify the discovery of a handful of ‘genuine’ sham marriages (you can read my comment on the family rules here).


There is also another (small) question mark here: in the caption to the photos, the Home Office claims to have conducted 300 operations and as a result prosecuted 230 people for sham marriages. Now if I understand the maths  and obviously this is a very rough calculation, assuming that for any successful operation they have prosecuted at least 2 people (bride and groom), this would mean that about 115 operations were successful, which leaves one thinking: what about the rest? Did the Home Office intervene to stop about 185 alleged sham marriages that were in reality genuine (even in its own narrow terms)? Have they ever apologized to them? Definitely not an happy Valentine’s day for them.

What part of ‘illegal’ don’t you understand?

we are americans TIME Inspirational talk by Jose Antonio Vargas at TEDxMidAtlantic in October 2012. You can hear the story of Washington Post journalist, Pulitzer prize winner and undocumented migrant Jose Antonio Vargas in his own words. For some background on his coming out and the possiblebut daunting task of combining a successful career and the fear of being apprehended because undocumented read this article published in the The Guardian.

The UK’s DREAMers? Undocumented children in Britain

tedxeastend Below the video of the talk I gave at TEDxEastEnd (Society Without Borders) last October. I start with a critical analysis of current deportation policy and practice, using as an example the UKBA’s Operation Mayapple. I then point to the gap that exists between those you are deported and those you are deportable, a significant gap despite the increasing use of deportation by Western governments. A closer look at the deportation gap shows that undocumented migrants are not all equally deportable and that children, in particular, are less likely to be forcibly removed. Nonetheless, in the UK these very children are not offered concrete routes to regularisation and are stranded in legal limbo. The Obama administration‘s executive decision that has recently granted a route to regularisation to up to 800,000 young undocumented migrants offers an example of a pragmatic and long term solution beneficial to both the children and society more broadly.