[noborders-brum] "Angry protesters at asylum case HQ" (Solihull Times article)

phunkee phunkee at aktivix.org
Mon Jul 3 13:11:07 UTC 2006

Front page article of the Solihull Times about the joint Noborders, ARC 
monthly protest at Sandfield House:

Here's a copy of the text too:

Angry protesters at asylum case HQ

Jo Sykes and
Kenton Whitehall

PROTESTERS waving placards vented their anger at
the region’s alleged inhuman treatment of asylum seekers when they
descended on the West Midlands Headquarters for Immigration in Solihull on
Friday (May 26).

Members of human rights groups Birmingham NoBorders
and the Anti Racist Campaign (ARC) targeted the Sandford
House building on Homer Road to highlight what they say is
the barbaric treatment of people seeking asylum in Solihull
and Birmingham - including dawn raids and alleged strip
searches of families and youngchildren.

Dave Rogers, a campaigner on behalf of ARC, told the paper
enforcement squads operating from the Homer Road head-
quarters were forcibly snatching people from their homes in
dawn raids every week.
According to Mr Rogers, those people captured by the
squads are brought back to Sandford House, before being
sent to one of ten government detention centres around the
UK to await deportation.

“We’re working with a family right now who were snatched
from their home, brought here, and sent to Yarls Wood deten-
tion centre. The couple were separated from their six-year-
old son who was then strip searched.
He added: “This isn’t humane, this is barbarism.
These people were Iran freedom fighters, they’re not crim-
inals or second class citizens.

‘How can you call a human being an illegal? It’s unbeliev-

Protester Nellie De Jongh, 39, a Zimbabwean who fled
Robert Mugabe’s political dictatorship, said she was still
waiting to hear whether or not she would be able to stay in
the UK with her two daughters.

“The immigration system is so humiliating. Even while we
wait to hear the court’s decision, officials visit my house
four times a week and have the right to search everything
inside it.

“My involvement in an opposition party to Robert Mugabe
means I cannot return home,” she added.

A Home Office spokes person confirmed Sandford
House was the headquarters for the region’s Enforcement of
Removals Directorate but denied the possibility of inhumane treat-

“The Government has always made it clear that those people
who are here illegally have not got the right to stay and will be

“The officers who operate from Sandford House are trained
in procedures to minimise stress during removal and we always
try and keep families together where possible,” he added.

Dave Rogers campaigning on behalf of the Anti-Racist
Campaign outside Sandford House alongside asylum
seekers afraid to make their identity known. 22.06.709.dj

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