Saturday, 15 August 2009

Bleeding Hearts On Parade: I

Refugees deported from Britain are at risk of ill-treatment and abuse by immigration officers and security guards, a damning report into the system for removing immigrants and failed asylum seekers has found.

In most cases the use of force during the deportation process had the opposite effect and led to the removal attempt being abandoned.
And who has produced this highly critical report?

Who else:
Ms Owers’ report also found “worrying gaps and weaknesses” in the system for complaints made by asylum seekers and in the monitoring of the removal process.

But of greatest concern was the inconsistent use of force by immigration officers as well as failures to provide medical help.
Anne Owers is the former professional bleeding heart (recently made a Dame, too!) appointed to be the head of HM Inspector of Prisons who doesn’t seem to realise that she’s a gamekeeper now, not a poacher…
In one case identified by the inspectors, intimidating behaviour towards detainees by overseas escort staff appeared to have led to an immigrant's last-minute refusal to comply with the removal. In another incident a detainee who refused to board a flight only found out that he had been granted a court reprieve on his return to the holding area.
Note that ‘appeared to have led’. In truth, unless Owers is employing psychics, she has no way of knowing that the detainee wouldn’t have kicked off regardless.

And you’d think communication mix-ups didn’t happen in any large organisation. But no, here Anne’s mob is determined to imply that it was an attempt to hustle the detainee out of the country, as though he wouldn’t be free to get right back on a UK bound plane again.
And in an illustration of the chaotic nature of the refugee removal system, two members of an escort team were arrested and detained for two days in Mozambique after the African state refused to recognise the validity of the returning refugee’s documentation. The report also said that Iraq was one of the countries most likely to refuse entry to a asylum seeker being returned by Britain.
Because it’s perfectly obvious that the bureaucratic failings of an African state and a fledgling democracy still battling with a war-torn infrastructure are the fault of our removal system. I mean, can’t everyone see it?
Ms Owers said: “It [the investigation] also found variable practice, with no evidence that the good and thoughtful approach of some staff was mirrored in clear and consistent standards of treatment, support and communication. This heightened the risk of ill-treatment or abuse, and was also likely to lead to failed removals.”
In other words, there were some few bleeding hearts on the staff who identified and sympathised with the detainees, but not enough…
Ms Owers added: “We also found examples of cases where reports of incidents that we had observed or noted should have been raised, but had not been. A number of detainees had medical problems, and medical assistance was not always at hand. In other cases, removals were cancelled because of the absence of escort staff, or detainees were returned from countries that refused to accept them.”
Guess what, Owers? Medical assistance is not always on hand for our own citizens either. And they’ve paid for it to be!

Pardon me if I don’t shed a tear for someone who has no right to be here and is held in a detention centre because he or she has refused to accept that decision.
Ms Owers said: “Most escorts behaved in an appropriate way with distressed detainees, and there were several examples of firm but sensitive and discreet behaviour. However, several staff unnecessarily drew attention to removals or raised tension levels.”
The report doesn’t say how many. ‘Several’ might be as few as two.

But no matter what the real story, this report is promptly seized on by the legions of other progressives out there.
Emma Ginn, co-ordinator of the immigration charity Medical Justice, claimed that the report corroborated many of its own findings published last year which included nearly 300 cases of alleged assault during detention and removal.
Not sure how one highly subjective report corroborates anything, but still…
Diane Abbott MP added: “I am highly concerned that the Home Office has shown little motivation in addressing these issues which have been raised with them time and time again. We were told almost a year ago that there would be an investigation into the abuse of immigration detainees during escort and removal. I dearly hope that this is not a case of the Home Office sweeping scandal under the carpet in the hope that it will go away.”
They aren’t raising it because they are already going to lose the next election, and they don’t want the Tories and Lib Dems….well, maybe not the Lib Dems!...making political hay with ‘Home Office goes easy on illegal immigrantion again’ headlines.

I’d have thought that’d be obvious.
David Wood, director of the Criminality and Detention Group for the UK Border Agency said: “HM Chief Inspector of Prisons found overwhelmingly that our escort staff carry out removals with sensitivity and discretion… Many detainees refuse to leave the UK voluntarily, even when the courts say they must. In some cases individuals become violent toward themselves, the public or our staff when it is time to go home. Detainee escorts have a very difficult job to do in carrying out what the public expects of the UK Border Agency in enforcing our immigration laws. The report of HM Chief Inspector will be carefully considered.”
And then, hopefully, put in the ‘round file’.

Where it belongs…

9 comments:

North Northwester said...

"Emma Ginn, co-ordinator of the immigration charity Medical Justice."

