World news – GB – Idea to send asylum seekers to Ascension Island – logistical nightmare –


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A proposal discussed at the Home Office that asylum seekers could be treated on Ascension Island has come as a shock to residents of the volcanic territory 4,000 kilometers from the UK

The idea being considered within the department of Priti Patel that asylum seekers could be transferred to British overseas territory in the South Atlantic has been called « inhumane » by critics at the house

But it was also dismissed on Wednesday as an unworkable ‘logistical nightmare’ by Ascension Island Council member Alan Nicholls

He said he only found out about this possibility when contacted by reporters and feared that security concerns over the presence of two military bases on the island would render it « Prohibitive »

“As far as costs and logistics go, we are over 4000 kilometers from the UK, I would have thought it would be extremely expensive and a bit of a logistical nightmare to bring asylum seekers here to Ascension because we are very isolated and I don’t think everything would be achievable, to be completely honest, ”said M Nicholls on BBC Radio 4’s Today show

He also raised concerns among residents of the island, with a population of less than 1,000, forcing migrants there during the coronavirus pandemic

“There could be a massive influx of individuals and in this state and this time with pandemic lockdowns and everything, I don’t think anyone would be very receptive to that,” the adviser said. p>

The Financial Times reported that the Home Secretary ordered officials to study plans to build an asylum processing center on the island

But a Home Office source tried to play it down, saying Ms Patel had asked staff to explore how other countries were handling claims, with Australia keeping asylum seekers in detention centers in the overseas islands

The source said the Foreign Ministry had been consulted with Ascension and St. Helena, which are part of the same group of islands, being proposed before being dismissed as too remote

Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said: « This ridiculous idea is inhuman, utterly impractical and extremely costly It therefore seems entirely plausible that this Conservative government proposed it « 

Refugee Action CEO Stephen Hale added: “It is deeply disturbing that our Home Secretary even considered this immoral and inhuman plan to be a serious solution to a humanitarian crisis »

A senior United Nations official told the Commons Home Affairs Committee that she had urged the Home Office not to adopt the idea

Rossella Pagliuchi-Lor, UK representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said: “This is the Australian model and I think we have already seen that the Australian model has caused incredible suffering. to people guilty of no more than asking for asylum

« It has also cost, and continues to cost, besides, I think, an incredible amount of money, so it seems both extremely inappropriate in terms of the commitments the country should have on human rights. man and asylum, but also an incredibly impractical and expensive way to do it « 

Ms Patel pledged to prevent migrants from making the perilous journey across the Channel in small boats amid record number of crossings

The proposal further reflects the influence of Australia – which has controversially used offshore treatment and detention centers for asylum seekers since the 1980s – on immigration and immigration policy. UK asylum

Ms Patel recently met former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, known for his tough stance on immigration, who has been appointed by Boris Johnson as UK trade adviser

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Ascension Island

News from the world – GB – Idea of ​​sending asylum seekers to Ascension Island – logistical nightmare –



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