Criminalising refugees: the disgrace of Britain’s immigration detention centres

October 6, 2015 by  
Filed under Destitution, Indefinite detention, News

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 Harmondsworth_detention_centre  By Graham Peebles - 4th September 2015

Fleeing war, persecution and acute poverty, men, women and children have been arriving in Britain for generations. They come in search of peace: for work or education, and to build a decent life in a country were the rule of law is observed and human rights are respected.

According to Mary Bosworth, author of Inside Immigration Detention, currently the largest numbers arrive from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. They also come from Nigeria and Jamaica, and from current and recent war zones: Syria, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq. Many of those making the hazardous journey have been the victim of violence, sexual abuse and exploitation; some have mental health issues, all need to be shown tolerance, compassion and understanding. However, a significant number arriving in the UK are being incarcerated in the country’s 10 Immigration Detention Centres . Read more

Asylum Welcome briefing paper: Immigration Bill

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Asylum WelcomeAsylum Welcome briefing paper: Immigration BillAsylum Welcome Briefing Immigration Bill Sept 2015 final



Visit to Calais by Wyon Stansfeld

October 4, 2015 by  
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2015 Aug 9Visit to Calais by Wyon Stansfeld from Oxford.

I am just back from ‘the jungle’ – the camp at Calais where I have spent several days. Much of this time was spent distributing the tons of donations that so many members of the Oxfordshire public had given to Emmaus Oxford and which we took over in a van, three lutons, and a seven and a half ton lorry. Amongst the people who came over to help were 4 ex-homeless British people (whom Emmaus Oxford houses). As a result of these donations less people will go hungry and cold and more people will be protected from the rain and the strong coastal winds. Heartfelt thanks, on behalf of the people at the camp, to all of you for your generosity – and also to those of you who helped to sort, take over, and distribute. Read more

This is my face

October 3, 2015 by  
Filed under EU Borders, Members writings, News

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Faces Sallie AsheThis is my face.

From here I look on the world-

Its beauty and its horror.

With this mouth I taste the bitter and the sweet.


My lips kiss my beloved

And hold the stick of smoke which comforts me.

My ears hear sweet music, my children’s voices.

They hear the cries and voices of hatred.

And the voice of compassion.


My face is the Me you see.

Tracks of journeys,

Lines of laughter and of pain.


Don’t judge the lines,

The heavy hanging hair.

Take time to look

To listen

To hear my story.

To understand.


See me

Art-work and poetry reflecting the stories of the displaced people who arrive at Doncaster’s Conversation Club by Sallie Ashe and Denise Cann, members of Balby (Doncaster) Local Meeting



October 3, 2015 by  
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Art-work and poetry reflecting the stories of the displaced people who arrive at Doncaster’s Conversation Club by Sallie Ashe and Denise Cann, members of Balby (Doncaster) Local Meeting


Walls Sallie AsheWalls






Warm wombs. Cocoons.

What cements these walls?

Bricks of family and love. Security, trust.

Room to grow and breathe.







Cold tombs. Marooned.

What cements these walls?

Bricks of suspicion and fear.

Attitudes. Convincements of hatred.

What are we building?

Immigration Detention in the UK

September 30, 2015 by  
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2015 Sept 29 Migration ObservatoryMigration Observatory: This briefing provides an overview of immigration detention in the UK. It discusses the size of the UK’s detention facilities, the number of detainees, the average duration of detention, and the detention of children. Feb 2015.

Key Points

  • The UK immigration detention estate is one of the largest in Europe. From 2009 until the end of 2013, between 2,000 and 3,500 migrants have been in detention at any given time.
  • Around 30,000 persons entered detention in 2013 compared to approximately 29,000 persons in 2012.
  • The majority of immigration detainees are held for less than two months.
  • The single most common category of immigration detainees is people who have sought asylum in the UK at some point.
  • Over 1,000 children were detained for the purpose of immigration control in 2009, and this number was reduced to just under 130 in 2011. It rose to 240 in 2012, before falling to 228 in 2013 with the majority detained at the Cedars pre-departure accommodation facility, opened in September 2011.
  • In late 2014 the estimated average cost of detention was £97 per day Read more

Seeking Sanctuary

September 27, 2015 by  
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seeking sanctuary‘Each human life is precious in the eyes of God’ :

Seeking Sanctuary - promoting awareness of migrants near our shores and providing humanitarian assistance to migrants in Calais.

Welcome to the website of’Seeking Sanctuary’. We are a small Kent based organisation promoting awareness of the plight of migrants and asylum seekers on our doorstep in Calais and beyond. We provide humanitarian assistance for the migrants currently stranded in Calais.

‘Each human life is precious – and as many parts of the world fall into chaos we must redouble our efforts to ensure that the needs and rights of vulnerable human beings  from war torn countries who need sanctuary  are valued and respected. Our partners in Calais much appreciate the concern evident from our side of the Channel.’

Ben Bano, ‘Seeking Sanctuary”We must all learn to live together like brothers; otherwise we will die together like idiots’ (sign outside the home of Adam, a resident in the ‘jungle’) Read more

CRC: Reforming support for failed asylum seekers and other illegal migrants

September 25, 2015 by  
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CRCChurches’ Refugee Network:  HOME OFFICE CONSULTATION ON Reforming support for failed asylum seekers and other illegal migrants: 2015 CRC response

We respond to this consultation as an ecumenical network of churches engaged in ministry to asylum seekers and refugees based on our strategic location in local communities across the UK.  We believe that, in our society, collective moral concern must go alongside collective moral responsibility  -  and that Christian social and political reflection is part of the national discernment.

Our starting-point is the theological affirmation that every human being is created in God’s image.  When we treat any one with less than proper dignity and respect, we are guilty of wronging them.  This high evaluation of the worth and dignity of each human being is the indispensable context for evaluating the actions of any State, including the UK.  Each person seeking asylum is an individual, not a number, and each individual’s circumstances and claims needs proper attention. Read more

Still Human Still Here – updates

September 19, 2015 by  
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Still human still hereThe Immigration Bill: The Home Office will publish a summary of those responses in due course.
The Immigration Bill with explanatory notes can be found at:
Further Home Office documents on the Bill (including an Overarching impact assessment, Overview factsheet and Delegated powers memorandum), can be found at:

MEPs give go-ahead to relocate an additional 120,000 asylum seekers in the EU

September 18, 2015 by  
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EU Dimitris AvramopoulosPLENARY SESSION Press release - Immigration − 17-09-2015 – 11:04.An emergency proposal to relocate 120,000 asylum seekers from Italy, Greece and Hungary among EU member states was backed by Parliament on Thursday. The first temporary emergency rules for relocating an initial 40,000 over two years from Italy and Greece only were approved by Parliament on 9 September.

Parliament’s backing in record time of the European Commission’s 9 September proposal to relocate 120,000 asylum seekers sends a clear signal to EU home affairs ministers, who meet again on Tuesday 22 September, that it is high time to act and finally agree on this second emergency scheme.

Under the Commission proposal, additional 120,000 asylum seekers would be relocated from Italy (15,600), Greece (50,400) and Hungary (54,000). This number comes on top of the initial scheme to relocate 40,000 asylum seekers, approved by Parliament on 9 September and endorsed by the Justice and Home Affairs Council on 14 September The total number of people to be relocated is thus 160,000. Read more

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