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Promises, promises: Tinsley House children detained by the immigration authorities

Mark Easton | 10:27 UK time, Friday, 18 December 2009

Breaking a promise to a child is a pretty mean thing to do. But it appears that the British government is struggling to keep the promises it has repeatedly made to children detained by the immigration authorities.

When inspectors paid a surprise visit to a removal centre near Gatwick in October, they found conditions had actually got worse since they last inspected the facility. Today, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons, Dame Ann Owers, described the arrangements for children at Tinsley House as "wholly unacceptable" [246Kb PDF].

Both staff and detainees talked of a "more prison-like culture" with increasingly restrictive rules. Far from honouring their pledge to treat children in a way that "promotes their welfare", the inspectors found that childcare and education had actually deteriorated. "Children", they write, "had limited access to fresh air".

Another government promise is enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to which the UK is now a full signatory. Article 37 of the convention states that the detention of a child "shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time".

However, the inspectors "were especially concerned about the detention and welfare of children held for over 72 hours":

"In the previous six months, five families a month, on average, had been detained for over 72 hours, and some had been held for many weeks."

Only last week, the Royal College of General Practitioners, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the UK Faculty of Public Health published a joint policy statement [171Kb PDF] asserting that "immigration detention of children is harmful and unacceptable" and demanding that the government "stop detaining children without delay".

President of the Royal College of General Practitioners, Dr Iona Heath, said:

"Any detention of children for administrative rather than criminal purposes causes unnecessary harm and further blights already disturbed young lives. Such practices reflect badly on all of us."

While inspecting Tinsley House, HMIP "were concerned to discover an incident where force had been used on children to effect the removal of a family":

"There was no suggestion that the children were at risk of harm to themselves or others, and no prior UK Border Agency (UKBA) authorisation was sought or given."

Clearly, the process of removal of families who have no right to stay in the UK will be an emotional and fraught experience on occasion. Government ministers stress the importance of sensitivity and compassion given their promise to ensure that children "are seen first, foremost and fully as children rather than simply migrants subject to immigration control".

In a statement, the UK Border Agency's Strategic Director of Criminality and Detention Group, David Wood responded to today's HMIP report:

"Removal centres are a necessary part of enforcing immigration control. It is vital that they are well-run, safe and secure. Detainees are cared for with respect, with access to a range of medical, educational and welfare facilities."

"We accept the conditions at Tinsley House at the time of the inspection were not ideal but we do not agree that they are wholly unacceptable for women and children. However, we are nonetheless reviewing our services."

Yet another review. You may recall a piece I wrote following the inspection of a larger removal centre, Yarl's Wood near Bedford , by the Children's Commissioner for England.

Sir Al Aynsley Green's shocking findings prompted a "review". But the promises made do not appear to have travelled from Bedfordshire to West Sussex.

Take the issue of "stinking", "stained", "caged vans", highlighted by Sir Al and apparently used to move children whose families face deportation. When the HMIP had a look at the vehicles used to transport people to Tinsley House they found that "one had a caged seating area" and another, used to transport families with children was "dirty".

Apparently driven to collect a woman and her six-year-old, it was littered with soiled tissues and food debris. "We were told by escorting staff that the vehicles based at Gatwick were only cleaned once a fortnight."

"Overall", Dame Ann concludes, "this is a deeply depressing report". She suggests that the focus of staff has been on a new and neighbouring facility called Brook House. "Tinsley House has become almost an afterthought", the inspectors suggest, "housing some poorly cared for children and a small number of scared and isolated single women".

Their conclusion? "This is more than a missed opportunity - it is a wholly unacceptable state of affairs."

Update 1104: A Home Office spokesman has responded to the HMIP concerns about the vehicles used to transport families and children to and from Tinsley House:

"Family friendly vehicles are used for the majority of journeys that involve families. However, there are some exceptional circumstances - in which for example a risk assessment has indicated that a parent or older child may be disruptive - where we have to use more secure vehicles. This is extremely rare."

Comments

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  • 1. At 11:16am on 18 Dec 2009, John Ellis wrote:

    This is a total shambles why are these children being put through this, would we treat our own children the same way..... Imagine the outrage if a child in our care system was moved in such a way in filth and squalor social services would be up against the wall within minutes.

    maybe we should look at not just child fostering but family fostering.

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  • 2. At 12:00pm on 18 Dec 2009, Doctor Bob wrote:

    Why is there always such a delay in returning illegal immigrants to wherever they came from? Surely the process itself can be streamlined?
    The system MUST be a shambles but then it was put together by politicians. Once someone is identified as an illegal immigrant surely they can be put on the next plane back.

    Shameful.

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  • 3. At 12:24pm on 18 Dec 2009, Gary Hay wrote:

    Good Blog post Mark.

    What can I write about this? Well, I'm torn on the issue, quite frankly.

    I'm neither a supporter of the government - nor an advocate of it's immigration policy that allowed the ensuing thousands to seek refuge in this country.

    Now that they are here and we have to deal with them - what are our options? Spend millions on better facilities for them - after all - they have done little more than seek to make a better life for themselves - hardly a crime that warrants detention.

    Well, we could spend millions, but then couldn't we spend the same amount of money ensuring that pensioners and families in this country on low incomes don't struggle with heating and food bills over the winter and far beyond?

    What about the charitable institutions up and down the country that have had to close down because local funding has been cut in the aftermath of the recession? (the recession thats still ongoing here, though not in "insolvent Ireland")

    Or - we could let them all go - just release a few thousand more 3rd worlders into the quagmire of unemployment, depression and squalor we've found ourselves in. Have an extra few thousand mouths to feed on an already over stretched, overfunded and chronically abused welfare state.

    Cynical you say? Being the season of goodwill I should be ashamed - no doubt - for speaking sense and telling the truth about the pitiful state our so called "United" Kingdom is in. What have I or any of you to show for 28 years of living in this midden as a working man or woman?

    Unrestricted immigration has broken the back of the working classes in this country. No-one wants to live in a community where someone else from somewhere else gets the same as them simply by turning up for it. Like Marx's fatal flaw, the individual will always value itself more than the collective.

    Apply this to our society and we see a generation of mini-imperialists - intent on demanding the rights they percieve they should have - like the right to work (which I agree with) or the right to have copious broods of children they can't afford to feed (I DON'T agree with)

    This is in no way sustainable. We can't go on this way and to remain in denial about it like the political classes have will doom us all to a future far less rosier than the futures first imagined by those immigrants.

