In the United Kingdom, there is a tough stance on immigration. This is due to the fact that is a country which is literally facing an immigration crisis. There are an unbelievably large number of individuals entering the United Kingdom illegally every single day. To tackle this, the government has taken a large number of steps. They have put in place a system for the methodical removal of illegal immigrants. This also involves the immigration detention centers where illegal immigrants are held until such a time that they can be deported. The only problem with this system: what crime are the people being held for?
The shocker is that no one has the answer to that question. Rather, no one has a satisfactory answer. Many people convey that their only crime is being born outside the United Kingdom. This is far from a good answer, in fact, it is an appalling answer. Immigrant detention centers typically hold people for a few days, but can actually hold them for years. The worst part is that there is no trial needed. This makes it impossible for the illegal immigrant to leave the detention center until their case is resolved. There are many incidents when people confronted for small things like speeding are unable to prove their citizenship and are immediately hauled to the detention centers. They are not given any reaction time. They are not even allowed a single visit to their house. They are taken straight to the detention centers and kept there indefinitely. Many have pets at home that die of starvation. Most of these immigrants are unaware of their rights and are unable to petition for their right to stay in the United Kingdom. A really sad fact is that many of these people have lived in the United Kingdom for nearly a decade and have completely integrated into United Kingdom society. The prospect of being deported to their ‘home country’ is very intimidating. This is simply because not having lived there for over ten years, the immigrants are hardly able to identify with the country anymore. Immigration detention centers are grim places that do not help cheer up immigrants facing deportation. There are a large number of inmates who attempt suicide on multiple occasions. There are also many reports of medical neglect, racism and sexual abuse that have emerged over the years. This is especially true for Yarl’s Wood, where over 70 percent of the women report being raped by guards.
Recently, an inmate at Yarl’s Wood, Christina Case died from alleged medical neglect. The 40 year old woman was supplied with only a tablet of paracetamol to deal with a heart attack that she finally succumbed to. Though an investigation into the matter has been opened, it is too little, too late. The immigrant detention centers need to go and fast. There has been a successful model adopted in Canada. Here, a tie – up between an NGO and the government allows people to live in society till their case is decided upon.