URBC Statement concerning #MeTooUCU

[CN Rape, Sexual Harassment]

Over the last week a series of blog posts have come out detailing appalling instances of sexual abuse perpetrated by the then Leeds Beckett UCU branch secretary, Paul Blackledge, and the support he received from some fellow UCU activists at both national and branch level. Failing to deploy counter-procedures against his accusers, Blackledge still received considerable support from some fellow UCU left comrades who remain in prominent positions within the national union. While Blackledge eventually was expelled from the union, these blog posts make a few things clear: namely that the support Blackledge received was primarily from SWP linked fellow UCU Left activists and that the Rule 13 process used to deal with cases of sexual assault is inadequate. As the Survivors Rule blog states:

‘We were at the core of the Union complaint lodged under Rule 13. This was extremely stressful and prolonged process which was not helped by the difficult procedure under Rule 13, and it was made unbearable by the fact that the abuser was able to use the process and his UCU and SWP friends at local, regional and national level to further the abuse through silencing and ostracising us.’

URBC would like to express its unwavering support for victims of sexual violence, and support their right to seek out justice according to adequate and efficient measures put in place by institutions. We believe survivors and support their right to be heard and respected, within and beyond the university. We also have historically cut ties or refused to collaborate with campaigns that have been revealed to harbour and protect abusive people and practices.

We also intimately know how procedures and regulations, as well as complicity, operate as means to victimise people who are painted as troublemakers when they raise their voice against abuse, intimidation and harassment. Indeed, we have seen these kinds of tactics deployed against non-EU students and staff who have raised their voice against being mistreated by their institutions, seeing academics close ranks in the face of criticism and deploying the full force of the UK’s border regime in order to silence whistleblowers. We are horrified to see similar tactics deployed by members of UCU with significant positions of power within the union, and disappointed that UCU does not appear to have an effective policy to properly support members who have been victims of sexual abuse and harassment. This is not a factional position – URBC supports the strike, supports rank and file members and indeed, many of us will be participating in the strike. What we do not support is a culture of abuse enabled by arcane union structures and actual factional complicity.

Therefore, line with our stance to believe and support victims of sexual violence, we urgently ask for that the individuals face accountability processes which are in line with the survivors’ needs. We also wish to underline the need for reviewing a process reviewing process of the Rule 13 procedure so as to make the procedure less traumatising and more accessible to anyone who finds themselves having to fight sexual misconduct claims within the UCU.

November URBC Workshops

For November 2019, Unis Resist Border Controls (URBC), will be giving workshops and talks in Leicester, Birmingham, and Bath.

As part of our commitment to educational outreach around border controls and the hostile environment policy inside UK higher education, for over three years URBC has given our resistance workshops at a number of universities, DIY spaces and conferences on opposing and ending the hostile environment policy.

In our resistant workshop, participants explore through different exercises how non-EU and EU migrants have been used by the Home Office and higher education institutions to create visible and invisible barriers. These barriers leave migrant students, lecturers, and university workers vulnerable to institutional racism and xenophobia, housing discrimination, health discrimination, the changing landscape of immigration laws, job precarity, disability, policing, UKVI surveillance, gendered violence and poverty. We will draw on examples of previous and existing case work of how border controls function inside UK higher education.

On Thursday 7th November 2019, URBC will be holding a resistance workshop at the University of Leicester, from 2pm-4pm, 2nd Floor, Charles Wilson Belvoir Park Annexe.

Details can be found on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/events/2279456958831243/





On Thursday 21st November URBC will be speaking at Borders, Refugees, Solidarity, Resistance taking place at the Murray Learning Centre, LG 14, University of Birmingham hosted by Capital and Class/CSE Midlands.

This workshop aims to bridge the gap between academia and activism in relation to these questions of borders, refugees, solidarity, and resistance. It brings together researchers, practitioners and activists around a shared goal of both highlighting, and resisting, the damaging effect of Britain’s ever-worsening border regime.