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  • 4. At 12:32pm on 18 Dec 2009, kaybraes wrote:

    Surely it's best to keep the children with their own family, considering the record of our social services it is safer to keep them away from kids. Why detention is necessary is questionable, if these people are here illegally,and have been refused asylum, they should be removed immediately to the country they embarked from instead of being held here at the taxpayers expense. We are not responsible for the trauma being experienced by these children , their parents , who are dragging them around the world , are.

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  • 5. At 1:00pm on 18 Dec 2009, jon112dk wrote:

    Yes, quite awful that foreign children are in these detention centres, at UK taxpayer expense.

    * Their parents should not have brought them illegally into the country.

    * Their parents should not have kept them in the country after they knew it was illegal.

    * Their parents should have left the country immediately, without need for detention or force, when they were told to do so.


    None of this is necessary if the illegal parents complied with the law.

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  • 6. At 5:04pm on 18 Dec 2009, Mincepie Murderer wrote:

    The children are undoubtedly the innocent victims in all this. But they, and their parents, aren't Britain's problem. As jon112uk points out, any blame should be laid squarely at the feet of the parents.

    Why the need for lengthy detentions in the first place? Tighten up the endless appealling that's currently allowed. If these families are illegal, pick them up and transport them straight to the nearest airport ready for the next flight out.



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  • 7. At 5:07pm on 18 Dec 2009, pkvanderbyl wrote:

    Lets be quite clear. These children are here illegally. They should be returned to their country of origin forthwith.If they are held in secure accommodation for long periods of time then it their fault or that of their parents for abusing the immigration system. People should remember that those who break the law as these people have should expect little or indeed no sympathy.

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  • 8. At 6:37pm on 18 Dec 2009, SuperJulianR wrote:

    These families are not prisoners. They are detained because if they are not held captive they will abscond. They are illegal immigrants and they are therefore free to leave and go home whenever they like.

    Make no mistake, these families choose to stay here, and the parents obviously prefer to inflict these conditions on their children than take them home. I have sympathy with the children but none at all with the parents who will all knowingly have broken the law to get here.

    After all, why should these law breakers get favoured treatment over millions of other people from third world countries who would love to come to the UK but would not stoop to breaking our laws to do so?

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  • 9. At 8:43pm on 18 Dec 2009, iNotHere wrote:

    Surely the issue here isn't the fact that they are illegal immigrants but the fact that we as a nation are condoning the ill-treatment of children. The reason they held in the first place is because nobody wants to pay for their flight out of this country. Their country of origin won't pay or take them, we won't pay, so a country has to be found for them. I understand all that but to transport and then keep them in inhumane conditions that cause psychological damage to children is outrageous and disgusting and just proves what an inhuman lot we have not only in government but in the population as a whole nowadays, where are the protests, does our society REALLY subscribe to the daily mail attitudes??

    It was this government that relaxed immigration in the first place, now they are reaping the rewards but they can't even have the decency to treat these people with a bit of humanity. Some of these children are born here, this is the only life they know and it isn't THEIR fault their parents are living here illegally. Mark my words we are storing up a LOT of resentment/hatred for the future. What goes around comes around, it WILL come back to haunt us one day!

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  • 10. At 10:39pm on 18 Dec 2009, watriler wrote:

    The children are not illegal immigrants but their parents may be. Should the 'sins' of the parents be visited on the children. It is surely a risk worth taking to not bang the family up because there are doubts about a minority of the parents. There will be abuse but it would be far from universal.

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  • 11. At 11:21am on 19 Dec 2009, John Ellis wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 12. At 12:05pm on 19 Dec 2009, Gary Hay wrote:

    #11

    Cat calling does no-one any favours. Proffer your tuppence on what should be done to solve this crisis instead of deprecating someone who has an opinon.

    Too many debates in this country are closed down by flippant catch-all quips like your's -

    "If you talk about immigration you're a racist" - "If you don't believe in climate change you're raping mother earth"

    You people make me sick.



    Your

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  • 13. At 1:40pm on 19 Dec 2009, John Ellis wrote:

    #12 Yawn...
    then such sweeping statements must not be made " at UK taxpayer expense."
    This dose not represent my view as a tax payer. I merely summed up the actual personal feeling hidden behind a common name 'the UK tax payer'.

    As a UK tax payer I you and everyone else are responsible for the out comes of our political manipulation of the world, illegal immigration is one of the symptoms.

    How we treat this people will go one to reflect how much money will be required to defend our country from terrorist organisations.

    It would be nice to see figures of illegals from war torn countries were we have had our fingers in the pie.

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  • 14. At 1:43pm on 19 Dec 2009, iNotHere wrote:

    @#5 "None of this is necessary if the illegal parents complied with the law."


    I would hope that it was plainly unnecessary to treat ANYBODY like these people are being treated. Our government opens the door and encourages hundreds, if not thousands to make the precarious journey to our shores in the hope of a better life for themselves and their families (if WE were in the their position we would do the same to help our kids I'm sure).

    We ALL know their parents are here illegally does that REALLY mean they have to be treated like cattle? Aren't we supposed to be a civilised country? Isn't our humanity measured by the way we treat people less fortunate than ourselves? If the government believes that by treating people abominably it will deter them from wanting to come back they have a very warped collective mind and I find that despicable. All of us should thank our lucky stars that we were born into a Western culture rather than a third world one.

    We can all criticise while we sit in our nice warm houses with our pc's and other luxuries, bit different if you are in that position.
    There but for the grace of God go I.

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  • 15. At 3:31pm on 19 Dec 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    8 superjulian
    "Make no mistake, these families choose to stay here, and the parents obviously prefer to inflict these conditions on their children than take them home."

    Which makes you wonder what sort of home life they had before leaving.

    The parents are technically guilty of breaking the immigration laws, but in effect they are simply trying to make the best future for their children.

    Who among you can say you would not do the same?

    As the standard of living gap widens between the developed and developing world there will be more and more illegal immigration.

    Who is to pay to repatriate them - we won't, their country won't and they can't .... so what's the solution.

    I don't claim to have any answers, but the current system is too slow and too complicated. If we want to get rid of them we must pay for it ... or else we have to let them stay.

    By the way, I'm not some fluffy "let 'em all in" leftie, and I agree with some of the comments about why we can't help our own poor and disenfranchised yet spend money on the illegals .... that also angers me enormously, but demonising illegal immigrants and their children is not the answer.

    As inothere wrote "Isn't our humanity measured by the way we treat people less fortunate than ourselves?"

