Current policy, media and public opinion make it difficult or impossible for many migrants to access work, housing, education and healthcare. Meanwhile, the cost and complexity of making applications to regularise or change their immigration statuses is increasing, and drastic cuts to legal aid funding have reduced access to high-quality immigration advice. This leaves many with no income, no support and little prospect of changing their situation.
We have strong links with immigration advice drop-ins in North London that are striving to support people in this situation. Such services are hugely in demand and forced to turn people away every week. The one-off advice and ad-hoc casework they provide is essential, but they have limited capacity for substantial casework, particularly in immigration, and ongoing holistic support.
The Islington community wants to respond to this need.