People are being taken from our communities. It’s time to stand up and say no.
Detention is one of the most harmful aspects of the UK’s asylum and immigration system. Over 30,000 people are detained without time-limit every year, in conditions tantamount to high-security prison settings. Tens of thousands more people live with the threat of detention constantly hanging over them. The harm of detention doesn’t end with release – the people we work with describe the long-term physical, mental, and social damage done by this inhumane and unjust policy.
The asylum and migrant groups in our network across the UK tell us thatdetention damages their members, and damages the groups themselves – the looming threat of detention impairs people’s ability to take part in the group, and when a member of the group is detained, the shock reverberates through the group, making it difficult for them to keep going and organise effectively.
Detention is a barrier to justice, preventing people from establishing their legal rights. Immigration and asylum legal cases are very complex – and are often a matter of life or death – but people in detention are frequently unable to secure good quality and timely legal advice. People are cut off from their lawyers, from their families, from their communities and support networks.
There are no long-term detention centres in Wales, but that does not mean Wales is free from detention. Detention affects us all, and the operation of this affront to civil liberties takes place in communities across the UK, through raids on homes, businesses, places of worship, stopping people in the street, or at bus stations, or even at wedding ceremonies.