Following the Santa/White Witch incident a few days ago, more pressure for an end to the policy of imprisoning innocent children just because they happen to be related to asylum seekers. A new report from medical professionals has called for an end to the detention of children as part of our immigration policy:
Many of the children are held at Serco-run Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre in Bedfordshire while their parents await deportation.
Children in such circumstances were already among the most vulnerable in the UK and the harmful effects of arrest and detention only added to their difficulties, the report said.
It said almost all children seeking asylum suffered injury to their mental or physical health due to being detained, some seriously. The current provision of mental and preventative healthcare was inadequate, the report said, and made recommendations for improvement.
Professor Steve Field, chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners, said children in immigrant families were already disadvantaged and vulnerable.
"Detaining children for any length of time - often without proper explanation - is a terrifying experience that can have lifelong consequences," he said. "As well as the potential psychological impact, these children invariably experience poor physical health as they cannot access immunisation and preventative services."
Full report here, one family's story here. It's a sobering thought that if Jesus family had fled to the UK in 2009, rather than Egypt in AD3 (or thereabouts), Jesus would have been locked up for up to two months in a privately-run prison. Welcome to the UK, land of the free and home of civilisation. Yes of course we have to protect our citizens against people coming here to do us harm, but there must be a better way than this.
Facebook group Maries Law was set up earlier this year to highlight the same issue.