Today, I supported Diane Abbott’s urgent question condemning the shameful revelation that the Home Office has placed more than 500 people who were identified victims of modern slavery in immigration detention. It is completely unacceptable for anyone to be held in the appalling conditions found in detention centres, like Yarl’s Wood, but especially innocent women who have been victims of exploitation and trafficking. The Home Office should be focused upon prosecuting those who have exploited these vulnerable people and, rather than being forced to undergo lengthy immigration proceedings, these women should be offered protection and support by the state.
The immigration detention system is one of the most extreme manifestations of Theresa May’s hostile environment policy, separating parents from children, and incarcerating people who present no risk to the public indefinitely. Labour has promised to close Yarl’s Wood and use the money saved to invest in support for survivors of modern slavery, trafficking and domestic violence.