Itinerary

5.00 Introduction and welcome

5.05 Speakers

Tendayi Bloom, University of Birmingham, Why can some people move freely, while others’ movement is controlled? Thoughts about the global governance of migration

Gaja Maestri, Aston University, Exploring refugee solidarity: motivations, meanings and tensions

Yajur Arora and Hanna Ellis, Docs not Cops, University of Birmingham Medical School, The challenges of accessing healthcare for “Illegal” and vulnerable migrants

Sanaz Raji, Unis Resist Border Controls, The impact of the border regime in Universities and initiatives to resist border controls

5.35 Workshop discussion highlighting solidarity initiatives we can focus on in Birmingham

6.10 Closing discussion, feedback and ideas for future activities

6.30 END

Finally, on Wednesday 27th November, URBC will be giving it’s last workshop of the autumn term at University of Bath, Room 1W 2.102. This workshop is a jointly hosted event between UCU Bath and URBC.

Details for joint UCU Bath & URBC workshop can be found on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/events/676479829510091/


Are you a UCU or student group interested in issues related to anti-racist actions, migrant right’s and decolonising work? Book us for an workshop. Contact us at: UnisResistBorderControls [AT] Gmail [DOT] Com.





URBC Statement Concerning Upfront Charges & the Hostile Environment Policy in the NHS. #PatientsNotPassports

2017 #PatientsNotPassports protest in Manchester.

The hostile environment has no place in any of our institutions. We reject it as it continues to urge us to act as border guards, monitoring our colleagues, neighbours and in the case of the NHS, requiring health care professionals to seek out immigration status of their patients before providing treatment. Docs Not Cops, who work to oppose these measures in healthcare, have invited us to organise this vigil to mark the expansion of charges at the point of access of the NHS, and to highlight the deadly effect it has had as a barrier to healthcare to those already vulnerable.

The Conservative party’s marketisation of the NHS, and continued attacks on access to free healthcare, have been much documented by organisations like Keep our NHS Public. As is often the case, migrants were among the first to be affected by this marketisation agenda.  While New Labour had previously indicated that non-resident migrants were to be charged for healthcare, in practice this was rarely enforced, and applied to a relatively small population (although it still had significant consequences for precarious migrants). Under the 2014 Immigration Act, the Coalition government significantly expanded the groups of migrants considered to be ineligible for free care at the point of delivery, and mandated visa checks in hospitals to enforce this. 

On the 6th April 2015, the Immigration Health Surcharge came into effect, and a healthcare levy was applied to spousal, work, and student visas.  On the 23rd October 2017, two years ago today, Theresa May’s Conservative government introduced upfront charges for secondary NHS treatment where patients are unable to prove their eligibility for free care. As Docs Not Cops states, undocumented migrants and failed asylum seekers “became “chargeable” upfront (rather than after treatment, as had been the case previously), if their condition is deemed ‘non-urgent’. This situation applies to an estimated 600,000 people, including 120,000 children, 65,000 of whom were born in the UK.”

Upfront charges have affected the Windrush generation and others who may have a difficult time proving their status in the UK. The violence caused by the Hostile Environment in the NHS is illustrated by stories like that of Winston Howard, who came to the UK from Jamaica over 60 years ago, and waited three years following a spinal injury to actually access NHS care, because he would  “rather risk paralysis from the neck down than go to a hospital for fear that he would be discharged to immigration detention and possibly deportation”.  Then, we have the story of Kelemua Mulat, who had advanced breast cancer but was denied potentially life-saving cancer treatment for six weeks amid confusion about whether she should be charged by the NHS. Kelemua Mulat died aged 39 as a direct result of the brutal violence caused by upfront charges and the hostile environment policy in the NHS.


These upfront charges for secondary NHS treatment have also created a climate of fear. Even where patients can only be charged after receiving treatment, debt owed to the NHS is grounds for denying a visa.  Maternity Action has found that pregnant women who are asylum seekers or undocumented are afraid of accessing the NHS due to the risk of of being reported to the Home Office and incurring more debt. This is especially worrying and harmful, as migrant women already have higher rates of maternal mortality and miscarriage than average. Similarly, some migrants living with HIV are also being deterred from seeking care and attending screenings, despite these being exempt from charges.

