STAR is part of These Walls Must Fall – the movement working all over the UK to raise awareness of and end immigration detention.
What is These Walls Must Fall?
These Walls Must Fall is a growing network of groups, organisations, communities, and individuals demanding an end to immigration detention and reporting, as well as supporting those at risk.
What is immigration detention?
28,000 people are locked up every year by the government, around half of these people have claimed asylum in the UK. This is not because they have committed a crime, but because they do not have the correct immigration status. Immigration detention centres are like prisons, complete with guards and barbed wire. They’re seriously harmful – mentally and physically. We live in the only country in Europe without a time limit on immigration detention. People are held indefinitely, not knowing if or when they will be released.
The Home Office can detain people even if they are here fleeing war, persecution, and torture, and even sometimes children, despite a 2010 Government promise to end this practice. The entire detention system appears to serve no real purpose. Many detainees are later released back into the communities from which they were taken.
What is immigration reporting?
Anyone who is waiting to hear whether they can remain in the UK can be required to ‘sign in’ regularly at an Immigration Reporting Centre. Every time they go, they risk being taken to a detention centre at random. The uncertainty and fear this creates can have severe psychological impacts. The appointments themselves can be traumatising or stressful. Reporting is often combined with the use of electronic tags and curfews, which add to its degrading effect.
During the pandemic, people have been left with no choice but to risk using public transport to meet their reporting requirements. Some people are forced to travel for hours, walking miles or spending their own money, for what might be a two-minute appointment.
What are we calling for?
- An end to immigration detention – a wholly unnecessary, unjustifiable practice, and a shameful civil rights abuse that cannot be ignored.
- An end to immigration reporting – it amounts to the unfair, unjust and unnecessary harassment of migrants, and it has to stop.
If you are interested in getting involved in the These Walls Must Fall campaign with your STAR group, please contact the student network team.