The British Home Office’s Border and Immigration Agency(BIA) recently commissioned a report on its treatment policies. The report offers devastating evidence of widespread intolerance and discrimination against people who are detained. A female office at Colnbook, taunted detainees by saying, “Animals, lock up time,’ as well as describing them as “black bastards.” The team conducting the study reported many detainees said they preferred jail to being at Colnbrook. At Lindholme immigration removal center in South Yorkshire, a member of the staff described North African detainees as “donkeys,” and then proceeded to make animal sounds. An analyst also found evidence of people on staff describing colleagues in derogatory terms.
The authors of the report came upon some Jamaicans playing checkers during which they shouted and slammed their fists on the table when doing something correct. Several staff members were ready to sound the alert for a “riot” because they completely misunderstood how people in a different cultural group engaged in play. It is quite clear, members of the immigration service need some cultural awareness education and some training in how to get along with people in a manner that respects the dignity of other humans.