15 December 2017

-by Anna Yassin

Yesterday the High Court ruled that the Home Office policy on administrative removal of EEA nationals who are rough sleeping is unlawful and discriminatory.

Since 2016, the Home Office has targeted EEA nationals who are rough sleeping even if they were working or had a permanent right to reside. Under the policy, rough sleeping became an abuse of EU treaty rights and resulted in detention and forcible removal from the UK.

At Glass Door, we know of 53 guests who have been affected by this unlawful policy. As Glass Door's Immigration Project Worker, I have been assisting them by advocating on their behalf with the Home Office, ensuring they access legal advice to challenge decisions to remove, and supporting those in detention. For those guests who were detained and released, we will now support with damages claims against the Home Office for unlawful detention.

This is a significant victory for our guests who have faced the daily threat of enforcement action by the Home Office in addition to their current hardships. It also vindicates our view that criminalising those who require our support and assistance is the antithesis to addressing homelessness.

For more information, see the Guardian's coverage of the change in policy: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/dec/14/home-office-policy-deport-eu-rough-sleepers-ruled-unlawful