View from the House: Immigration system not fair nor compassionate

PUBLISHED: 08:30 24 October 2020

Lyn Brown is worried about impact of Warehouse K.

Lyn Brown is worried about impact of Warehouse K.

Lyn Brown

Coronavirus is increasing again, as so many people believed and warned it would. This week, we face new restrictions.

The biggest change requires us not to mix with people we don’t live with; neither at home, nor in indoor public places, like restaurants and pubs.

I support these restrictions and urge everyone to abide by them, however hard that is.

I believe strongly that we need to go further. A short ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown is necessary, across all of England, without further delay. We must work together to reduce infections again and finally get an effective track and trace working.

Nearly all my recent columns focused on Covid-19 and its dreadful impact on our communities. This month, there’s another issue causing serious concern locally.

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The Windrush Generation was treated disgracefully for decades. Families were broken apart and vulnerable individuals forcibly deported. People lost jobs and homes; some were reduced to destitution: all through no fault of their own.

I believe this country’s immigration system is neither fair nor compassionate. I hear more stories of Newham residents, our friends, family members and neighbours, working hard, raising families and contributing to our communities, threatened by immigration enforcement. I help as many as I can.

The Home Office wants to create an Immigration Reporting Centre in Warehouse K in the Royal Docks.

Most of the facilities and staff would be transferred from the current Reporting Centre in Southwark. However, through my questions in Parliament, I’ve discovered that the detention cells at Warehouse K would hold more people.

I am worried that having a Home Office presence so close will increase anxiety for many Newham residents and could lead to numerous injustices to local people, like those inflicted on the Windrush Generation.

These are already very worrying times, what with the virus, job losses, business closures and restricted contact with our loved ones. A new immigration reporting centre, and the hostility it could bring, is the last thing we need now, when our communities are already under such pressure.

Please, stay safe and do what you can for others during this time of troubles.

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