Liverpool City Council has passed a cross-party motion against immigration detention and in support of the local ‘These Walls Must Fall’ campaign.
Councillors from all four parties proposed a motion that called on the government to end indefinite detention, and that the system was “inhumane” and “not fit for purpose”.
The Council noted that the UK remains the only country in Europe with no time limits on immigration detention. Each year over 30,000 people enter detention centres in the UK.
Chelsea Ningabire, an activist with the These Walls Must Fall campaign in Liverpool, said: “I would like to thank the city council for supporting our campaign.
“Detention is affecting many people’s wellbeing, and I am campaigning with These Walls Must Fall because I saw friends who have been detained, how detention have affected them, and I live everyday in fear to be detained too. Nobody should have to suffer this way just because they come from another country.”
Hattie Ditton, Casework and Advocacy Coordinator at MRANG, a charity that supports refugee and asylum-seeking women in Liverpool, said: “MRANG supports the campaign because indefinite detention is futile and cruel. Imprisoning a vulnerable person inside an institution without knowledge of when she will be released is torturous and results in a rapid deterioration of their mental health. No one should be driven to contemplating suicide as a result of a so-called administrative process, yet this is the case for many women we work with.”
The campaign is most active in Manchester and Liverpool, and has the support of various local groups including migrant rights organizations, trade unions, trade councils, universities, pensioner groups, and religious groups. It is led mostly be people themselves at risk of detention.
Liverpool joins Manchester, Cambridge, Brighton & Hove and Islington Councils in endorsing These Walls Must Fall.
Political representatives, particularly from the north-west region, have endorsed the campaign, including several councillors, MEPs, MPs and the shadow immigration Minister Afzal Khan. Liverpool MP Dan Carden recently spoke against detention and in support of the campaign at the recent Liverpool Together Against Trump rally.