Deportation or Removal - No one is illegal
Why a campaign may be necessary
A campaign is
necessary where the law is not enough to stop deportation or removal.
never a guarantee that a campaign can succeed. There is never a guarantee
about winning anything in immigration law. All you can do is fight.
many years of experience have shown that campaigns and public support can put
pressure on the Home Office and that cases can be won in this way.
case requires a campaign. Many cases can be won just through proper legal
representation. However, many cases cannot be won just through the law.
may not appear at first sight suitable for a campaign – for instance, some
people may be afraid of publicity. However, it is always essential to balance
the fear of any publicity with the fear of eventual deportation or removal.
It is your decision whether or not to have a campaign
people who come to this country expect to need a campaign to remain here.
However, many people who come here don’t expect to have any immigration
It is your
decision and only your decision whether or not to set up a campaign. It is
also your decision about what happens in the campaign. Everything the campaign
does or attempts to do should be with your agreement and consent.
is your decision whether or not to have a campaign, yet in the end you may
have limited options. Many people would choose having a campaign; if it
decreases the chances of being put on a boat or plane and being taken out of
natural at first to think a campaign is strange and frightening. However, the
Home Office is very frightening and a campaign is there to support you against
the Home Office.
What a campaign means for your personal life
not easy. They require an enormous amount of energy on your and everyone else’s
part. The energy is required to build the campaign activities and get other
people to join in these activities.
have to be involved in all the activity of the campaign. You, your family and
your friends are central to any campaign. Unless you are all active, then it
will not grow.
require you publicising your situation and your life. You cannot have a secret
almost certainly have to learn to speak openly or in public about your case.
No-one finds this easy at first.
hopefully, be invited to speak at meetings not just in your town but all over
the country. It is important you do this so the campaign can become a national
and not just a local one.
a campaign can give you personal support
A campaign is
there to help you win your case. However, it can also give you tremendous
personal support and strength. A campaign can help you survive the pain and
misery of the threat of deportation or removal.
not be the first person to have had a campaign! You will not be the first
person who thought that you don’t have the strength to get involved in a
campaign! And you wont be the first person to realise that the truth is just
the opposite! It is the solidarity from the campaign and from the campaign
supporters which can give you the strength to fight the Home Office.
also not be the first person who gets depressed at various stages of a
campaign. This is natural. However, the solidarity of the people in the
campaign will help you get over this.
gain many close friends through the campaign.
Getting support from people in your situation. Fighting together!
biggest source of support is meeting with and talking to other people under
threat of the immigration and asylum laws.
meet and discuss with other people who have had campaigns and won. You can
learn from their experiences.
also meet with other people who are presently having campaigns against
deportation or removal. There is strength in unity and joining in with each
invite other anti-deportation campaigns, both locally and nationally, to your
events. You and your campaign could also join in events organised by other
campaigns. If you give other people support then you will get support back.
Demand support – don’t beg for it! Solidarity not sympathy!
You are not
to blame for the situation you are in. The fault is totally with the Home Office
and its immigration laws. Therefore do not feel ashamed! None of this is your
this situation is not your fault, then you and your campaign should not beg
for support. You should demand it!
Your campaign is asking people for support and solidarity. It is not asking
for pity or charity!
There is no
need for the campaign to publicise every single detail of your case or your
Some of the
strongest campaigns are the ones that are most open politically and which
stress that the cause of every deportation and every removal is the racist
nature of immigration and asylum laws.
Learning to become a political speaker!
campaign means learning something you may not be used to doing – speaking in
public! At first this may seem difficult. However it becomes easier each time
you do it. Sometimes it is good fun!
people may help you prepare your speech. However remember it is your speech,
your life. You must say whatever you think best
Some of the
best speeches are the ones that are most political. These are the ones – that
demand and do not beg for support – that describe and explain how the laws are
racist – that make the audience understand that there are thousands of other
people in your situation – that suggest ways of building your campaign.
a campaign harm your case?
point of a campaign is to get the Home Office to allow you to remain. However
everything is a risk. So your campaign should constantly discuss the legal and
political implications of its actions.
threat of removal or deportation is the worst situation you could be in. A
strong campaign could only make it better.
are by definition political. However, immigration laws are increasingly
political. That is why campaigns are needed.
inactive, indecisive campaigns can be counter-productive by showing the Home
Office you only have limited support.