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  • 16. At 9:36pm on 19 Dec 2009, firemensaction wrote:

    The treatment of children by our govt. breaches the UN Human rights Charter big time:
    Art.1 All human beings are born free & equal in dignity and rights.
    Art.2 Everyone is entitled to all the rights & freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind.
    Art.3 Everyone has a right to life, liberty and security of person.
    Art.5 No-one shall be subjected to torture or Cruel,Inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
    Art.6 Right to recognition as a person before the law,
    Art.7 Equal with a right of equal protection before the law.
    Art.8 Right to effective legal remedy for acts violating their fundamental Human Rights.
    Art.9 No-one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
    Art.10 Right to a fair & impartial hearing to determine validity of charges against him.
    Art.11. Right to presumption of Innocence and right to fair trail.
    No-one shall be held guilty of any offence on account of any act or ommission which did not constitute a penal offence.
    Art.12 Guarantee of freedom for family life.
    Art.13 Everyone has the right to seek residence/freedom of movement within the borders of each state.
    Art 14. Right to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution.
    Art.17 No-one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
    Art.18 Right to freedom of expression.

    So, it seems, from reading the article, that our government has totally ignored, when framing legislation, the basic tenets of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is aware of the way children are being treated, in imprisonment, and from the list of rights violations listed above, are, as a country on a par it seems with the most barbaric regimes in the world when it comes to contravention of human rights within UK boundaries.
    Perhaps we should be caring less about climate change, and more about the way our justice system has degraded since 1997.

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  • 17. At 11:04pm on 19 Dec 2009, clamdip lobster claws wrote:

    You guys are forgetting one simple fact. Your government lets in immigrants to depress wages. It's just another form of destroying a countries institutions like the economy, marriage, education, healthcare.
    This is planned degradation so that citizens will look more and more to their governments for help. Its a power grab.

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  • 18. At 03:32am on 20 Dec 2009, clamdip lobster claws wrote:

    Furthermore, when globalization happens it won't matter what country you're from. You'll make the same salary as any other worker.

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  • 19. At 1:13pm on 20 Dec 2009, elfrieda wrote:

    Why when we know these familys are illegal are they still here ! stop the lawyers from making a sackful of money from unending appeals , illegal means just that breaking the law of this country , it is sad but if we let every single person in illegal and legal this island will sink , we are already seeing signs of discontent from the British people , who can blame them our country is not multicultural as our MP`S would have us believe , just go to some of the towns up north its like another country and people do not mix , ok some do a few we are just msking enclaves them and us , it will not end well .

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  • 20. At 2:44pm on 20 Dec 2009, xTunbridge wrote:

    Never been on this site before, quite divergent views from compassion to BNP type comments.

    According to the BBC news the police went to a house looking for a man who wasnt there. So, presumeably as any pinch will get em in the station for hours, they took a woman and child who were there.

    A police station is supposed to be a place of safety and the police owe a duty of care to anyone they have taken there. That their intentions were good, in trying to get the child cared for away from the station,
    do not really matter when they make a pigs ear of following that through.

    Could they not have asked the mother to identify the person who claimed the child? Ever tried to collect a parcel from a Courier firm ? They dont give out mobile phones as easily as the police gave this child away.
    As the mother is now out on bail was this all worth it ?

    Yes there must be some connection for the "abductor" to know about the
    arrest and that the child was to be collected by a certain named person.
    In fact it is hard to see why the trail isnt as wide as the M1. But perhaps nobody from the Ghanaian community will help the police in case the police see them as an easy pinch as well.

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  • 21. At 6:56pm on 20 Dec 2009, clamdip lobster claws wrote:

    My only point being that if the government allows undocumented immigrants they need to own the problem and not keep people in a perpetual state of limbo. Not having clearly defined immigration laws and enforcement and not having harsh penalties on companies that hire illegals they are inviting problems to their doorstep. The government shouldn't sit on a fence. They should make a commitment one way or the other.

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  • 22. At 7:05pm on 20 Dec 2009, clamdip lobster claws wrote:

    I'm not suggesting either that immigration leads to degradation as I'm a child of an immigrant. Immigration needs to be carefully metered since it puts a lot of strain on public institutions like healthcare and education. In America its reached crisis levels as people in emergency rooms can often wait up to 36 hours to be treated. To me, this represents a public health crisis and should be intolerable.

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  • 23. At 8:13pm on 20 Dec 2009, mildenhalljohn wrote:

    Is it not a rather bold statement that this Government promised these children.. Nobody should lose sight of the fact that these asylum seekers are here because of the alleged injusticies of their home land. They, apparantly, fled utter tyrany to come to this country where they present a list of complaints as long as a wet week to the authorities who will expect the taxpayer to fund these shortcomings. The true refugees were the Jews who fled Nazi persecution during WW2. They were only too thankful for asylum and safety. One gets the impression that todays asylum seekers consider themselves worse off in this country than their own

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  • 24. At 05:51am on 21 Dec 2009, Moorilim wrote:

    The word 'illegal' is very loosely used in some of theese responses. Under our law, a person has a legal right to seek asylum in this country if they are in danger of persecution in their own lands, particularly if that persecution arises out of racial, religious or political discrimination. It is not uncommon for people to flee to the UK because they fear that they, or their loved ones are going to die, or be tortured, or suffer ongoing persecution. It is so easy for people, from the comfort of a stable, reasonably fair country, to indulge in blanket condemnation. Perhaps it is a lack of imagination. I'm safe and secure so I don't have to imagine what it's like to have to flee for my life, or the life of my children, or wife. Many people who have done this type of life-saving escape don't have papers, don't have proofs of what has happened; it takes time to sort out the facts. Many are wrongly denied asylum status and the 'unnecessary' appeals process is created to prevent a miscarriage of justice. The UK does not desire to send innocent people back to die or be tortured or persecuted so it has an appeals process. Some of the issues that are being faced here result from the need to have families cared for while matters are being investigated. These people are not criminals, have not committed a crime. They are not 'illegal' immigrants until it is decided that they have no case for asylum. Some comments here assume that people are criminals because they are in detention. Often they are victims, traumatised, isolated, wounded people who come from backgrounds we nice, safe comfortable westerners don't seem to have enough imagination to comprehend, and don't seem to have enough compassion to want to understand. Privilege (our security) should not inure us to the reality of a very cruel world, and we are foolish if we imagine we can be isolated from it.