“Yet, we also believe that campaigns to make universities pay for NHS surcharge fees for non-EEA lecturers alone will not end the hostile environment policy. It merely transfers the responsibility of payment from non-EEA lecturers on to the university. Meanwhile, non-EEA migrants and asylum seeker students, and migrant university workers continue to shoulder the responsibility of NHS surcharge fees and upfront charges that directly affect their health and safety and that of their families.”



In our work in Higher Education, we have seen the effects of the NHS surcharge fees. Indeed, Unis Resist Border Controls (URBC) has seen a growing movement of non-EEA lecturers advocating for UK universities to pay for their NHS surcharge fees. We agree that these fees are exorbitant and are against the ethos of Nye Bevan who established the NHS in 1948 making it free at the point of use, available to everyone who needed it. Yet, we also believe that campaigns to make universities pay for NHS surcharge fees for non-EEA lecturers alone will not end the hostile environment policy. It merely transfers the responsibility of payment from non-EEA lecturers on to the university. Meanwhile, non-EEA migrants and asylum seeker students, and migrant university workers continue to shoulder the responsibility of NHS surcharge fees and upfront charges that directly affect their health and safety and that of their families. This is why, since the creation of URBC four years ago, we have worked with and supported campaigns that are fighting to end the hostile environment policy and xeno-racist immigration laws. We continue to work with Docs Not Cops, a grassroots organisation made up of health professionals fighting to end the hostile environment policy in the NHS, in co-hosting events and supporting their #PatientsNotPassports pledge. We call on academics, students, and university workers to support initiatives called by URBC & Docs Not Cops to end the hostile environment policy in our schools, universities, the NHS, and workplaces.

This statement has been endorsed by Docs Not Cops.

Latest update concerning Adriana Ortega-Zeifert

Photo taken on the 25th September 2019 of Adriana stating, “Motherhood & domestic violence shouldn’t limit or define personal & professional opportunities to women.”

We understand that many academic staff, students, and activists have been asking us what has happened to Adriana Ortega-Zeifert following her hearing in family court that took place on Wednesday 2nd October. For legal reasons, Unis Resist Border Controls (URBC) cannot discuss any further Adriana’s current situation.

However, Adriana has relayed this message to us:

“Thank you to all my supporters who have raised over £2,000 in my fight to keep my family together in the UK. The kind words that you have left on my fundraiser has uplifted me during bleak times and given me the strength to continue on. It’s been a very hectic few weeks for me legally and otherwise. I cannot go into details. Unfortunately, the way things are looking, my case to keep my family together & to remain in the UK will be a long one. Please help me reach my target goal so I can get the legal support to help me win this fight!”

Please continue to do these four things to support Adriana’s struggle to keep her family together and to remain in the UK. They are the following:

1. Donate to her JustGiving fundraiser for to help pay for her legal costs. Adriana needs to raise £10,000 for her & her daughter’s fresh claim application and their solicitors fees. Any funds you can donate at this time would be much appreciated. The link to Adriana’s JustGiving fundraiser can be accessed here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/adriana-ortega-zeifert

2. Sing this URBC letter in support of Adriana. Join the over 300 academics, students & UCU members who have endorsed a statement from URBC demanding that the Home Office give Adriana & her daughters leave to remain and for the University of Manchester to allow Adriana back on her PhD course. You can sign and share the statement here:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/15gnX9PY4vC8fjN6O_Zgk5lRYuoDhBWoP7ssArvH5Mh8/edit

3. Join 2,000 supporters who have signeda Change.org petition demanding the Home Office not deport Adriana & her daughters back to Mexico:
https://www.change.org/p/priti-patel-mp-minister-for-the-home-office-home-office-unfairly-deporting-talented-academic-and-her-daughters

4. Have your UCU branch pass our motion for Adriana! We are also asking UCU member to specifically pass this emergency motion in support of Adriana and her family:

Motion for Adriana

This motion notes:

Adriana Ortega-Zeifert is an international student from Mexico who came to the United Kingdom in April 2010 to pursue a PhD at the University of Manchester, having been awarded a scholarship to pursue her groundbreaking research.

