ONE of the many unresolved issues of the labyrinth that is Brexit is the status of EU citizens currently living, working and paying taxes in the UK. On the other side of la Manche, many ex-pat Brits are worried about the sun going down on their hard-won retirement plans.
Whenever there’s a question about having to resettle, it is hard to feel settled. As in so many areas of life, it is the not-knowing that is stressful, leading to sleepless nights and an anxious mind. There is another group of people who have no idea what their future holds nor where that future might be. Out of sight and out of mind, they are the UK’s immigration detainees, and many of them are out of their minds with worry. The UK has nine secure immigration removal centres (IRCs) that hold people whose applications to be in Britain are being processed or have been refused. Many of them are asylum seekers. Some are applying for refugee status. They are classed as detainees because they are held in detention. Whatever they hope to gain, they have lost their freedom.
Earlier this year, there was a reported suicide in one IRC, the 39th death since 2000. At the time, Emma Ginn, director of the charity Medical Justice, which helps sick immigration detainees, said: ‘Year after year, investigations into these deaths reveal ongoing systemic healthcare failings. We fear that as long as these failings continue to go unaddressed there will be more deaths.’
This week, Ms Ginn talks to The War Cry. She paints a disturbing picture. Already-vulnerable people, she says, are suffering. Some are being mistreated. IRCs should be closed.
Most detainees are processed within two months. Some are held for more than a year. However long the stay, whatever their past, they deserve to be treated with respect, dignity and compassion.
The War Cry
The War Cry
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