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  • 25. At 09:29am on 21 Dec 2009, angelscomeinthrees wrote:

    Unfortunately the authorities go for soft targets when it comes to 'cracking down' on 'illegal' immigration - women and children. Getting to the UK isn't easy and is a measure of the amount of hardship and suffering that people go through before deciding to come here. The way in which these incredibly vulnerable people are treated makes me ashamed of my country.

    One final thought - children who are born in the UK who are 'at risk' or abused in some way - is that not the fault of the parents? Yet no-one argues that society has a duty to step in and care for these children. So why should our society not do the same for those who are here because their parents are trying to get a better future for them?

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  • 26. At 09:36am on 21 Dec 2009, Angel_in_Transit wrote:

    I applaud this item for what it demonstrates to all UK citizens, that our country is failing in its duty to protect our borders properly and deal with young children in an appropriate manner.

    Illegal migrants to this country must be stopped at point of entry, or failing that, deported without delay on discovery. The children of such migrants must not become pawns in moral arguments or political game playing, and those trying to exploit our appallingly lax methods must understand that before they arrive here. That is how you can stop this mess. Ministers must be responsible or resign and let someone who can do the job do it.

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  • 27. At 10:07am on 21 Dec 2009, angelscomeinthrees wrote:

    I wonder how many people on this blog know who will be responsible for their Christmas dinners and other goodies that they will be enjoying over the coming week? Who do you think gets their hands dirty picking the vegetables and plucking your farm fresh turkeys? I live in a rural area and local people simply will not do this work; those who are unemployed prefer to live on benefits. Our local economy relies on migrant workers to harvest labour-intensive vegetables and fruit and to undertake the unpleasant jobs such as plucking and dressing poultry, and without their hard work there would be a shortage of food in the shops and much of it would be left to rot.

    The major problem with mmigartion into this country is with those who come in legally, either as students or who use the Human Rights act to gain entry via marriage.

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  • 28. At 10:33am on 21 Dec 2009, Angel_in_Transit wrote:

    #27

    Quote: "Our local economy relies on migrant workers to harvest labour-intensive vegetables and fruit and to undertake the unpleasant jobs such as plucking and dressing poultry, and without their hard work there would be a shortage of food in the shops and much of it would be left to rot."

    If it were simply a matter of "local economy" then it may be easy to justify short term economic migration but there is an argument that says "if we did not have so many mega-supermarkets we wouldn't have poorly paid jobs that cannot sustain the families of the indigenous unemployed". Cheap food seems like a consumer paradise except for those actually involved in the whole process of getting the food to the table. The same is true in any processes - cheap labour comes at a very steep "hidden cost" to all of us. And economic migrants add dearly to that "hidden cost". The migrants are blameless, but we and our politicians are not. Illegal migrants are one of any number of avoidable "hidden costs" but, unfortunately, we run an "out of sight, out of mind" economy.

    Jobs must not only reflect their worth to our economy but must also pay enough to be attractive to those caught in our age old benefit trap. We cannot keep on justifying poor fixed incomes and low wages in order to have a "cheap and cheerless" underclass propping up the rest.



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  • 29. At 10:53am on 21 Dec 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    21 clamdip
    "Not having clearly defined immigration laws and enforcement and not having harsh penalties on companies that hire illegals "

    .... or even harsh penalties on Attorney Generals!!! ;-)

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  • 30. At 12:11pm on 21 Dec 2009, angelscomeinthrees wrote:

    # 28 I'm not just talking about cheap food - we have a friend who produces free-range birds for the luxury market who pays wages to match and he relies almost entirely on migrant labour. The plain fact is that here in Mid Anglia at any rate local unemployed people won't work on the farms; in fact if you search this site there still might be a report on this, complete with kids in Peterborough talking about how signing on is better than working on the farms and laughing at those who do. Cheap food and cheap labour is only part of the story. When I was growing up people travelled around the UK to wherever there was work; now they stay put and sign on, and the gap has to be filled from somewhere. One of the biggest costs to the economy is the amount of money earned that is then sent out of the country to be spent elsewhere - mostly in Eastern Europe - which is income that in the past would have been spent here. But Eastern Europeans are here entirely legally - and word from employers, not just farmers I know is that even though they get paid the same as UK-born workers, they don't arrive with a list of jobs they will or won't do, don't have hangovers and don't spend half the day sending text messages or talking about their boyfriends. Until the UK work ethic improves then many employers will have to rely on migrant workers in order to keep up supply.

    The area of immigration that most urgently needs adressing is that by which the relatives of someone who marries a UK citizen automaticaly get right of entry as enshrined in the Human Rights Act. It is a system open to abuse in so many ways. Also the way in which universities take huge numbers of students from abroad needs looking at, not least because many institutons are bogus. These situations are very different from thsoe where people are feeling abuse, racial tension and hardship.

    However immigration affects our country, good or bad, nothing justifies the conditions in which these children are kept or the fact that they are used to get at their parents.

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  • 31. At 12:19pm on 21 Dec 2009, angelscomeinthrees wrote:

    That should be 'fleeing' abuse.

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  • 32. At 5:45pm on 21 Dec 2009, Angel_in_Transit wrote:

    #30

    People still move around looking for work in the UK; indeed they still move around Europe looking for work. But, regretfully, work is scarce unless perhaps you are prepared to work in the sex trade. It is a common phenomena in recessions; it is well known that many employers will only take on migrant labour because they do not argue, are short term, and often go missing in the paperwork.

    Employers want fat profit margins and the easiest and softest targets are workers who know that a job may last barely five minutes if they do not do whatever they are asked - legal or illegal. It has been an employers market for far too long. When I left school I had a choice of six jobs, all well paid. Nowadays a kid will be very lucky if they get six job offers in their whole lives. We desperately need full employment and we are never going to make that happen within the EU.

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  • 33. At 8:43pm on 21 Dec 2009, angelscomeinthrees wrote:

    #32 Do UK-born people really move around the country looking for work? To London maybe, or the other big cities, but not here. We get more Australian backpackers looking for work than fellow Brits. I do agree that people move around the EU, which is why Thetford has such a large Portuguese community.

    As it happens I agree about membership of the EU, I don't think that anyone within the EU should have the right to work here, but until the UK-born population is willing to work at jobs that they currently think beneath them and realise that a life on benefits isn't something to be proud of then someone is going to have to step in to fill the gap. I left school in the 1980s and had a choice of free!!! university education or a couple of jobs in London with private health care and pension schemes. The fact that my kids will never have the same start in life isn't only down to immigration.

