Throughout Lent, we invite you into a space of accompaniment by journeying alongside some of our refugee friends. Where do we see God’s compassion in their stories?
This week we will introduce you to Therese, one of our refugee friends who we have accompanied for many years and who spent time in detention.
Therese has been in the UK for nearly 20 years. Amidst a continuous cycle of fresh applications and appeals, Therese lives in constant fear of being detained in one of the UK’s 10 detention centres (formally known as Immigration Removal Centres). The Home Office often remove people to detention centres without warning, and often without a clear reason, “You never know if they might take you away that day.”
Therese was preparing for an appeal hearing when, unexpectedly, enforcement officers came to her home late at night, and took her to a detention centre. She wasn’t allowed to collect personal belongings and was taken only in the clothes she was wearing. The experience was a shock to Therese:
Join us tomorrow as we continue our journey with Therese
Therese’s story is real, however we have changed her name to protect her privacy
The system of immigration detention in the UK is unique among European countries, as there is currently no limit on the length of time someone can be detained for. The refugees we serve live in perpetual fear that they could be detained at any moment. Immigration detention is an administrative process, which means that the initial decision to detain someone is in the hands of a Home Office official and is not automatically put in front of a judge for review.