Ending the detention of children is just the beginning

Hundreds of former asylum-seekers are still stuck in a Kafkaesque system with no prospect of release

Nick Clegg's announcement that the coalition is stopping the detention of children in asylum cases is a positive move, but does not deal with the bigger problem of failed asylum-seekers being detained for years on end with no release date.

Despite the sterling efforts of organisations such as the London Detainee Support Group, the plight of these individuals is relatively unremarked on. At present, there are roughly 250 individuals detained, with no prospect of release. Ostensibly, they are waiting to be deported; in reality, only 18 per cent ever are.

Thus, hundreds of individuals are stuck in a bureaucratic black hole, for no purpose and at great expense, each detainee costing on average £68,000 a year to detain.

One detainee released on bail this year had spent four years in detention. He was being deported because he had committed a crime in the UK, and lost the right to asylum as a result. His crime was trying to leave the UK without a passport. He served three months in jail, before spending four years in detention as the UK Border Agency attempted to deport him. UKBA, however, was unable to deport him. Why? Because he didn't have a passport.

The situation is Kafkaesque. At best, the current system is inefficient and expensive; at worst, it is illegal and makes a mockery of Britain's claims to be a civilised and just nation.

Clegg and the coalition have taken a step in the right direction, but they have a long way to go before Britain's broken immigration system is sorted out.

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Appreciate the full horror of Nigel Farage's pro-Trump speech

The former Ukip leader has appeared at a Donald Trump rally. It went exactly as you would expect.

It is with a heavy heart that I must announce Nigel Farage is at it again.

The on-again, off-again Ukip leader and current Member of the European Parliament has appeared at a Donald Trump rally to lend his support to the presidential candidate.

It was, predictably, distressing.

Farage started by telling his American audience why they, like he, should be positive.

"I come to you from the United Kingdom"

Okay, good start. Undeniably true.

"– with a message of hope –

Again, probably quite true.

Image: Clearly hopeful (Wikipedia Screenshot)

– and optimism.”

Ah.

Image: Nigel Farage in front of a poster showing immigrants who are definitely not European (Getty)

He continues: “If the little people, if the real people–”

Wait, what?

Why is Trump nodding sagely at this?

The little people?

Image: It's a plane with the name Trump on it (Wikimedia Commons)

THE LITTLE PEOPLE?

Image: It's the word Trump on the side of a skyscraper I can't cope with this (Pixel)

THE ONLY LITTLE PERSON CLOSE TO TRUMP IS RIDING A MASSIVE STUFFED LION

Image: I don't even know what to tell you. It's Trump and his wife and a child riding a stuffed lion. 

IN A PENTHOUSE

A PENTHOUSE WHICH LOOKS LIKE LIBERACE WAS LET LOOSE WITH THE GILT ON DAY FIVE OF A PARTICULARLY BAD BENDER

Image: So much gold. Just gold, everywhere.

HIS WIFE HAS SO MANY BAGS SHE HAS TO EMPLOY A BAG MAN TO CARRY THEM

Image: I did not even know there were so many styles of Louis Vuitton, and my dentists has a lot of old copies of Vogue.

Anyway. Back to Farage, who is telling the little people that they can win "against the forces of global corporatism".

 

Image: Aaaaarggghhhh (Wikipedia Screenshot)

Ugh. Okay. What next? Oh god, he's telling them they can have a Brexit moment.

“... you can beat Washington...”

“... if enough decent people...”

“...are prepared to stand up against the establishment”

Image: A screenshot from Donald Trump's Wikipedia page.

I think I need a lie down.

Watch the full clip here:

Stephanie Boland is digital assistant at the New Statesman. She tweets at @stephanieboland