    But do you know what? I think we've got enough to spare to give a bit to famillies fleeing god knows what, to treat them decently until it is decided if they can stay here or not. Let's face it, even if they are gievn refugee status that only lasts for five years, so they'll soon be sent back to whatever hell they've run from.

    Whether they are here legally or not, whether they are claiming asylum (in which case they are here legally until it is decided whether their claim is 'genuine' or not), or have paperwork that has expired or is unclear, or whatever, surely we can treat people in the way we would wish our loved ones to be treated. It doesn't hurt to treat little children well, or to give pregnant women (and girls many rape victims) a bit of support.

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  • 34. At 9:03pm on 21 Dec 2009, Agi69 wrote:

    British Imperialism is alive and well. Daily Mail readers are out in force on this one. Let me inject a bit of leftist bias into this thread first of all by saying Welcome to the 21st Century Britain, globalized capitalism is the word! I do not see how people here can say it is not their fault that these people are here? We are more than happy to see these "illegal" people through our TV screens, in their own countries, being artificially kept in poverty so we can consume more of the cheap crap they are forced to produce for our all-so-smug capitalist pleasure. How many of you are happy shoppers at Primark and other ethically dubious retailers to save a quid on stuff that you do not really want or need? Or remember Gary Glitter and the thousands who take foreign sex holidays to buy children, since paedophilia is illegal here? Or how many of you guys buy foreign girls for sex on a trip into one of these so-called "underdeveloped" countries perhaps thinking it is actually charity work? The problems of these scary, faceless immigrants are bred and produced here since centuries, if you can lay your head on your pillow at night thinking I am morally ok, I have nothing to do with this think again! You are playing an active part in a political economic system that thrives on the production of Third World human misery! By the way, the same system is taking away your jobs and shipping them abroad so you can buy back the same cheap shit but making the capitalist who produces them that much richer! Many so-called working class people would not do the jobs these people are willing to do to stay here. Not all of those people are unskilled workers after working class jobs. Many of them are doctors and well educated people running away from politically manufactured problems that are heavily sponsored by the West. Some of them want a better life, some of them just want to live. Whether we like it or not we are part of the production of their misery. To turn around and say I have nothing to do with them is just pure ignorance. These political and economic systems we live in and help to maintain and the dirty dealings of governments make sure, at least for the moment, that the so-called "developed" countries remain just that, a step ahead recklessly and selfishly overindulging and consuming their way through the literal and imaginary corpus of the rest of the "underdeveloped" world. Have you done all your ethical Christmas shopping yet? A little human compassion would go a long way especially the recognition that these "illegals" are all illegals because of political decisions and not because they have no place on this boat, and they are all individuals who are fallouts of a corrupt and badly run capitalist world and not criminals who want to steal our precious capitalist lifestyle that, for some reason, many of us here seem to think we are entitled to at their expense! Enjoy your hopefully ethically produced and Fairtrade Christmas!

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  • 35. At 00:39am on 22 Dec 2009, Wrinklyoldgit wrote:

    So where should detainees and their children be housed while their immigration status and their right to stay or be deported is determined - a penthouse suite in Mayfair, the Ritz Carlton Hotel, or why not use some of the hundreds of empty rooms in Buckingham Palace? Or even put them into the empty houses of politicians claiming the second home allowance, now theres a thought that would go down well with voters.

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  • 36. At 08:45am on 22 Dec 2009, angelscomeinthrees wrote:

    # 34 Agi, I agree with much of what you say - it has nothing to do with right or left wing, just plain human decency. What Primark do is shocking, they are the fashion equivalent of Ratners, not only exploiting their workers but the resources of the planet and the people who buy their stuff in the belief that it is okay to chuck it in the bin after a couple of wearings. However, I'm not so sure about the 'cheap crap' coments, as though the quality stuff is made in the West and the developing world are just churning out rubbish. The reason that so many British companies moved their manufacturing overseas was because they could get the *same* quality for a fraction of the cost - think Dyson or Start-rite. Yes, there is a lot of junk made too, but not exclusively.

    The whole notion of 'ethical shopping' is fraught with difficulty. Fairtrade KitKats? A relative of mine works voluntarily as a board member of a charity that was offered free baby milk for babies in Africa whose mothers have AIDS by Nestle. They turned it down because they ddn't want to upset their supporters in the UK, had to fund the milk themselves and therefore used money that could have been spent elsewhere. And as a mother of three I can tell you that there comes a time when a Fairtade, sustainably-sourced wooden train no longer cuts the mustard as a great present.

    Part of my job involves sourcing and selling Fairtrade products to my clients, and although the people that I buy from get a very fair price it is still a tiny amount compared to what their workmanship would bring if they were UK based. But then their products would fall into the bracket of 'luxury' goods and very few would be able to enjoy them. Which of course brings us back to Primark, and the way in which they tap into the unhappiness of so many by giving them the momentary thrill of buying something to make them happy. Ethical fashion doesn't come cheap, and people want to feel good about themselves, however fleetingly.

    Sometimes people will have fled their homes because of conditions that are related to Western policies, sometimes not. It makes no difference. There is no point in sending money for my ethical gifts or supporting Amnesty if I turn a blind eye to the fact that my country cannot treat even the most vulnerable with a minimum of decency. It makes no difference where these people come from, they are our kin by the fact of our common humanity we shoudl treat them as such.

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  • 37. At 09:22am on 22 Dec 2009, Tim wrote:

    Let's be very clear about one thing: the taxpayer money being spent on this issue is not wasted! Every last penny is being spent to maintain our country's economic status.

    We have manufactured a situation where our country is so incredibly wealthy compared to others that just to get here and work illegally, people are prepared to travel thousands of miles, using up all of their life savings and risking death in the process. The uncomfortable truth is that many of the upright, self-righteous citizens commenting here would do the same for their families in the same situation.

    The solution we find is border control and deportation. This is achieved at the lowest cost without compromising the moral values, that we, as a rich nation, have the luxury of harbouring. The issue here is that the conditions in which children are held have fallen well below that minimum standard.

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  • 38. At 09:56am on 22 Dec 2009, ecolizzy wrote:

    I have a radical suggestion, we should let everyone who wants to live here, just walk straight on in. Britain will soon disolve into a shambles, there will be no education, or health service, just everybody fighting each other to maintain a third world way of life. I read so many do gooders whining about these poor people, the world is getting worse and worse with a complete breakdown of social structures. Many, many millions are on the move, it won't be long before the gun or the knife will be the only way of living. And of coure it is all Britains fault, we are the pariah of the world.