Making your campaign strong and powerful!
It is your
campaign. Therefore nothing should be done without your agreement.
Remember - there is no use in having a weak campaign.
There is no use in limiting the campaign to small-scale activities. The real
strength of a campaign can be measured by the diversity of its activities and
the number of people it attracts to them.
advice is to think big in building the campaign and its events. The Home
Office is very powerful so the campaign needs to be effective in order to stop
the deportation or removal. Size matters!
campaign needs to get national and not just local support. So successful
campaigns often require a lot of travel in order to build support.
When to start a campaign
You need to
talk with your legal representative (if you have one), right at the start of
preparing your case, about when you might start a campaign.
It is no
use waiting to start a campaign until after all the legal processes have been
completed. This is usually far too late to achieve victory. Campaigns need to
start as soon as possible.
difficult to decide whether to have a campaign. However, there is no point in
postponing the decision. Delay is harmful. Time is crucial in fighting the
Campaign written materials
need basic materials. In particular:
campaign should produce a standard leaflet which explains your case and asks
leaflet may need to be translated into appropriate languages. It is easiest if
all languages are on the same leaflet.
can last a long time. So you will need easy-to-print leaflets – and lots of
them. You have to make sure leaflets are always available and you never run
out of them.
should ask people to write personal letters to the Home Office supporting your
case. Personally written letters are treated more seriously by the Home Office
than are standard printed letters.
Remember -all letters written to the Home Office
should contain your Home Office reference number, otherwise the Home Office
will not know they are about your case. Therefore the leaflet must contain
your reference number and supporters must be told to quote it in letters.
to personal letters the campaign can produce a postcard addressed to the Home
Secretary, with the campaign’s picture on the front and the campaign’s demands
on the back.
cost money! A bank account may need to be opened in the name of the campaign.
The campaign leaflet and all campaign events must contain an appeal for money.
Fund-raising activities are a crucial part of the campaign and can also be
used to publicise the campaign.
campaign may want to produce a petition sheet which it can distribute locally
It can also
be useful to produce large-size posters which can be displayed in buildings
and on walls.
internet and having a campaign website can also increase publicity and keep
supporters up to date with what is happening
campaigns have produced videos explaining the case, showing activities and
encouraging support. Maybe a local media group or media students could help in
Remember – always include contact details on all
material so that more people can find out how to join in the activities.
support of other organisations
As well as
support from individuals you also need support from organisations. Organisations
should be asked to write to the Home Office. Organisations should also be asked
to circulate the campaign petition and to send money to the campaign.
campaign leaflet, you should ask organisations to invite a speaker from the
campaign to one of their meetings.
asking for support should be sent to black, women’s, refugee, community and
trade union organisations.
campaign leaflet could be updated sometimes to show a list of all supporting
Support from black, migrant and immigrant organisations
and asylum laws affect black people, migrants and immigrants. Therefore all
campaigns need the active support of these communities in this country, where
this is possible.
groups need to be invited to all campaign events.
campaign may need to provide interpreters for its events.
Trade union support
support is important because trade unions have a large membership. Also trade
unions are supposed to be opposed to racism.
from as many unions as possible should be sought at local, regional and
could also be sought from trades councils – which are the combined bodies of
useful for the campaign to draw up and circulate a model resolution for use
with trade unions.
part of a trade union organisation supports the campaign, it should be asked
to circulate the campaign material and seek union support at other levels.
yourself are a member of a trade union, then the campaign should aim
eventually to get your union to support you at a national level. Your union
should then try and ensure that other unions, and the Trades Union Congress
(of all unions), support your case. If you are not already a member of a
union then try and join one!
It is very
helpful to get your union and perhaps other unions to produce their own
leaflet or poster in support of your case. This could have more effect within
the union than your campaign’s publicity.
