The Home Office has abandoned controversial strategies to house almost 200 asylum applicants in what advocates have described as a “prison-style” camp on the website of an immigration removal centre.
Government authorities initially prepared to move the asylum seekers into portable structures surrounding to Yarl’s Wood migration elimination centre in Bedfordshire at the end of last year. Camping tents were to be set up for preparing and serving food. However in a significant U-turn, the Home Office is no longer proceeding with the plans.
The Office has dealt with installing criticism from lawyers, charities and human rights campaigners about the unsuitability of a few of its lodging for susceptible asylum candidates, who have actually run away persecution and in some cases made it through torture, and due to the fact that of Covid concerns.
The row over the Yarl’s Wood site followed a series of damning reports on conditions at two previous army barracks sites in Kent and Pembrokeshire being utilized to hold up to 600 asylum-seeking guys.
Home Office director of technique and change Deborah Chittenden validated on Tuesday that the Yarl’s Wood plan was no longer going ahead due to the fact that there was enough alternative capacity in the system to accommodate asylum seekers.
In a message to organisations sought advice from about the Yarl’s Wood plans, she wrote: “I am writing to notify you that having actually given the matter cautious consideration, the Office has decided not to continue with strategies to use the website surrounding to the existing Migration Elimination Centre for temporary lodging for asylum hunters.
” As you know we worked at pace to stand the website as part of our winter season contingency preparing to guarantee we had sufficient capability throughout the system to satisfy anticipated need. It is now clear that we do not need to utilize the additional capability at this location at this time.”
Bedford borough councillor Louise Jackson stated she believed the plans had stalled due to the fact that the large numbers on the website would not be Covid-secure. A break out of Covid with more than 120 validated cases at Napier barracks in Folkestone, which is being utilized to accommodate asylum candidates, opposed Office declares that accommodation was Covid-secure.
” The Covid management plan advanced by the Home Office was no place near adequate to avoid a break out, and I am really delighted that the government have actually seen sense and withdrawn their proposals for the Yarl’s Wood website,” stated Jackson. “I just hope that they won’t attempt to reproduce the Yarl’s Wood asylum camp elsewhere. It’s very difficult to see how accommodating individuals in this manner can ever be made safe in a pandemic.”
Mohammad Yasin, the MP for Bedford and Kempston, invited the news. He stated: “I’m relieved and thrilled that following duplicated representations from myself and Bedford district council’s public health group, consisting of Cllr Louise Jackson, the Office have been forced to drop their strategies to house asylum hunters on the Yarl’s Wood website.
” It was an awful idea to house a vulnerable group of people in hostile, improper and hazardous lodging in the middle of a pandemic using military barracks and camps in remote locations to accommodate asylum applicants, much of whom have actually survived abuse and other forms of persecution prior to fleeing their house nations. [It] is a new low for the Home Office and I will be pushing for a description for this remarkable modification in policy which is straight out of the Trump playbook.”
Clare Moseley, founder of Care4Calais, said: “This is a victory for everybody who thinks that asylum applicants should be treated with self-respect and respect.”
Lottie Hume, a caseworker at Duncan Lewis Solicitors who had introduced a legal difficulty against Office prepares for Yarl’s Wood, welcomed the news. “The plan was rushed through without due care or attention to legal obligations and the discriminatory effects. It is yet another example of the house secretary’s callous approach of providing second-rate accommodation to asylum candidates to calm and inflame anti-migrant viewpoint,” she said.
Emma Ginn, director of Medical Justice, said: “The Yarl’s Wood camp was an unconscionable concept; sticking vulnerable people in portacabins in the shadows of a notoriously ruthless migration elimination centre had all the hallmarks of a routine that had actually severely lost its method. We contact the Home Office to do the right thing and now close other unsafe and inappropriate websites such as the Napier and Penally barracks.”
Home Office minister for migration compliance, Chris Philp, stated: “The federal government has a statutory task to accommodate asylum candidates who would otherwise be destitute. Work is under method to lower the cost of the asylum system, which is under significant pressure, and we are considering a number of lodging alternatives while we fix the broken asylum system to make it firmer and fairer.”