The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) has begun an inspection of the use of hotels and barracks as contingency asylum accommodation and is inviting anyone with relevant knowledge or experience to submit their evidence to email@example.com.
The call for evidence will remain open for four weeks (until 19 February 2021).
This inspection will examine the use made of hotels and other forms of contingency asylum accommodation, including Penally Camp and Napier Barracks, since the beginning of 2020. It will focus on the roles and responsibilities of the Home Office and the accommodation service providers, and of other parties, in relation to the use of contingency asylum accommodation, including:
21 January 2021: Someone new to Qarn has written to ask: I am new to Qarn and find the wealth of info quite daunting . Please can you tell me more about the new asylum seekers accomodation centre. Where can I find a summary of some of the initiatives etc and current state/numbers of asylum seekers in uk , many thanks.
The following long read may be helpful. I know that others in the QARN group also have information. This is just one aspect of the concerns shared by QARN members – there is a lot to be concerned about and we can’t all do everything, but if we each do what we can maybe we can find a way to change the system.
To answer, it is maybe worth saying that there is a lot of traffic on QARN, but feel free to only pick up the emails that interest you. I don’t keep up with everything myself, and I have been involved since 2007.
I suggest that QARN is the same as other Quaker situations, where you should feel able to let some things pass if they don’t speak to you. There is a lot of history – some of us have been around for a long time, and others are fairly new to it, so feel free to ask questions, and please try not to feel daunted.
To begin to unpick the questions: first I’ll run through how the system works, then explain why this is all suddenly of great concern.
This post is being updated with reports of atrocities around the army camp accommodation:
Updated 24 January: [How dare they!}
100 Asylum Seekers at Former Military Barracks Test Positive for Coronavirus’ A coronavirus outbreak at a former army barracks being used to house asylum seekers in Kent could now have grown to at least 100 positive cases, ITV News has been told. One asylum seeker at the Napier Barracks near Folkestone claimed that almost one-quarter of the 400 men living there tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday. Concerns were raised on Friday that cases could spiral out of control as the hundreds of men on the site were apparently still free to mix with each other and social distancing was “impossible.”
On Tuesday, Home Office minister for Immigration Chris Philp said that he was “incredibly disappointed” to learn that the actions of some residents had contributed to the outbreak. In a statement he said: “A number of individuals refused tests and have been either refusing to self-isolate or follow social distancing rules, despite repeated requests to do so and these being national guidelines to protect the NHS and save lives. Read more: ITV News, https://is.gd/lpp2BZ
In 2012, Home Secretary Theresa May told a newspaper that she wanted to create a ‘really hostile environment’ for irregular migrants in the UK. Although the phrase has since mutated to refer to generalised stateled marginalisation of immigrants, this article argues that the hostile environment is a specific policy approach, and one with profound significance for the UK’s border practices. We trace the ‘hostile environment’ phrase, exposing its origins in other policy realms, charting its evolution into immigration, identifying the key components and critically reviewing the corresponding legislation.
2021 Jan 14: Publishing the report, David Bolt said: For many this will seem to be a case of too little, and much too late. From ICIBI’s perspective, in 2016, and again in 2018 and 2019, a series of inspection reports recommended that the Home Office should monitor and evaluate the impact of the hostile/compliant environment. These recommendations were only “partially accepted” and never implemented. Had they been, some of the harms suffered by the Windrush generation and others may have been avoided.
It’s the middle of a grim winter, the pandemic is fiercer than ever, and yet the Home Office wants to force hundreds of vulnerable refugees into cramped portacabins at the infamous Yarl’s Wood detention centre.
This is a cruel way to treat refugees, it’s badly planned policy and it should be stopped. One brave local resident has today launched a legal challenge to halt the Government in its tracks. It’s a cause we should all support.