Professor Peter Gardner, Adriana’s supervisor, states that she is: “doing some really cutting edge research in the field of prostate cancer diagnosis using state-of-the-art analysis system including collaboration with leading US researchers at the University of Wisconsin. Her work on cancer associated fibroblasts is ground breaking and is just waiting to be finished off before publication.”

However, Adriana was forced to take an interruption from her PhD studies as a result of mental health issues brought on by years of sexual, emotional, financial abuse and parental alienation at the hands of her ex-partner while he was also a student at the University of Manchester.

Because of her severe depression, PTSD and the side effects of antidepressant sertraline, Adriana failed to send  her second extension visa application to the Home Office. As a result, the University of Manchester withdrew her from her PhD studies. 

Compounding matters, Adriana has been instructed by family court that her three daughters must return to Mexico to visit her ex-partner. Adriana and her three daughters want to remain in Manchester. Because of the hostile environment policy, if they are forced to return to Mexico, there is no way that they would be allowed to re-enter the UK for ten years or more. 

Already people in Manchester and around the UK are supporting Adriana’s struggle; over 2,000 individuals have signed Adriana’s Change.org petition demanding that the Home Office grant them leave to remain status in the UK. Close to 300 academics, students, and union members from UCU and Unite the Union have signed a letter from Unis Resist Border Controls demanding the Home Office to grant Adriana and her three daughters leave to remain & for the University of Manchester to bring Adriana back on her course. 

This motion resolves

1. To pressure University of Manchester to allow Adriana Ortega-Zeifert back on her PhD course, to resume her important groundbreaking research.

2..To demand the UK family courts give primary custody to Adriana Ortega-Zeifert. 

3. To demand that the Home Office grant Adriana Ortega-Zeifert and her three daughters be granted leave to remain in the UK.

4. To donate £150 from local branch funds for Adriana’s ongoing legal costs.




UCU members: show support for Adriana & her three daughters at this crucial moment. Pass our emergency motion in your branches!

Adriana and her three daughter on a day out in Manchester.

Since August, Unis Resist Border Controls has been keeping everyone informed of Adriana Ortega-Zeifert’s fight against the violence of the hostile environment policy that might led to her and her daughter’s deportation on the Wednesday 2nd October 2019.

Not only is Adriana a talented researcher, a survivor of domestic violence, but also a fellow UCU member.

A few days ago we informed you that there are three things that all academics, students, and union officials who are oppose to the hostile environment in higher education and all other areas can do to support Adriana and her family.

They are the following:

1. Donate to her JustGiving fundraiser for to help pay for her legal costs. Adriana needs to raise £10,000 for her & her daughter’s fresh claim application and their solicitor’s fees before the 2nd October 2019. Any funds you can donate at this time would be much appreciated. The link to Adriana’s JustGiving fundraiser can be accessed here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/adriana-ortega-zeifert

2. Join the over 100 academics, students & UCU members who have endorsed a statement from URBC demanding that the Home Office give Adriana & her daughters leave to remain and for the University of Manchester to allow Adriana back on her PhD course. You can sign and share the statment here:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/15gnX9PY4vC8fjN6O_Zgk5lRYuoDhBWoP7ssArvH5Mh8/edit

3. Join 2,000 supporters who have signeda Change.org petition demanding the Home Office not deport Adriana & her daughters back to Mexico:
https://www.change.org/p/priti-patel-mp-minister-for-the-home-office-home-office-unfairly-deporting-talented-academic-and-her-daughters

We are also asking UCU member to specifically pass this emergency motion in support of Adriana and her family:

Motion for Adriana

This motion notes:

Adriana Ortega-Zeifert is an international student from Mexico who came to the United Kingdom in April 2010 to pursue a PhD at the University of Manchester, having been awarded a scholarship to pursue her groundbreaking research.

