Male refugees awaiting their asylum decisions are to be housed in pre-fab buildings at the Yarl’s Wood immigration centre, it has been disclosed this week.
Richard Fuller MP for North East Bedfordshire, has commented on the plans: “I have long opposed the dysfunctional asylum system that has led to a large detention estate including Yarl’s Wood.
“While of course it is important that accommodation for asylum seekers is appropriate, my primary concerns lie with the safety of local residents given recent experience at other centres of asylum seeker going missing.
“During a meeting this week, I sought assurances from the Minister about security of the centre. I understand that while asylum seekers will be free to leave during the day, they will be under curfew at night.”
Bedford’s MP Mohammed Yasin has said he is concerned that the former immigration removal centre at Yarl’s Wood is to be expanded to house up to 200 men waiting the outcome of asylum claims.
The immigration compliance minister Chris Philp confirmed in the House of Commons that pre-fab accommodation is being built on the privately-run site, where there was a massive fire in 2002.
Mr Yasin said: “I am very concerned that the Home Office is using completely inappropriate accommodation to house asylum seekers who may be suffering severe trauma in environments that appear punitive and hostile.
“I am concerned about the conditions asylum seekers will be held in and their access to legal and health services in such a remote location. Though I’m told the residents are free to come and go as they please, this is far from the case.”
The minister said: “It is not a hostile environment, the accommodation meets the required standards.”
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