This is beyond This Writer’s ability to comment. The level of racism displayed by the UK authorities in this story is off the scale:
A woman has described how her 17-year-old black British son was found at an immigration detention centre after going missing while being treated for psychosis.
The boy – who is non-verbal – disappeared from a hospital in Kent, where he had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act, on 7 April. Two days later, he was arrested by British Transport Police (BTP) at Euston on suspicion of fare evasion, before being detained by Immigration Enforcement near Gatwick, despite being British.
“It’s just horrific,” the boy’s mother said. “Because he’s black they just assumed ‘let’s pick him and put him in a deportation centre’.”
When the boy was returned to the hospital, his clothes contained Home Office documents that incorrectly stated his name and date of birth, and recorded his nationality as Nigerian.
“How do they know he’s from Nigeria, when he doesn’t even speak to them?” the woman said of her son.
The boy is a British citizen and has never left the UK. His mother said he would not have been able to say his date of birth properly, and would never have said he was from Nigeria.
James Wilson, deputy director of Detention Action, which works with people facing removal, said unaccompanied minors or children under the age of 18 should not be in detention in the first place. “In theory detention should be an absolute last resort, rather than an early step you would go to,” he said.
This is a prime example of how Priti Patel’s Home Office treats UK citizens, isn’t it?
Let’s consider the Home Office’s comments on this case…
A Home Office spokesperson said: “We rely on information provided by our policing partners when an individual is referred to Immigration Enforcement. In this case, the individual declared himself to British Transport Police to be an adult male. Police nurses assessed him and raised no physical or mental health issues.”
Yeah, but did they? Really? a non-verbal 17-year-old?
I have a doubt about that.
I don’t think the person declared himself to be anything at all.
I don’t think nurses assessed him in anything like an adequate way.
I do think that this case reveals serious failures in Home Office procedures.
And I think it is Priti Patel’s responsibility to sort them out.
But I don’t think – for a single minute – that she is in any way capable, or responsible enough, to take the necessary steps.
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