Immigration charity? this is waht its site says:

"Medical Justice is not a charity, is not government-funded, is not qualified or registered to give immigration advice, and is not part of the NHS (although we strongly support it)."

Charity begins abroad, it seems.

AntiCitizenOne said...

It's best then that they see the back of the immigration system as quickly as possible i.e. deported ASAP!

JuliaM said...

"Medical Justice is not a charity, is not government-funded, is not qualified or registered to give immigration advice.."

Hey, whadda ya know? Truth in advertising after all...

"It's best then that they see the back of the immigration system as quickly as possible..."

Yup!

heathermoors said...

I would like to know if the previous commentators think that it is acceptable to use gratuitous violence on any human being, such as was used by French police, with the connivance of UKBA, on a friend of mine who was being removed: After the Air France pilot refused on compassionate grounds to fly with him, he was punished by being driven at speed over speed bumps, with his handcuffed wrists below,receiving the full impact of the rest of his body each time. He was unable to use his hands properly for several weeks.
If the people writing comments actually got to know anybody in the position of being removed, they would realise that they often still have outstanding legal matters, and that the strength of their resistance usually comes from the degree of fear of persecution that they have on return to their own country.

It is not illegal to seek asylum in another country. We have to just thank God that we ourselves are not in such an unfortunate position, but it is not through our own efforts or merits, just an accident of circumstances.

Chalcedon said...

Why aren't the bastards drugged and thus rendered compliant before being put on the aircraft? Bloody obvious thing to do.

Edwin Greenwood said...

"...he was punished by being driven at speed over speed bumps, with his handcuffed wrists below, receiving the full impact of the rest of his body each time."

Possibly, but this sounds to me more like either generic callousness towards prisoners by the French police or a safe-containment response to your friend's doubtless epically violent struggle, rather than, as you suggest, a calculated act of punishment for non-cooperation.

"...and that the strength of their resistance usually comes from the degree of fear of persecution that they have on return to their own country."

Or possibly comes from the understanding that by being as disruptive as possible, the deportee significantly increases the likelihood that the pilot will refuse to carry him out of concerns for the safety of the aircraft and/or the other passengers. This is a well-known ploy during forcible removals and has nothing to do with "compassion" by pilots.

The purpose of the tactic is to repeatedly defer removal and to gradually wear down the UK authorities in the hope that they will seek an easy way out by granting ELR or its current effective equivalent. This is a long game, but an economic migrant posing as an asylum seeker will have invested considerable capital in the project and will often consider it worthwhile.

It is also a classic case of "crying wolf". In the event that a forcibly removed FAS is mistakenly being returned to mortal danger and kicks off in desperation, no-one's going to believe him now, are they?

North Northwester said...

heathermoors

Your friend should not have been in the country: hence the removal. Who knows, as other commenters have speculated, what violence or threats of violence your friend had offered?

"If the people writing comments actually got to know anybody in the position of being removed, they would realise that they often still have outstanding legal matters..."

.. but not so outstanding as it's illegal to repatriate them, surely. And who says that such things are 'outstanding' if cause to repatriate has been shown and is being enacted? Some open-doors 'charity?'

"...and that the strength of their resistance.."

Get this: resisting arrest or deportation is wrong.
Just wrong. Your friend's personal situation does not trump the rule of law, and the longer that people in authority in this country go on condoning or ignoring lawlessness, then the further down the road of becoming like your friend's no doubt awful homeland Britain will become.

"...usually comes from the degree of fear of persecution that they have on return to their own country."

Maybe; maybe not. But think of this - the British Empire is gone. We can't invade places any more and install law-abiding and decent governments over the natives and expect it to work. It's difficult enough with all that manpower and oil money to support it in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Foreign countries need to be sorted out by their own inhabitants, and there should be no blank cheque drawn against the British taxpayer to house and clothe and educate and cure everyone who can get aboard a plane or boat or truck.

Now it might be a good idea to equip the potential victims of home-grown political violence with false papers and guerilla war training and weapons so they could change, say, Zimbabwe's government, but there are laws about who can stay and who must go and your friend was on the wrong side of it.
Conversely, if you were prepared to take out a mortgage to finance your friend's subsistence and housing etc. lifelong to save everyone else the cost, it might be just to let him stay, but I don't somehow think that you or immigration charities want to pick up the tab - that's what the rest of us are for, I'm thinking.

JuliaM said...

"It is not illegal to seek asylum in another country. "

It's not legal to stay after your application has been turned down either..

AntiCitizenOne said...

Your friends stay was not cost-free to taxpayers either!

Think of the threats that taxpayers were under, and the amount extorted for your illegal friend.

I'm in favour of asylum being 100% charity driven, you could sponsor your friend to be here at your cost instead.