Does detention increase removals and decrease asylum claims?
Yesterday I gave a short talk at an event organised by the Campaign to Close Campsfield as part of Oxford Refugee Week. It was an excellent, well attended event in a packed room at the town hall and I’m grateful for the chance to have spoken.
My first demonstration was as a student in 1998 at Campsfield. Like the migrants detained there, my first ever experience of immigration law and practice in the UK and our horrendous treatment of refugees was at an inhuman, miserable, isolated detention centre. I could not see the detainees to allow me to humanise them. They could not see me to be welcomed. That my first contact would be at a distance, through barbed wire without sight of an actual human being other than the burly security guards is just how the government then and now wants it, both for us on the outside and for them on the inside – out of sight, out of mind.
As preparation for the talk, I checked on the latest official migration statistics (to March 2014). I thought it might be helpful to visualise some of the data as a sort of follow up my previous attempts at infographics here and here.