Professor Peter Gardner, Adriana’s supervisor, states that she is: “doing some really cutting edge research in the field of prostate cancer diagnosis using state-of-the-art analysis system including collaboration with leading US researchers at the University of Wisconsin. Her work on cancer associated fibroblasts is ground breaking and is just waiting to be finished off before publication.”

However, Adriana was forced to take an interruption from her PhD studies as a result of mental health issues brought on by years of sexual, emotional, financial abuse and parental alienation at the hands of her ex-partner while he was also a student at the University of Manchester.

Because of her severe depression, PTSD and the side effects of antidepressant sertraline, Adriana failed to send  her second extension visa application to the Home Office. As a result, the University of Manchester withdrew her from her PhD studies. 

Compounding matters, Adriana has been instructed by family court that her three daughters must return to Mexico to visit her ex-partner. Adriana and her three daughters want to remain in Manchester. Because of the hostile environment policy, if they are forced to return to Mexico, there is no way that they would be allowed to re-enter the UK for ten years or more. 

Already people in Manchester and around the UK are supporting Adriana’s struggle; over 2,000 individuals have signed Adriana’s Change.org petition demanding that the Home Office grant them leave to remain status in the UK. Close to 300 academics, students, and union members from UCU and Unite the Union have signed a letter from Unis Resist Border Controls demanding the Home Office to grant Adriana and her three daughters leave to remain & for the University of Manchester to bring Adriana back on her course. 

This motion resolves

1. To pressure University of Manchester to allow Adriana Ortega-Zeifert back on her PhD course, to resume her important groundbreaking research.

2..To demand the UK family courts give primary custody to Adriana Ortega-Zeifert. 

3. To demand that the Home Office grant Adriana Ortega-Zeifert and her three daughters be granted leave to remain in the UK.

4. To donate £150 from local branch funds for Adriana’s ongoing legal costs.

Unis Resist Border Controls is asking UCU members to show solidarity with Adriana and her family before Wednesday 2nd October 2019 when they have to have their fresh claim application filed to the Home Office. Without the £10,000 to pay for their fresh claim application and legal fees, Adriana and her three daughters deportation will go ahead. We cannot let this happen! Help keep Adriana and her family together in the Manchester community that they have built roots in and now call home!


UPDATE: Adriana Ortega-Zeifert & her children need our urgent solidarity to stop their deportation. Learn what you can do to help!

Adriana and her three daughters.

In August, Unis Resist Border Controls told you about the case of Adriana Ortega-Zeifert, a talented PhD researcher and survivor of domestic violence who is fighting to keep her family in the UK.

On the 8th August 2019, Adriana’s three daughters were forced by family court to leave the UK and to visit their father, and ex-partner of Adriana who abused her for years while she was a PhD student. However, Adriana’s daughters protested and refused to board the AeroMexico flight headed to Mexico City.


While it is great news that Adriana and her children have been reunited, the fight to keep her family together is far from over.

The family courts still maintain that her daughters must go back to Mexico. However, the family court’s decision to force Adriana’s daughters to return to Mexico harm their existing family application for leave to remain in the UK. Adriana’s children are adamant that they do not want to return to Mexico. Compounding matters is that family courts have ruled that if Adriana’s daughters fail to return to Mexico by Wednesday 2nd October 2019, Adriana may face a jail sentence.

As Adriana’s further comments,

“It is both outrageous and disappointing that I could face imprisonment just because my children refused to board a plane to visit their father because they are scared to be forced to live with him. Family court is essentially forcing my daughters to return to Mexico and not granting them the right to apply for further leave to remain, which they are entitled to as they are approaching the 10 years mark of living in the UK.”

Adriana’s case highlights the intersection of the hostile environment policy and how it particularly affects migrant women who flee domestic abuse. As Sister’s Uncut states,

“The state cuts off support for people with different kinds of immigration status; this is called ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’. For migrant women who experience domestic violence, this is life-threatening. This is because about half the funding for refuges comes from housing benefits, which migrant women are usually barred from. As a result, migrant women and their children have been turned away from domestic violence shelters. In 2017, just 7% of women with No Recourse to Public Funds found space in a shelter when leaving domestic violence. This shows the racism at the heart of the criminal justice and immigration systems, which puts deportation before domestic violence services. “

Next step

Adriana and her daughters are putting in another fresh claim application for indefinite leave to remain before the 2nd October 2019 deadline to stop their deportation back to Mexico.

