This article caught my attention this morning:
“Migrant summit in chaos as African countries REFUSE to take back Europe’s failed asylum seekers
The European Union has been forced to drop controversial plans to deport failed asylum seekers who do not have passports after African countries blocked the move.
European leaders offered more than £1billion aid in a bid to persuade their African counterparts to take back tens of thousands of illegal migrants.
But a migration summit in Valletta, Malta, descended into farce after the Africans rejected the EU plan to expel those who do not qualify for asylum using special papers.
The ‘laissez passer’ travel documents issued to Africans without identification are aimed at easing their return back to countries they left or travelled through.
Under the proposal, EU countries would decide where a person without a passport has come from in Africa and issue the papers in lieu of a passport.
Many people arrive in Europe without identity papers with some falsely claiming to be Syrians or Iraqis in order to increase their chances of being granted asylum.
Draft conclusions for the summit of EU and African leaders written earlier this week showed it was planned they would agree to ‘enhance recognition of the EU laissez passer for return purposes’.
But last night it emerged that this would not be in the final conclusions when they are adopted today. A leaked copy of document handed to the Mail showed the line had been removed.” (source)
Why is this important? Why is it specifically important to those migrants who fancy living in Britain and are pouring through our ports unchecked (yes they are)? Because of UK policy.
UK policy towards asylum seekers and illegal immigrants is unlike the rest of the EU. As far as I am aware, the UK is the only country using indefinite detention for those deemed to require deportation. This is a rejection of the time limits imposed in EU legislation.
Let me give you an example.
A man is discovered at an address in the UK and he’s deemed to be here illegally. He will be taken to an immigration detention centre. If he has no papers, he cannot be deported. In that event it is up to his native country to provide papers for him to be deported on. Otherwise he’ll be in detention for perhaps years trying to get papers. These countries refusing to cooperate are rejecting their own citizens, and condemning them to a life in detention. In Colnbrook detention centre there is a man who comes, if I recall correctly, from Sudan. He’s been there, locked up, for eight years. Eight years – he’s not a criminal!
There were others there when my boyfriend was there. Men who were stuck – men who had been here legally, but because they now had a criminal record, they could be in difficulty for months as their own country decided whether or not to accept them back. Any country, particularly a war-zone, can find just checking that the person IS a citizen of that country very difficult. Papers have been lost, and the old loyalties don’t apply to those who left perhaps twenty years ago in the middle of a war.
So I want to give a warning today, in case you are here in the UK, and you are a migrant. Perhaps you don’t have papers for your homeland, or you’re thinking of letting them lapse in the hopes of getting a UK passport. DON’T. Make sure at all times that you have legal travel documents for your home country. If you have, then if trouble comes you will be able to escape home, even if you don’t want to be there. Once there you can travel somewhere else. Being stuck in a prison being fed slop every day in appalling conditions – don’t risk that. The UK is not, nor is it likely to become, amenable to your cause. The government is not about to approve you staying, nor change the rules to be kinder to you. Make sure you CAN leave, and don’t risk staying a moment longer, if you are in danger of being put in detention.
My boyfriend’s case is yet to be appealed, so I’m not going to talk about it here. Suffice to say that as a diabetic he was told by the nurse in the medical centre at Colnbrook, when his mostly completely healed diabetic foot problems looked like they were flaring up, that until or unless the toe turned green and then black nothing would be done. Once it’s turned black you’re in serious trouble, because it needs to be removed. I was appalled.
So, finally, if you are here on a visa, or you’ve been granted asylum – keep your nose clean. Don’t get involved in anything illegal no matter how tempted you might be. Don’t try to break up a fight outside a pub. Don’t do anything that might get you put into this system.
And a quick note on the TPP. Under TPP it would be possible for a company running a private prison to sue the government for changing rules to reduce detention times. They would be able to sue the government for forcing them to provide decent food or proper medical care – anything which reduces profits for their shareholders. Another good reason to campaign against it.
God Bless you