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Hundreds left Manston migrant center amid overcrowding | Immigration and asylum


Hundreds of migrants have been moved out of an immigration center in Kent over fears it has become dangerously overcrowded.

Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick said the number of people at the Manston migrant processing center fell significantly on Tuesday, with more expected to be moved on Wednesday.

It came after the situation was described as a “violation of humane conditions” on Monday, with 4,000 people detained at the site.

The exact number of people displaced has not been confirmed, but Sir Roger Gale, the Conservative MP for North Thanet constituency, which includes Manston, said several hundred had already been displaced.

The union representing Border Force personnel working at the site said on Tuesday that the Home Office hoped to get 400 people out of the site.

Two coaches with heavily tinted windows were seen leaving the center around 4.15pm on Tuesday. It appeared that the buses were full of people. Another bus entered the site around 4:25 p.m.

Jenrick said: “Thanks to the hard work and professionalism of Home Office and Border Force staff, military personnel and our contractors, we have made good progress.

“The number of migrants has dropped considerably today (Tuesday) and we expect the same to happen tomorrow. Unless we receive a surprisingly high number of migrants in small boats in the coming days, the numbers will drop significantly this week.

“It is imperative that the site returns to a sustainable operating model and we are doing everything we can to ensure this happens quickly.”

It is unclear whether those displaced from Manston will be taken to hotels or alternative accommodation.

The site, located in a former Ministry of Defense fire training centre, opened in January 2022 and was designed to accommodate up to 1,600 people for up to 24 hours.

No 10 said Home Secretary Suella Braverman told the cabinet that a ‘large number’ of people were being taken from Manston to other accommodation, in a bid to ‘help relieve the pressure “.

Some families are said to have slept on the floor and outbreaks have been reported. The British Red Cross said ‘the serious problems at Manston are indicative of the wider problems facing the asylum system’.

Alex Fraser, director of refugee services and restoring family links at the charity, said: ‘The UK government must urgently seek ways to reduce the backlog of asylum decisions, including by taking faster decisions for nationalities whose asylum claims are generally approved, and providing safer routes so that people who have been forced from their homes do not have to make dangerous journeys and gamble with their lives.

“Our country is proud to have helped people fleeing war and persecution. No matter how you got here, everyone deserves to be treated with compassion and humanity once you’re on our shores.

Nearly 40,000 people have crossed the English Channel in small boats so far this year.

Downing Street said the Prime Minister told his cabinet at a meeting on Tuesday that the UK will always be a welcoming country, while Braverman said a ‘whole-of-government approach’ will be needed to tackle the crisis migration.

Meanwhile, counter-terrorism police have resumed the investigation into the firebombing of an immigration processing center in Dover, Kent on Sunday, which detectives believe was sparked by ” some form of hate-filled grievance”.

Andrew Leak, 66, from High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, is believed to have taken his own life after throwing two or three crude incendiary devices.

DCS South East Counterterrorism Police Chief Olly Wright said: ‘What seems clear is that this despicable offense was targeted and likely to be motivated by some form of hate-filled grievance, even though it does not necessarily reach the threshold of terrorism.”

Facebook posts on an account under Leak’s name contained anti-Muslim sentiments and complaints about people claiming benefits if they didn’t speak English.

theguardian Gt

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