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Demonstration about treatment of asylum seekers in Leeds

Catherine | 21.03.2006 18:23 | Anti-racism | Migration

On Friday 3rd March a samba band and protesters joined Leeds No Borders to demonstrate outside Waterside Reporting Centre on Kirkstall Road.

We were protesting about the appalling treatment of asylum seekers in Leeds (and nationally), including arbitrary detention and deportation. The demonstration was well attended and supported by many passing drivers. We questioned Waterside employees and welcomed asylum seekers with hot drinks and sweets.

Asylum seekers from across Leeds are required to sign at Waterside Reporting Centre. Every time they go there they face the prospect of detention and deportation. The very real fear of being separated from their family and possibly deported is obviously a constant source of stress in already stressful lives.
Additionally, as a result of the UK governments insistence that targets are met for ‘returning’ (deporting) asylum seekers, there are currently over one thousand destitute asylum seekers living in Leeds. Destitute means no support, financial or otherwise, from any government agency. These people are homeless and do not officially exist. They cannot return to their country of origin as they fear for their lives if they do. Any help they do receive is from charities and individuals but this is no where near enough.

We feel that this is totally unacceptable and that the government should consider each case rather than meeting arbitrary targets. This can have tragic consequences – a Leeds man facing deportation recently committed suicide.

`Leeds No Borders' part of a European network of people opposed to immigration controls. Contact if you would like to get involved.

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  1. Pickets spreading.. — .