Support from children and their schools
often the most vulnerable to immigration controls. Their fears and their wishes
must be respected. However children and their schools have often been the most
active in fighting deportations and winning cases. For instance
cases schools have acted as a community – of children, teachers, governors,
parents – in defending pupils under threat of deportations or removal.
production of some campaign material can be good fun for children – such as
making badges and banners.
children are under threat of deportation it is best practice to provide both
professional local authority social services and educational reports to the Home
Office. This is in addition to personal letters of support from the school and
representative needs to arrange these reports and to explain in detail what
factors need to be examined in them.
be shown is that removal from the present school to a possible new school and
removal away from present friends would be drastically harmful both
educationally and socially.
factors need to be proven and not just asserted.
caused by removal must be shown to be drastic and not just minimal.
As well as
written material it could be important to have large public activities.
Activities should be well organised with publicity in appropriate languages
starting well beforehand. If the publicity comes out too late, then the event
will only be small. Typical activities are:
meetings to publicise the case and collect money.
Demonstration – you should try and attract both local community support and
national support for all demonstrations.
the immigration appeal hearing.
It is not
easy to get publicity from newspapers, television or radio.
As well as other public activities, the
campaign could therefore think of unusual activities which could attract
For instance, where children are under
threat of deportation, their school could organise a public event involving all
the children at the school and their parents – such as going to London to
present the petition.
Have a campaign banner and always
remember to take it to all events.
The campaign group
has shown that for a campaign to work, there has to be a strong campaign group
which organises all activities. The group is where decisions are discussed and
made, and where tasks shared out. The group is also where you can make sure that
your instructions are put into practice.
The group should meet regularly
(preferably weekly) at the same place, on the same day, and at the same time.
If meetings are not held regularly, then
people may not remember the dates and therefore won’t come.
In a successful campaign the organising
group should get bigger by attracting new supporters. The campaign should all
the time encourage this. Any organisation that supports the campaign should be
asked to ensure at least one of its members acts as a link to the campaign,
possibly by attending the campaign group.
Meetings should be as open to all
supporters and be as easy to attend as possible. Therefore make sure you meet in
a place which is very easy to find.
Don’t meet in a place where some people
may feel offended to come – for instance places where there is alcohol.
The place, date and time of group
meetings could be given in the campaign leaflet (depending on how safe the
meeting place is).
Strong campaign groups have certain roles
and ensure there are people who will fulfil these, throughout the campaign.
These include responsibilities for money, for preparing and conducting the
campaign meetings, for taking minutes, for replying to letters, for publicising
campaign activities, for making sure letters of support are written and so on.
point for a campaign to exist is in order to win. Therefore:
Remember – group meetings are a place to plan
activities, not just to talk! The weakest campaigns are the ones that talk a
lot and do little. The strongest campaigns are the ones that talk little and
do a lot!
Remember – there is no point in making decisions which
are not carried out! Whoever agrees to do tasks must come to the next meeting
to explain whether the tasks have been done or send an update. Minutes of
decisions should be taken at all meetings and circulated well before the next
Using your lawyer/legal representative
It is very
difficult to find competent and experienced lawyers who understand not only the
law but also the timing and effect of different tactics. Do not trust lawyers
(or community leaders) who promise you everything is easy and they will sort it
all out. Nothing in immigration law is easy.
essential your lawyer is in touch regularly with the campaign so everyone can
make sure that the legal and the campaigning sides of the case are working
together and going in the same direction.
absolutely essential that the lawyer is clear from the start about the likely
prospects of legal success. Preferably, they need to be able to provide
(however approximately) some indication of how much longer you have to remain
in the country before the Home Office tries to deport or remove you. Unless
you know this then the campaign will be unclear what to do. You may be liable
to detention and/or removal at any time and the campaign needs to be prepared.
If you don’t have a legal representative
You may not
have a lawyer because none may be available, or else you may not be granted any,
or any further, legal aid money.
campaign must look at the reasons why you have no legal representation and
decide what to do.
it may decide is to challenge through publicity and a picket the local office
of the Legal Services Commission for refusing financial help
also need sometimes to consider massive fund-raising drives to pay for a
Remember – trade union members are usually entitled to
some form of legal help from their union.
some common mistakes that need to be avoided in order not to waste time. For
important to involve your Member of Parliament in your case. What she or he
can do is ensure better communication with the Home Office and also,
sometimes, help temporarily postpone any removal. However your MP has no power
to force the Home Office to let you stay permanently. They do not make the
decision about your case. They cannot make the Home Office change its mind –
only you and the campaign can do this.
