Immigrant parents, children separated in UK
Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID), a charity representing 155 parents of separated children which handles 170 such cases a year, said that hundreds of children are separated from their parents every year in the U.K.
Although the current immigration guidelines set by the Home Office state that the separation of children from their parents is unacceptable, BID has recorded three such cases happening over the last 16 months.
“The impact of this is devastating and long-lasting,” Celia Clarke, the group’s director, told The Guardian. “Children of parents we have supported regressed, developed behavioral difficulties and suffered from night terrors,” she added.
“The enduring legacy was a constant fear that their parent or parents might be taken from them again.”
The practice is similar to that of U.S. President Trump’s policy of detaining immigrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border, which has earned him international condemnation.
“What has been happening in the United States with families arriving at the border being forcibly separated is utterly reprehensible,” Clarke said.
“But in the U.K. we do not have the moral high ground. Our government has been separating parents from their children for the purposes of immigration control for years. Parents are detained with no time limit on that detention and no automatic legal representation, leaving their children in the community,” she added.
MPs last week grilled Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on the government’s response to Trump’s policy of detaining children and urged the government to ban Trump from visiting the U.K.
The U.S. president is scheduled to visit the U.K. on July 13. A massive demonstration is planned to take place on the streets of London to oppose his visit. ■