5th July 2022



“There are individuals I see who have exhausted all routes of applying for a legitimate status including a Judicial Review”. Cllr Rabnawaz Akbar

2 min read

​A fair amount of casework I receive is associated with Immigration matters which, after initial assessment, I pass onto our MP, Sir Gerald. Hence, I took the opportunity to visit Dallas Court and meet the Manchester Community Engagement Team, Laura-Megan McKibbin and Faiza Shahid.
There are individuals I see who have exhausted all routes of applying for a legitimate status including a Judicial Review. These vulnerable individuals are then fearful to face the Immigration authorities and are easily exploited by rogue landlords, rogue employers and rogue immigration advisors, who give them a false hope of a successful application to the Home Office; they are then trapped in this vicious cycle of exploitation for years. Many have not seen their loved ones in the country of their origin for a long period and some do genuinely wish to return but do not want to be deported for fear of persecution from authorities when they return and, of course, lack of funds is a major factor too.
The role of the local Community Engagement Officers, Laura & Faiza, is to act as a point of contact for such individuals within communities who may need additional support and guidance regarding voluntary returns. Their objectives are to build trusting relationships between Immigration Enforcement and our communities across Greater Manchester. They aim to prevent abuse and exploitation of vulnerable people, who do not have a regularised Immigration status in the U.K., by providing these individuals with advice on their current status and the options available to them. Their role is also to signpost and support people who wish to proceed with the voluntary process (including financial assistance and even help in resettling in their country of origin on their return). 
I believe this is a discussion many people do not want to have but as a society we have a duty to protect the most vulnerable in our community and that includes people who, for whatever reason, have become trapped in this cycle of exploitation but wish to come out of it.

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