    I wish people would have a little imagination and realise where we are all headed.

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  • 39. At 10:13am on 22 Dec 2009, angelscomeinthrees wrote:

    ~38 No one is talking about letting everyone in to the UK who wants to come. This is about treating children decently, not treating them like animals or caging them like criminals.

    Why do you think 'many millions' are on the move? It's to escape the knife and the gun, not to perpetuate it. And until we can own the part we have played in creating a world so unequal that 20% of its population have 80% of its wealth and try to address that, people will keep on coming to the UK because compared to the rest of the word we ive like kings. Can we really blame peopel for wanting health care or education for their children?

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  • 40. At 10:13am on 22 Dec 2009, jon112dk wrote:

    34. At 9:03pm on 21 Dec 2009, Agi69

    Most of the asylum seekers I meet come from the socialist paradise of Zimbabwe.

    Means of production owned by the state. Not a single primark factory (nor any other horrid economic activity for that matter).

    Strangely they don't seem too keen to return to the alleged benefits of the socialist system.

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  • 41. At 10:33am on 22 Dec 2009, Angel_in_Transit wrote:

    #34

    I very much warmed to your opening sentences, but, then, it all goes pear shaped! Do you not understand that treating immigrants with compassion is all part of dealing with the symptoms and not the problem?

    You exit on Fairtrade without acknowledging its many faults, not least the fact that it needs to exist at all! Within the UK there is not fair trade, given that anyone giving their labour is "trading".

    The world has grown into a cold, cynical, and vapid capitalist model where you may just as well bear a stamp, brand or tattoo somewhere on your body to denote which "order" you were born to. Look at those who have made their millions or billions (from nothing ha, ha, ha) and compare and contrast what they were when they started and what they are now.

    The world of capitalism doesn't want diversity, freedom, or equality but it does want you, I and everyone else to THINK that they want it! We should know the nightmare by now; at least the migrants have the excuse that they didn't know any better.

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  • 42. At 10:37am on 22 Dec 2009, John Ellis wrote:

    Its good to see so many posts that understand why. :)
    socialist paradise of Zimbabwe, lmao how can you compair them to a free socialist paradise. they are but infants in the political and comercial worlds.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zimbabwe_Rhodesia

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  • 43. At 11:09am on 22 Dec 2009, angelscomeinthrees wrote:

    #41 I agree that treating immigrants with compassion only helps teh symptoms, but that is no excuse not to do it. Treating people without compassion dehumanises us all.

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  • 44. At 11:23am on 22 Dec 2009, angelscomeinthrees wrote:

    Socialism is no more the answer than capitalism is. Neither bring freedom and both rely on dehumanising the majority of people in order to be successful.

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  • 45. At 11:39am on 22 Dec 2009, Angel_in_Transit wrote:

    #43

    If there was a market for compassion then the migrants wouldn't exist - would they? If you spent a day as a border control agent, or an immigration official you would understand that in every case there are reasons to be compassionate. Unfortunately misplaced compassion also diminishes the effectiveness of law and order. These officials have a very fine line to tread.

    I have spent time in a detention centre at Kidlington, visiting a friend who had spent five years in the UK illegally. During that time he had held down work continuously all for employers who were ripping him off. In my books the employers should have been deported but that is not what the law requires. My friend was deported despite my support for his case. It was and is not a stroll through Sentimental Park.

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  • 46. At 12:27pm on 22 Dec 2009, angelscomeinthrees wrote:

    Treating people with compassion doesn't necessarily mean allowing them to stay in the UK. There is no reason though why people claiming asylum shoudln't be able to work or study rather than live on reduced benefits; they can make a contribution to our society whilst their claim is decided. There is also no reason to lock up children in cages, or deny them the basics of fresh air and an education. At least when these families are deported they could look at our authorities and say they got good treatment from them - what am I saying, in my dreams. I once watched a documentary about the immigration departments' work, I will never forget the children kicking and screaming as they were dragged away from their parents - again, children being used as a weapon against their parents. It's nothing to do with sentiment, it's just what you'd want for your kids, for your brother or sister, for your mum and dad, right?

    As for employers who exploit migrant labour - legal and illegal - it so obvious what should happen, but it would take a huge amount of political will. But again, greedy, unscrupulous employers do not justify the inhumane treatment of children, regardless of their immigration status.

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  • 47. At 12:50pm on 22 Dec 2009, Angel_in_Transit wrote:

    #46

    Kids are "dragged away kicking and screaming from their parents" when the parents are UK citizens. It happens daily, and it isn't pleasant, and for every kid who gets a "nice second home" there is one that doesn't. Of course it isn't justifiable but it happens, and our blessed media putting it on our TV screens does not make it "unacceptable". What makes it unacceptable is the lack of accountability amongst nation states who push migrants wherever they think they'll be a "compassionate official" who will not move them on again.

    The human trafficking trade is run by criminals, not a cosy altruistic nanny who wants their "grandchildren" to have a better life. They are not going to tell the migrants what awaits them as they hand their "hard earned" cash over. My friend paid money to get to the UK; there was an "agency" here and they fixed him up with accommodation and a job - all at an additional cost which he would have to work to repay. He was told in no uncertain terms what would happen to him if he tried to "go it alone".

    He came here with a gorgeous girlfriend, separated on arrival and who he never saw again. Whilst in the UK he fathered two children with two separate girlfriends, being forced to move on after each. He will probably never see his kids again.

    Our officials, for what they are worth, know what goes on and they also know they are outnumbered and out-resourced. And we are an island state! Governments are unwilling or unable to help the ordinary person; our law favours those who "know someone"; our law enforcement agencies have too many other symptoms of our "out of sight, out of mind" economy to go chasing a Mafia so clever, slick and deeply embedded that what happen to the children inside the detention centres is infinitely better than what happens to them outside.

    Get real.

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  • 48. At 1:45pm on 22 Dec 2009, angelscomeinthrees wrote:

    #47 Oh come off it. You seriously think I don't know what happens to kids in care? About people trafficking?

    How does any of that justify not letting immigrant children have access to fresh air and the basics of an education? Is it really beyond our authorities to give people decent living conditions whilst deciding whether they can stay here or not?

    We are talking about people who have alreadxy had their basic humanity degraded. Why should we degrade them further?

