MP writes to House Secretary Priti Patel after committee discovers 56 asylum seekers ‘packed’ into room at Kent Consumption Unit in Dover | UK Information


An MP has written to the house secretary after a committee found 56 asylum seekers, together with infants and younger youngsters, “packed right into a small ready room” at an consumption unit.

Chair of the house affairs choose committee Yvette Cooper mentioned in a letter to Priti Patel that she was writing to “increase critical considerations in regards to the stunning circumstances” discovered by MPs throughout a go to to the Kent Consumption Unit in Dover.

The power, the place “detained asylum seekers look ahead to onward placement and screening”, was described as “wholly inappropriate” by the MP.

Letter from Yvette Cooper to the home secretary
Picture:
Yvette Cooper has written to the house secretary

She wrote: “There have been 56 individuals packed into the small ready room. The area is clearly unfit for holding this many individuals.

“Most individuals had been sitting or mendacity on a skinny mattress and people lined nearly the whole thing of the aisle between seats.

“Sharing these cramped circumstances had been many ladies with infants and really younger youngsters alongside important numbers of teenage and younger grownup males”, she added.

The MPs additionally discovered that regardless of 24 hours being the “most time period” an individual needs to be held within the holding room, some had been stored there for “intervals of as much as 36 and 48 hours”.

Yvette Cooper MP
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Yvette Cooper mentioned the ability was ‘wholly inappropriate’

Issues about COVID-19 outbreaks have been raised as effectively, with Yvette Cooper saying in her letter that MPs noticed the holding room had “no air flow, no social distancing and face masks usually are not worn”.

In line with the MP, grownup asylum seekers will need to have a lateral stream take a look at and obtain a damaging consequence earlier than getting into the consumption unit.

“Nevertheless, it’s well-known that lateral stream assessments usually are not 100% correct and won’t choose up instances that develop over the next 48 hours,” she mentioned.

The committee additionally mentioned it “didn’t observe any COVID-19 mitigation measures” and “couldn’t see how the ability might be COVID secure” given the degrees of overcrowding.

The MPs went on to go to the atrium facility as effectively, “the place individuals wait when they’re not in detention and awaiting onward journey”.

Within the letter, it’s described as “basically an workplace area with a big central room and several other adjoining places of work”.

In June this yr, Kent County Council stopped accepting unaccompanied youngster migrants and MPs heard that since then there have been “5 stays of over 200 hours (10 days) on this workplace area and growing numbers of multiple-day stays.”

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Migrants rescued from dinghy in Channel

Ms Cooper famous that the everlasting secretary had confirmed to the committee that an unaccompanied youngster was one of many people held within the facility for over 10 days.

She added: “One lady was sleeping on a settee in an workplace, as the one out there separate sleeping lodging.

“For kids, this type of lodging for days on finish is totally inappropriate”.

“This can be very troubling {that a} state of affairs has been allowed to come up, and persist, the place weak youngsters, households and younger individuals are being held on this manifestly inappropriate workplace area for days and even weeks.”

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New legal guidelines threaten asylum seekers

Over 170 youngsters have been transferred from Kent to a different native authority since 14 June 2021.

A authorities spokesperson mentioned: “The asylum system is being exploited by felony gangs who facilitate harmful, pointless and unlawful small boat crossings.

“Our Nationality and Borders invoice will repair this damaged system and deter these harmful and unlawful crossings.

“To fulfill our authorized duties non permanent lodging is getting used to accommodate asylum-seeking youngsters in secure and safe lodging earlier than placements can happen by means of the Nationwide Switch Scheme.

“The House Workplace proceed to work with all native authorities in addition to the Division for Training to make sure wants are met.”



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