What is Pre-Departure Accommodation? It’s a detention centre. The 2.5m palisade fence with electronic gates surrounding the site and the 24-hour security leaves you in no doubt that this is a prison. A prison for migrants.
Cesar’s detention centre gives lie to the Government’s claim that children won’t be detained. It’s run by G4S and Barnardos and opened this month.
Who benefits from the centre? The landowner who rents the land to the UKBA. G4S, the security firm responsible for the death of Jimmy Mubenga, whose chief executive, Nick Buckles, is paid almost £5,000 a day. And Barnado’s, Britain’s biggest children’s charity.
Barnado’s have given a veneer of “respectability” to the project, by agreeing to provide “key welfare, safeguarding and support services for families”. No doubt receiving a healthy sum from the government for this service.
According to Helen Crawley of the Migrant Rights Network, the Government has effectively created spaces for up to 4,445 children to be detained every year in Cesar’s Detention Centre. The Pre-departure Accommodation will not be the only place where children will be detained. The family unit at Tinsley House immigration removal centre is currently undergoing a £1 million refurbishment in order to accommodate 38 beds and up to eight families.
Activists from No Borders and No One Is Illegal thought it was important to mark this disgraceful occasion by taking a trip into deepest Sussex to protest against the “moral outrage” (Clegg’s words) and “scandal” (Cameron’s words) of child detention the week the centre opened.
Child detention is inhuman. As is all detention, along with the racist immigration controls which divide humans and only profit the bosses. These controls have not existed forever and are there to enforce the power of the ruling class.
The border regime should be opposed, resisted and punched through by every working-class activist and trade unionist. Papers or no papers, we’re all human.