An estimated 70,000-80,000 Jewish refugees were accepted into Britain before and during World War Two . At the time, the idea of turning our backs on those fleeing atrocities in continental Europe was reprehensible.
The Home Office began housing asylum seekers in disused army barracks around September last year and in that time their use has been a regular feature in the news. The Penally Camp in Tenby, West Wales, which was used for this purpose, was closed in March following an inspection that found it totally unsuitable and unsafe. Napier Barracks, an even larger site housing asylum seekers in Kent, remains open and is thought to house a population of around 250 individuals.
It was recently announced that a man had been charged with terrorism offences for a far-right attack at the offices of Duncan Lewis Solicitors in Harrow. The man had entered the firm in September brandishing a knife and threatened to kill a member of staff. The prosecution now allege that he was planning to take a solicitor hostage and fly both the Nazi flag and that of the US Confederacy, both of which were in his possession, from their office.
People fleeing war and persecution, torture survivors, and victims of rape and human trafficking, are just some of those being held in immigration detention centres across the UK for months and, in some cases, even years, without knowing when they will be released.