What you can do to help Adriana

At this critical stage in Adriana’s case, there are many things that one can do to support her and her daughters fight to remain in the UK. Here are a few things that you can do:

1. Donate to her JustGiving fundraiser for to help pay for her legal costs. Adriana needs to raise £10,000 for her & her daughter’s fresh claim application and their solicitor’s fees before the 2nd October 2019. Any funds you can donate at this time would be much appreciated. The link to Adriana’s JustGiving fundraiser can be accessed here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/adriana-ortega-zeifert

2. Join the over 100 academics, students & UCU members who have endorsed a statement from URBC demanding that the Home Office give Adriana & her daughters leave to remain and for the University of Manchester to allow Adriana back on her PhD course. You can sign and share the statment here:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/15gnX9PY4vC8fjN6O_Zgk5lRYuoDhBWoP7ssArvH5Mh8/edit

3. Join 2,000 supporters who have signed a Change.org petition demanding the Home Office not deport Adriana & her daughters back to Mexico:
https://www.change.org/p/priti-patel-mp-minister-for-the-home-office-home-office-unfairly-deporting-talented-academic-and-her-daughters

If you do all three steps, this will greatly ensure that Adriana and her daughters will be able to fight to remain in the UK. Let’s continue to support them at this crucial period to stop them from being deported back to Mexico.

Support Luqman Onikosi at his Immigration Tribunal in London on Friday 23rd August

University of Sussex alumni and Brighton migrant-rights campaigner, Luqman Onikosi. Photograph: The Tab.

Luqman Onikosi is an alumni of the University of Sussex and a well-known Brighton community campaigner and volunteer for numerous causes.

Luqman applied to stay in the UK on medical grounds after being diagnosed with Hepatitis B and chronic liver disease while studying at the University of Sussex. His health conditions – which are fatal if left untreated – claimed the lives of his two brothers in Nigeria, where medical support for this condition is not available.

Luqman has explored all available possibilities for treatment in Nigeria to no avail. Dr C. I. Anyanwu, a virology specialist, confirming in evidence submitted to the court hearing that ‘there is no definitive treatment available for the level of his condition he is experiencing in Nigeria at present.’

Being forced to return to Nigeria would be a death sentence for Luqman. The many years of waiting for a positive outcome from the Home Office has exacerbated Luqman’s mental and physical health.

Over 7,500 people signed a petition requesting the Home Office grant Luqman ‘Leave to Remain,’ and his case has been backed by high profile figures such as Noam Chomsky and academics from across the UK.

Now Luqman’s friends and supporters are hoping that a Home Office decision to remove Luqman from the country will be overturned, after he won the right to appeal his case before a judge. The Campaign to Stop the Deportation of Luqman Onikosi have informed us that Luqman is due back for a immigration tribunal hearing on Friday 23rd August, 9AM at Taylor House, 88 Rosebery Ave, Islington, London EC1R 4QU. If you are in the London area, please come and support Luqman at this critical juncture with his case. Luqman’s supporters have asked that you come exactly at 9AM to Taylor House.

From our workshop at Reclaim the Power’s Power Beyond Borders were participants held up signs in solidarity with Luqman Onikosi.

For those unable to be in London on the day, Unis Resist Border Controls (URBC) is asking our followers to show their solidarity and support for Luqman at this crucial period. With the support of The Campaign to Stop the Deportation of Luqman Onikosi, we are asking you to take part in our selfie protest action on Twitter on Thursday 22nd August from 7pm-9pm.

