Analysis, Europe, Side Feature

Britain’s Abuse of Refugees is Accelerated Before Brexit Deadline

The Independent Newspaper wrote:

New data obtained through freedom of information laws shows that £2.3m was spent on forcibly removing 225 people to European countries in July, August and September this year – double the amount spent on deportation flights in the previous quarter, when 285 people were removed.

It comes amid concerns that the Home Office is “rushing” through deportations of asylum seekers under Dublin III – a regulation that allows the UK to send refugees back to EU countries they have passed through – which will cease to exist when the Brexit transition period ends on 31 December.

In many recent deportation attempts, asylum seekers have had their removal directions cancelled hours before the flight because lawyers intervened and identified previously unacknowledged vulnerabilities – such as indicators that they were trafficked or concern over their fitness to fly – which made their deportation legally unsound.

The chief inspector of prisons, said: “Such cancellations were commonplace and suggest that detainees’ vulnerabilities, which often lead to cancellations, are not identified early enough.”

A separate report by the prisons watchdog, published in October, warned that asylum seekers arriving in the UK via small boat often had no access to legal advice and were not screened for vulnerability, even once they were placed in removal centres after being served deportation orders.

This year, the Home Office has adopted an “abridged” interview process for asylum seekers, meaning they are given less time and with fewer questions asked. This has prompted concern among experts that individuals have not been given adequate opportunity to disclose any safeguarding needs or experiences of trafficking.

Celia Clarke, director of Bail for Immigration Detainees, said the fault for last-minute removal cancellations lay “squarely at the feet of the government for making no enquiries about an individual’s history of trauma or trafficking, and systematically denying access to legal advice until the very last minute”.

Bella Sankey, director of Detention Action, said: “While the economy contracts, the Home Office has emptied our pockets, removing trafficking victims to destitution across Europe.

“Charter flights are a national ripoff as well as an assault on basic human rights and access to justice. How much more exploitation have these millions fuelled? And all for the sake of some fleeting headlines.”

A Home Office spokesperson said:

“We make no apology for removing dangerous foreign criminals or those who have no right to remain in the UK.”

Comment:

Britain, as a secular capitalist country, struggles with its identity as a nation state, as do all others that adopt the Westphalian national identity. It is common for them to blame foreigners whenever they feel a need to divert attention from their abysmal failures to look after their own citizens, or to generate a temporary feeling of national unity. The last decade has seen the capitalist system utterly exposed as its economies collapse and uncontrollable division is rife in the populations of most Western nations. In these conditions it is no wonder that just being foreign and poor is enough to be accused of as treated as a criminal.

The nation state model has beguiled the citizens of a nation to believe in their own entitlement and superiority, and to accuse anyone who wants to share their wealth as undeserving, illegal immigrant, guilty of a crime. No regard is given to how the national wealth and privileges that they claim are their own were originally and continually stolen from overseas by colonial adventurers. Moreover, Capitalism directly creates the market for trafficking humans to be abused in the West, and its worldwide hegemony creates the horrific conditions and economic misery which asylum seekers are escaping from in the first place.

The Western world’s mistreatment and abuse of refugees are not new phenomena. The industrialised states have introduced a barrage of restrictive policies and practices targeting asylum seekers, refugees and migrants. Even before Brexit and Donald Trump made it fashionable, negative and inaccurate portrayals in the media and the inflammatory, xenophobic rhetoric of politicians and public officials have contributed to a climate of hostility towards these groups.

The callous attitude of capitalist politicians and their media supporters stands in contrast to that required of Muslim citizens of the Islamic Khilafah (Caliphate) state. Indeed history had shown many times how the Muslims welcomed refugees. Unlike Capitalism, Islam never colonised foreigners to exploit them and enrich the capital, impoverishing the conquered until they had no choice but to endure the dangers of migration simply to survive and live a decent life.

 

Yahya Nisbet

Media Representative of Hizb ut Tahrir in Britain