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Asylum seekers in Scotland at risk of being moved to England

Categories: Articles:Asylum & Refugees | Published: 30/09/2016 | Views: 754
Closure of Dungavel centre and lack of planning mean people will be taken away from support networks, campaigners say. Vulnerable asylum seekers are at risk of being “funnelled” out of Scotland and away from family, friends and legal representation under detention plans that are being challenged by politicians and campaigners. (Libby Brooks, The Guardian, 29 Sept)

The Scottish government and local Scottish National party MPs have called for “urgent clarity” about Home Office proposals to build a short-term holding facility near Glasgow airport to replace the controversial Dungavel immigration removal centre.

Robert Goodwill, the immigration minister, said at the beginning of September that the centre in Lanarkshire, which has been condemned as “barbaric and inhumane” and has been the focus of numerous protests, will shut towards the end of 2017. The announcement is believed to have taken the Scottish government and the asylum sector by surprise.
Groups including the Scottish Refugee Council, Amnesty International and Detention Action said they were worried that the short-term airport facility, where individuals can only be held for a limited period, will result in asylum detainees being taken away from their support networks.

There is no long-term centre north of Lincolnshire, so those removed from Scotland will be many hours’ drive away from friends and family. They will also face jurisdictional difficulties as they find themselves under a different legal system. This means they may need to abandon any pending legal challenges in the Scottish courts and find new representation in England.   Read more here

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