It’s a testament to these truthless times that the Conservative government that got into so much trouble over its “hostile environment” policy is still getting away with horrific treatment of people who happen to have a different skin colour from that of Theresa May.
The Independent has reported on the case of Faloshade Olayiwole, who has been told she must travel from her asylum accommodation in Stoke-on-Trent to a reporting centre in Manchester to comply with Home Office immigration rules.
There’s no real reason for her to have to do this. The Home Office could send her to any government office – there’s bound to be one in Stoke with a video link to other offices, for example – but it seems the Tories prefer inflicting mindless, meaningless cruelty on people, just for the sake of it.
So reporter May Bulman followed Ms Olayiwole from Stoke to Manchester – a 50-mile journey which they had to start at 8am in order to arrive three hours later, or Ms Olayiwole would face detention.
It’s clear that this is setting her up to fail. The railway service is an expensive, incompetent nightmare and a slight delay could cost Ms Olayiwole her freedom. Ironically, the journey has been necessitated by a programme of closures of immigration reporting offices which the Tories have euphemistically claimed is meant to “more effectively manage” the reporting population, which includes thousands of asylum seekers.
It’s certainly effective in reducing the amount of cash these people have to manage their survival, and that of their children. But of course, this is the Tory “hostile environment” and Conservatives simply do not understand what it is like to have to survive on very low funds.
The article says charities have made it clear that disabled people and parents with young children must make long and expensive journeys to “sign on” in compliance with immigration rules – a traumatic experience in itself – and the Home Office refuses to cap the distance they can be told to travel.
Not only that, but a report commissioned by the government itself found that asylum-seeking families are living in unsuitable accommodation that fails to meet basic needs, with almost half of asylum properties deemed unfit for purpose.
Further details are in the full article.
For This Writer, the saddest part is that some people reading this will think it is entirely reasonable to send Ms Olayiwole back to her home country of Nigeria, which she fled due to sexual and emotional abuse that would have forced her eldest daughter to suffer female genital mutilation (FGM). The lack of understanding, let alone sympathy, that these people suffer from that section of the population currently nicknamed “gammon” is nothing less than sociopathic.
And the Conservatives are still getting away with it.
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