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  • 49. At 2:14pm on 22 Dec 2009, jon112dk wrote:

    48. At 1:45pm on 22 Dec 2009, angelscomeinthrees wrote:
    ..."We are talking about people who have alreadxy had their basic humanity degraded. Why should we degrade them further?"
    ==========================

    They choose to be here, they been asked/told to leave the country. They choose to hang on, including the cynical use of children as a tool to resist. The responsibility for educating etc. the kids should rest with the parents and their own country - not the country they have illegally entered.

    They can leave at any time - just so long as they go back to their own country.

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  • 50. At 2:31pm on 22 Dec 2009, John Ellis wrote:

    yes they choose to come here but why?
    todays news for africa.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/default.stm

    brief history

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/country_profiles/1072164.stm#facts

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  • 51. At 2:50pm on 22 Dec 2009, angelscomeinthrees wrote:

    Yes, well apparently these days we can't run to a bit of grass for the kids to run around on and some crayons.

    Jon - we look after the kids of criminals. So we should these children. None of what has happened is their fault. If they are in detention then they aren't free to leave, are they?

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  • 52. At 3:23pm on 22 Dec 2009, jon112dk wrote:

    51. At 2:50pm on 22 Dec 2009, angelscomeinthrees wrote:
    ..."Jon - we look after the kids of criminals. So we should these children. None of what has happened is their fault. If they are in detention then they aren't free to leave, are they?"
    =======================

    Yes, they are free to leave - they can stop resisting and get on a plane (almost) any day.

    I'm not unsympathetic towards the children (or the adults for that matter, I speak with people from Zimbabwe virtually every day and what is happening there is dreadful)

    I just think that the responsibility for the children lies with their parents who should not be here illegally and should go when they have been told to leave.

    If the UK government is to take any action about the situation created by their parents then it should not be yet more money on crayons or grass. Action by the UK government should be to end the drawn out process of appeals and game playing. Catch them today, deport them tomorrow, no need for detention centres.

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  • 53. At 3:46pm on 22 Dec 2009, angelscomeinthrees wrote:

    But then no-one gets the right to be heard, do they? We cannot simply deport someone without knowing why they have come here and what they have suffered. We do give asylum to refugees, to people who have suffered torture, rape, or who are at risk of the death penalty because of their race, political belief or sexuality. Today it might be Zimbabwe but it wasn't that long ago people were fleeing ethnic cleansing in mainland Europe, and we are kidding ourselves if we think it could never ne UK citizens who are in the same boat.

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  • 54. At 3:51pm on 22 Dec 2009, ecolizzy wrote:

    #39 And until we can own the part we have played in creating a world so unequal that 20% of its population have 80% of its wealth and try to address that, people will keep on coming to the UK because compared to the rest of the word we ive like kings.

    Yes as I said the British are always called pariahs, we live off the world don't we. But I wonder for how much longer we will be living like kings. We are in debt to the tune of 20 billion a month, how long before we are a third world state?! It cannot continue, we are completely broke, it won't be long before our AAA credit rating is taken from us, and we go begging again to the IMF. No country can continue as we are in this fools paradise, we are BROKE. We already have a thousand immigrants living in garden sheds in Slough, do you think that's ok for them or us?

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  • 55. At 4:00pm on 22 Dec 2009, Patricius wrote:

    Presumably these children are not being denied food and clothing and games and are with their parents. In what way therefore are their conditions bad? The transport facility mentioned does not sound any worse to me than a normal 'bus after school leaving time. After all, their parents are free to remove themselves and their children from this country if they dislike where they are living. If the children are removed from these conditions, then surely it would be much worse to take them away from their parents, unless you are suggesting that immigrants likely to abscond are freed with them? Is it suggested that they should be housed in luxury?
    I am old enough to remember when children in this country lived in homes with no heating, no furniture, no crockery and with minimal (and I do mean minimal) clothing. Some of those children are now paying the taxes which keep these families in better conditions than they ever knew.
    One of the main reason why failed asylum seekers languish in this place is because they themselves destroyed their papers.
    Just because one knows that one would do the same thing in their circumstances does not give anyone the right to expect the taxpayers of this country to pay to keep them and to allow them to become a drain on our resources and add to the already overwhelming overcrowding and deliberate genocide of the native population.
    Immigration is not an advantage to us. It allows employers to pay minimal wages, leaving the rest of us to pay to keep the British people (and immigrants) without jobs on the dole, and it brings in all sorts of hidden costs - the building of extra schools, the drain on our National Health Service, the shortage of water, the disorder caused when opposing immigrant groups fight (e.g., the recent football match between Algeria and Egypt), the increase in crime. The recent rise in immigration has seriously reduced the quality of life of the remainder of this country. It is because of people who rant on about how badly illegal immigrants are treated that they feel free to come here and abuse the system. If they were less well treated, perhaps they would stay in their own countries and themselves work towards improving them.

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  • 56. At 4:45pm on 22 Dec 2009, jon112dk wrote:

    53. At 3:46pm on 22 Dec 2009, angelscomeinthrees
    ==================

    A lot of the people in the detention centres have already had their initial decision, a hearing and multiple appeals. They should be gone immediately.

    Even if the above does not apply I would still question the whole principle that the UK is responsible for someone being persecuted by (example) Mugabe or, more likely, just seeing a better quality of life in the UK. I totally agree it is a sad situation for real, living people. But the responsibility lies with Mugabe and his fellow African leaders, not the UK.

    I think we can just deport them immediately - I can't really see a viable solution to the all the worlds problems in just letting them all come here.

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  • 57. At 8:32pm on 22 Dec 2009, ecolizzy wrote:

    And while we are on the subject of ill treatment of children, how about this practice http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/uk-fails-to-halt-female-genital-mutilation-1845731.html which the BBC never mentions?

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  • 58. At 12:14pm on 23 Dec 2009, Angel_in_Transit wrote:

    #53

    An asylum seeker will almost invariably seek an early indication of their situation with appropriate legal assistance. Those who deal with migrants are well versed in the law and very few arrive here totally naive as to the "rules of the game". Indeed, most already know the "appropriate" English words to use. The vast majority of those who end up in detention centres are not "awaiting" dispensation of their "political" status, they are arguing their "right" to remain having overstayed their visas.

    But let us just consider the plight of the children caught up in this. The parents already know what to expect and clearly feel the "risk" to be worth it. By no means the minority may be "using" their children as pawns in a game which can be ended very simply by those parents - they get on a plane and return to their country of origin. It is scraping the bottom of a well used barrel to suggest these "kids" are suffering hardship without a concerned party knowing that to be the case.