To take part in our twitter storm, please do the following:

1. Print or download our sign.
2. Take a selfie photo with printed sign or downloaded sign on your devise.
3. Tweet photo to the following addresses: @UnisNotBorders @BriMigSol &
@ukhomeoffice using the hashags: #LetLuqmanStay and #DontDeportLuqman

Let’s make sure that we send a strong message to the Home Office that Luqman belongs here in the UK with his friends! All disabled migrants have a right to remain in the UK and should not have their disability and/or health condition be used against them by the Home Office. No disabled migrant should be deported to countries where they could die as a result of a lack of resources.

Support a talented PhD researcher fighting for her family to remain in the UK!

Adriana Ortega-Zeifert with her three daughters.

Adriana Ortega-Zeifert is an international student from Mexico who came to the United Kingdom in April 2010 to pursue a PhD in Chemical Engineering & Analytical Science at the University of Manchester, having been awarded a scholarship to pursue her groundbreaking research.

However, Adriana was forced to take an interruption from her PhD studies as a result of mental health issues brought on by years of sexual, emotional, financial abuse and parental alienation at the hands of her ex-partner while he was also a PhD student at the University of Manchester.

Because of her severe depression, PTSD and the side effects of antidepressant sertraline, Adriana failed to complete sending her second extension visa application to the Home Office. As a result, the University of Manchester withdrew her from her PhD studies.

Compounding matters, Adriana has been instructed by family court that her three daughters must return to Mexico to visit her ex-partner. As a result of the hostile environment policy, if the children are forced to visit their father, it will make it very difficult for them to return to the UK. Family courts have ruled that if her daughters fail to return to Mexico before the end of Thursday 8th August 2019, Adriana could be imprisoned in the UK. Adriana’s three daughters are exceptional and academically gifted students who have given so much to the Manchester community. The children want to remain in Manchester with their mother and visit Mexico once they have permission to stay in UK. If they are forced to return to Mexico, there is no way that they would be allowed to re-enter the UK to be with their mother.

Adriana is a talented academic and independent woman who is being stifled by bureaucratic laws in addition to the hostile environment policy that creates real barriers for migrant women to gain justice. As she comments:

“The British government criticises other countries who institute misogynistic policies and laws. Yet, when it comes to the situation of migrant women who have endured sexual, emotional, psychological, and financial abuse inside the UK, our struggle is trivialised and we are criminalised for speaking out and stopping violence at the hands of our ex-partners. The court system sides with abusers instead of doing a proper investigation and giving support to survivors of violence like myself. It is emotionally hurtful, stressful and denigrating to be re-victimised by the family courts and the Home Office. All I want is safety for myself and my three children. I want to be able to finish my groundbreaking academic work and use this research to help others.”

What you can do to support Adriana:

Unis Resist Border Controls (URBC) urges supporters to sign and share our statement to be sent to Prime Minster Boris Johnson, Secretary of State Priti Patel, Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, Shadow Secretary of State Diane Abbott and the Vice Chancellor of the University of Manchester, Dame Nancy Rothwell that you can access here.

We also urge you to sign Adriana’s Change.org petition.

Let’s use our collective voices to ensure that Adriana and three daughters are able to remain in the UK so that they can live in safety. We want to see Adriana be able to finish her important and much needed research.

Welcome to the Unis Resist Border Controls website!

In the next few weeks you’ll see pieces on the blog relating to various issues concerning the hostile environment policy inside British universities. We hope that the blog can connect people and groups are who are organising and resisting border controls in higher education.

If you are interested in writing a piece for the URBC blog, please email us at: UnisResistBorderControls [at] Gmail [dot] Com.

Unis Resist Border Controls

The Hostile Environment Policy has extended the border into UK universities

The ‘hostile environment policy’  is the anti-migrant policy announced by then-Home Secretary Theresa May in 2012, though effectively in place for years previously. The policy extends border policing into universities, healthcare, schools, and other sectors, forcing workers in those sectors to enforce immigration policy. In universities, the Home Office issues directives about its policies toward international staff and students, and university management understand these directives as ‘statutory duties’ with which they must ‘comply’. Student records offices and HR departments then develop local policies and present them to staff and students as if they were created by the Home Office.

Please navigate through the site to read more about it and see how to get involved.