Politicians are economical with the truth. So it’s no surprise
that less than a year after children’s minister Margaret Hodge
insisted that taking children from their parents was not the
intention of proposals for failed asylum seekers, this is exactly
what is happening.
Under the Asylum and Immigration Act 2004, asylum seekers whose
claims fail have 14 days to return home voluntarily or comply with
deportation. If they don’t they are denied financial support and
accommodation. Their children can be taken into care as their
parents are destitute. But it is the government that makes them
destitute in the first place.
Babies have now been taken from their mothers shortly after
birth and put into foster care. Is it really in the best interests
of children to be taken from their mothers at this critical bonding
period because their parents are perceived to be in the wrong?
It’s a shameful policy made even worse by an uneasy feeling that
children are being used as bargaining tools to force their parents
to leave the country more quickly so that their families can be