The Home Office uses similar tactics to those of the Trump administration – with devastating effects for parents and children
When Kisi Assan dropped off her two-year-old daughter at nursery, it was the first time they had been separated since the child’s birth. Following a summons from the Home Office, she then set off to attend a meeting at a nearby immigration reporting centre. Assan [not her real name] had no idea that it was part of a plan to deport her at short notice to west Africa. Shortly after arriving at the centre, the 28-year-old was restrained by eight security officials, and transferred to a detention facility – without her child.
This practice is one of the toxic yet least-publicised elements of Theresa May’s “hostile environment”, introduced when she was home secretary. While Donald Trump’s policy of separating immigrant families has drawn international opprobrium, the practice continues largely unchallenged in the UK. Some say that when the prime minister recently described Trump’s scheme as “deeply disturbing” and “wrong”, she must have hoped her own approach would be overlooked.