End our children’s Yarl’s Wood nightmare

May 23, 2010 at 10:13 pm (asylum, Civil liberties, Human rights, immigration, Jim D, Lib Dems)

The following letter was sent to Nick Clegg and to the Observer:


First of all may we take this opportunity to congratulate you and wish you every success in the new job. We parents in this detention centre need to express our concerns about our children here detained. We need your help as we believe you as leader and participant in this government can take action to protect our civil liberties and human rights. We do appreciate your courage to speak openly about the immigration problems and that makes us think very highly of you. We know that it has been agreed that no children should be detained for immigration purposes but we are still here in the detention centre with children facing deportation.

All of us are vulnerable people with medical conditions suffering from depression and fear of persecution if returned to our country. We feel angry to know that the court allows people to stay in this country who are trying to blow up buses, underground, airports and have not been deported. We have been dragged up and down from our houses to detention causing so much stress to families and children.

Is this because we are a soft touch? Is this because we can not afford to pay good lawyers? We have been often victims of the political system where every time there is a crisis we get the whiplash.

There are about 12 families here in the detention centre and 14 children, plus two pregnant women and one of them has been here about eight months. The children’s ages range from one year old to 16 years old. They have been out of school for a long time. Most of them speak English as their first language and do not speak their mother tongue.

They were born in this country and do not know any other country apart from England. They ask questions about why they are here, why they are different from other children and we often haven’t got the answers for them. We do think that we have been harshly treated by the Home Office where every case is refused and go through the courts wondering if we are living in the perfect world.

We sought protection from a country we believe in and which has a tradition and good values of democracy. We have escaped our countries because of fear of persecution. Our lives and our children’s are in danger. We are living an endless nightmare. We have been in the country for a long time from two years to 11 years. All we want is to have a life and live with decency. We do not want to be a burden on tax payers. We want to take part in building the economy. We want to demonstrate to our children the decent way of living, not the culture of laziness.

We want a system working wisely. We do agree to maintaining border control but not to the extent where families can be destroyed and human rights abolished.

We hope that our voices can be heard and our children will be the last in detention.

Please we are kindly asking you to take action and end our nightmare for families and children.

Shpresa, Kalpesh, Sejal, Sheila, Nazik, Leila, Iman, Akbar, Naeema, Sehar, Khoa and all the families in the detention centre

Yarls Wood detention centre, Beds

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