Human rights campaigners have called on the Home Office to open more screening centres to stop asylum seekers being forced to travel to Croydon.Oh, the (in)humanity!
Now a group representing female refugees in Scotland has started an e-petition which calls for screening to be routinely available across the UK.
Patricia Zimouini Nganga, of the Refugee Women's Strategy Group, based in Glasgow, said: "When people flee their homes and arrive in this country they are often stressed and confused.
"Some of the women are pregnant or have children and they have no choice but to travel hundreds of miles to a place they don't know, with very little or no money to pay for food or somewhere to stay.
"I feel very bad for anyone who has to take that journey."Haven’t they already ‘travelled hundreds of miles to a place they don’t know’, then?
They ought to be used to it!
The Refugee Council has backed the petition for screening units in Scotland and also called for more elsewhere in the UK.
Chief executive Donna Covey said: "Having no choice but to travel to Croydon to claim asylum is both impractical and unjust for people, some of whom are based as far as Scotland, north or south-west England, and who include pregnant women and those with mobility difficulties.
"Most people claiming asylum will be unable to afford the travel fares, so must rely on friends and charities to help them out.
"Once they get there, we know a number of our clients are forced to sleep on the streets if there is a delay with their appointment as they have nowhere else to go. The situation is unsustainable."You know what’s unsustainable, Donna? Having more offices dotted round the country, with more civil servants employed to staff them, just so that someone who has snuck into the country underneath a lorry or squashed into a container isn’t subjected to the ‘indignity’ of the UK rail system…
Luckily, that’s unlikely:
But the prospect of more screening units being made available remains unlikely, particularly because travel to Croydon is seen by the Home Office as a last resort for those who have broken the rules.So it is a punishment, then..?