If the Home
Office (and the courts) reject your case then your legal representative will
at some stage ask the Home Office to look at it again. However there is no
point in asking the Home Office simply to look at evidence they have already
rejected. You must provide new evidence or a new interpretation of old
evidence or a new angle on the case altogether.
support on how to set up an anti-deportation campaign group
Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns.
NCADC has four offices – in Birmingham (0121 554 6947) , London (020 8808
6865) Manchester (0161 740 6504) , Middlesbrough (01642 226 260). Its main
address is in Manchester at 1 Delaunays Road, Crumpsall, Manchester M8 4QS
has a website at
expert legal advice agencies
some (very few) private solicitors who are good and can be trusted. In addition
the following offer free and expert help (telephone numbers follow names of
There are two
specialised agencies offering free advice and representation on all immigration,
nationality and asylum matters. One is Greater Manchester Immigration Aid
Unit which is one of the agencies that has produced this pamphlet (0161 740
7722). The other is the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants based
in London (020 7251 8708). In London Asylum Aid also provides legal help
in asylum cases (020 7377 5123).
community law centres provide advice and representation on immigration,
nationality and asylum issues (or else can recommend another agency which does).
0117 916 7733 Barnet 020 8203 4141
: 020 7585 0716
: 01274 306 617
: 020 8451 1122
0161 272 0666
: 0207 703 3051
: 020 7284 6510
: 02920 498117
: 01228 515 129
: 020 7839 2998 Chesterfield
: 01246 550 674
: 024 7622 3053
01332 344 557
01752 519 794
0208 807 8888
: 0191 478 2847 Gloucester
: 01452 423492
: 020 8305 3350
: 020 8985 8364
Hammersmith/ Fulham: 020 8741 4021
Harehills & Chapeltown
: 0113 249 1100
: 020 8561 9400
: 020 8570 9505 Humberside :
01482 211 180
Isle of Wight
: 01983 524715 Islington
: 020 7607 2461
020 7737 9780
(NI) - (Belfast office)
: 028 9024 4401
(NI) - (Western Area
: 028 7126 2433
0116 255 3781
: 020 8692 5355
0151 709 7222
01582 481 000
0191 230 4777
020 8968 0934
: 0161 205
: 0115 978 7813
: 0161 627 0925
: 020 8960 3155
: 020 8855 9817
: 01706 657766
Saltley & Nechells
: 0121 328 2307
: 0114 273 1888
: 0161 225 5111
: 020 7732 2008
: 020 8767 6884
: 0161 476 6336
: 01483 215 000
to the above the government has established two agencies to offer help. These
This is based in London but may take on cases nationally (020 7780 3200)
This deals with non-asylum cases. It has several offices – Birmingham (0121 616
3540), Cardiff (02920 496662), Glasgow (0141 248 2956), Hounslow (020 8814
1115), Leeds (0113 244 2460), Liverpool (0151 475 1628), London (020 7357 6917),
Manchester (0161 834 9942)
exists Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID). BID is an independent agency
which works with all those detained under immigration laws to secure their
release from prisons or removal centres. There are 3 offices; London (020 7247
3590), Portsmouth –for Haslar centre (023 9229 1916), Oxford – for Campsfield
centre (0845 330 4536
has been produced by
No-One Is Illegal has produced a manifesto against controls in English, Spanish,
French and German. It is part of an international network of similar
organisations. It has a website at
www.noii.org.uk and can be contacted
Manchester No Borders Group.
No Borders is a political organisation opposed to all controls and supporting
everyone threatened by controls. It acts as an umbrella group for numerous
activities. It meets monthly. Website:
Bury Law Centre offers advice and representation on immigration, nationality and
asylum issues (as well as other law centre matters). Address is 19 Knowsley
Street, Bury, Lancashire BL9 0ST (0161.272 0666)
Manchester Immigration Aid Unit.
GMIAU provides legal advice and representation on all immigration, nationality
and asylum issues. Address 1 Delaunays Road , Crumpsall Manchester M8 4QS ,
(0161 740 7722)
copies of this leaflet can be downloaded from the No One Is Illegal website at
to this leaflet a larger manual against deportation has been produced (“By any
means necessary – how to build a public anti-deportation campaign”). It is
available from the National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns.
information in this leaflet is correct as at 1st January 2005.