    I have every sympathy with families seeking to move freely between countries. The problem is that we need EVERY country to behave in exactly the same way, certainly within the EU but preferably everywhere, when dealing with migrants. If anyone could move to another country of their choosing "tomorrow" then I would have sympathy with your point of view but sadly it is exceedingly difficult for ordinary people to move around as they wish. As I said before full employment would solve the problem but our short sighted forms of capitalism do not thrive under such regimes.

    Emigration and immigration are big business and it is not a fair system. Before we tear apart the current shortcomings we need to make the system fair.

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  • 59. At 4:36pm on 23 Dec 2009, General_Jack_Ripper wrote:

    If the French and Italians dealt with immigrants and asylum seekers according to the law then this wouldn't be a problem.

    A Somalian guy I know arrived in Italy after crossing the Mediterranean in a dingy with 20-odd other people, when they arrived on the Italian coast they were met by Italian gangsters who they paid to transport them to France where they then applied for asylum. The French authorities rejected their claim for asylum but instead of sending them back to Italy they transported them to an immigration centre in Northern France, kept them there for a week and then kicked them out to live rough on the streets.
    Within a few days he'd met a people trafficker who offered to bring him to Britain and told him exactly what he should say and do upon arrival here.

    Luckily for him, he was granted asylum here due to the horrendous treatment he had received at home (I've seen the scars, they're not nice) and he is now working, paying taxes and trying to rebuild his life.

    While I wish him well and don't begrudge him trying to make a better life for himself I am very angry with the French and Italian authorities who have clearly failed to act within the letter and spirit of the law.

    This isn't an isolated case and from the many immigrants I've met it appears that the French and Italians are effectively encouraging immigrants and asylum seekers to come here illegally instead of dealing with them in their own country.

    This is the real problem and is also one that the government should be able to solve.

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  • 60. At 02:53am on 26 Dec 2009, dennisjunior1 wrote:

    Mark Easton:

    I am sadden with the information that the authorities are still detaining children at Tinsley House (and other locations)....

    =Dennis Junior=

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  • 61. At 08:53am on 26 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    As an expatriate British Citizen I am ashamed to read your Blog re detention of children. It is not complicated:
    1) All people should be entitled to Justice. This should not involve undue bureaucratic delay and it should allow for fair means of appeal.
    2) Innocent victims should not be treated as anything other then innocent victims!

    I am reminded of the Magna Carta! I quote "Magna Carta required King John of England to proclaim certain rights (pertaining to freemen), respect certain legal procedures, and accept that his will could be bound by the law. It explicitly protected certain rights of the King's subjects, whether free or fettered — and implicitly supported what became the writ of habeas corpus, allowing appeal against unlawful imprisonment.

    Are these children immune from this right ?

    Yours,

    Nice_Guy

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  • 62. At 10:45am on 26 Dec 2009, John wrote:

    A "family friendly" vehicle which is only cleaned out fortnightly? Buses and trains are cleaned AT LEAST daily - not very difficult to give the driver a brush and make it part of his job. Perhaps the minister and his spokesman ought to be locked up in their own stinking mess?

    Then we can discuss who we should be deporting first - maybe some of the crooks and fanatics rather than families who are selected as easy targets to boost the statistics?

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  • 63. At 09:58am on 27 Dec 2009, Christy Andersen wrote:

    "It explicitly protected certain rights of the King's subjects, whether free or fettered — and implicitly supported what became the writ of habeas corpus, allowing appeal against unlawful imprisonment.

    Are these children immune from this right ?"

    Actually, yes. You seem to have missed the 'King's subjects' part of that. The whole problem here is that these people are NOT British subjects. They are here illegally. If we provide them with more freedom, some will abscond, and that simply isn't a risk worth taking. We have too many people living here illegally already. Those who have been refused the right to stay in the UK should be removed immediately, none of this pussy-footing around. That solves the problem of us having to support them, and will also stop the whinging about detaining children. And before anyone starts on about why they came here - I don't care why. There are NO genuine asylum seekers in the UK, because we are not the 'first safe country' for anyone. That doesn't mean people weren't persecuted or in danger - it means that they deliberately left another safe country to come here because they see us as an easy mark. Time to prove we're not - OUT.

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  • 64. At 1:52pm on 27 Dec 2009, occular wrote:

    They are just children, they end up having to endure a lot of unhappiness at the behest of selfish adults, they may not be entitled to be here but that is no excuse for treating them badly. They were brought, they did not come here of their own accord.

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  • 65. At 00:38am on 28 Dec 2009, David Mulvey wrote:

    The kindest thing for the children would be to have them removed, together with their parents back to their country of origin straight away, or at least within 24 hours.
    No separation or living in so-called squalid conditions could then occur.

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  • 66. At 10:44am on 30 Dec 2009, Bruce Edwards wrote:

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  • 67. At 11:01am on 30 Dec 2009, Bruce Edwards wrote:

    The reasons these children are being detained are firstly, their parents who are failed asylum seekers and who have exhausted the independent appeals process, refuse to return home. Secondly, Article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998 which relates to family life, means that these families will be kept together. It will only be in exceptional circumstances that the children will be removed from their parents. Thirdly, the issue of the parents frustrating the documentation process is a real problem. The appeals process has been further streamlined in recent months. All those who say "Why don't they just remove them?" don't really understand the issues surrounding such action. The parents of these children in the main are illegal entrants and therefore have committed an offence against the Immigration Act 1971. If not, they have remained in breach of their conditions of stay, which breaches subsequent legislation. For people to say that these immigrants are being treated like criminals which is wrong miss the simple point that they have broken the law and would be criminals if the UK hadn't decided some years ago to deal with then administratively.
    The real villains of the piece are the parents who refuse to go home.

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  • 68. At 7:37pm on 02 Jan 2010, SnoddersB wrote:

    Of course the main problem with illegal immigrants and especially those awaiting deportstion is the continual legal battle by the no win on fee lawyers. Once a faminly are deamed to be illegal they shouldbe deported within 72 hours, thus problem solved. It is the continual legal battles that are causing the problem and the children are probably being used to enable the parents to escape into our country. It is therefore the parents who cause the problem by bringing the children here in the first place and not this country.

    So it is simple streamline the system and deport all illegals to the last country they were in befroe arrival here and if that be France then so be it.

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  • 69. At 04:28am on 03 Jan 2010, crash2 wrote:

    Send all of them back with in 72 hours,a one way ticket would go a long way to solving these problems.No appeals no problem !

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