Tuesday 14 March there is a debate in parliament about the issue of detention of asylum seekers.
We are trying to highlight issues around detention to MPs and any help is appreciated. Please contact your local MP to shine a spotlight on how detention is being used.
This weekend has raised several issues.
A member of our group was given a due date of the end of March by the Home Office to submit a fresh claim for asylum.
On Friday 10 March she went to report at Dallas Court Salford as requested by the Home Office.
From there she was whisked away without warning to detention at Pennine House Immigration Removal Centre at Manchester Airport, she was then transferred to Yarls Wood.
Despite having an appointment made for her by the Home Office to submit her fresh claim at the end of March, she was given removal papers to be deported 14 March 2017.
She asked several times for the staff at the IRC Pennine House to submit her papers for her (which can be done by fax when one is detained according to the .gov.uk website) and they did not.
She asked for a part 35 medical exam, due to her previous treatment and the experiences of LGBT people in detentions centres and was told that she could not have one.
The information about what to do when in Pennine House is confusing. She was given papers which included "statement of additional grounds under section 120" however in a situation such as our member was in, reading the small (and it is small) print in a legal form which is written in legal and confusing language is obstructive.
The Home Office have guidance on the situation in Uganda for Lesbian women, it is just not safe. The fear of being sent back and, being held in what can only be described as a warehouse, is inhumane. Holding individuals who are threatened with this action in an airport terminal, causes more anxiety.
Our member has committed no crime, she filed her papers and reported to Dallas court as she was told to do, she followed the rules. The Home Office appear to be trapping individuals, by only allowing people to submit papers on a set date which is AFTER the date on which they would be deported. As our member has tried to submit papers the home office should have taken this notice of submitting a fresh claim more seriously.
Detention is not the answer.
It is stressful and frightening time for the individual’s friends and supporters. For our member and her partner it was horrifying.
Please also see this Asylum Information Database report (PDF), from page 77 which raises additional more general issues with detention