Do you sign at a reporting centre?
Do you sign at a reporting centre? Are you worried about being detained?
If so, please read this practical information, which will help you protect yourself and and others around you.
Most asylum seekers have to report daily, weekly or monthly to an immigration reporting centre or police station. The main reason for this is that the Home Office wants to keep asylum seekers under control, and make their life difficult, humiliating and stressful. They also want to make sure that they can detain people easily when they decide to deport them. But don’t let them get you down! By standing together, we can help each other and defeat them. Know your rights, and fight for them!
When you go to sign…
- Always have your solicitor’s mobile phone or emergency number on you. If you do not have a solicitor, write down one of the phone numbers on this paper.
- If possible, take a friend with you when you go to sign, or call a friend to say you are going there. This way someone will know if you are detained.
- Make sure this friend has all the information about your case (your name, date of birth, Home Office reference number, your solicitor’s phone number, etc.) so that they help if you are detained.
- It is a good idea to make a file with copies of all your legal documents. Give it to someone you trust, who does not live with you. They can use this information to fight for your case when you are in detention.
- Make sure you know exactly what is happening with your case. Check regularly with your solicitor. Many solicitors do not call people – it is important that you call them regularly and ask. You can also ask your solicitor to write you a letter explaining your situation, which you can give to the immigration officers in case you are detained.
If you are detained…
- If you are detained in a detention (‘deportation’) centre, at a police station or an airport, ask them to let you call a friend to say where you are. You can also call one of the numbers of organisations here if you don’t have anyone.
- If you have a solicitor, call them immediately as well. It is not too late to stop your deportation, but you need to act quickly. If you don’t already have a solicitor, you can get one for free by going to the library in the detention centre and putting your name on the list. A solicitor will then come and see you.
- Ask if there are any visitors or detainee support groups and try to contact them.
- If you do not want to go back to your country, do not sign any papers saying that you agree to return home.
- Do not sign any agreements to leave your children behind or take them with you. They might use all kind of tricks and threats – be strong!
- If you are not deported, you should be released from the detention centre. If they don’t release you, you can apply for bail.
At the airport…
Even if you are about to be taken to the airport, there are things you can do that might stop your deportation.
In many cases, pilots refuse to fly if there is someone on the plane who is upset, making noise or refusing to sit down, or if other passengers do not want to travel on that flight for these reasons.
So, tell people on the aeroplane that you are being deported by force and that you do not want to be deported. Ask them to talk to the pilot as soon as possible (even before going on the plane).
If you have friends and supporters, ask them to go to the airport and talk to other passengers about you.
Don’t give up – keep fighting! You can be taken off the plane up until the doors close. Lots of people have stopped their deportation by resisting and shouting – but remember that if you physically fight with the guards, they might become very violent and hurt you. If you are not deported on that flight and you are taken back to the detention centre, try to get a solicitor immediately to challenge your deportation.
You are not alone!
At any time you can call one of these numbers for help. These organisations are charities or activist groups fighting for the rights of asylum seekers and other migrants to stay. We will do what we can to help.
Refugee Council (for free legal advice in your own language)
0808 808 2255
National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns (NCADC)
NCADC is a voluntary organisation which provides practical help and advice to people facing deportation on how to make a campaign against their deportation
Tel: 0207 749 7616/07817 359746
Bail for Immigration Detainees (‘BID’)
BID is an organisation that helps people get out of detention centres by making legal applications. Tel: 020 7247 3590 ( call between 10 a.m.to 12 p.m, Monday to Thursday – outside of these times leave a message)
Fax: 020 7426 0335 http://www.biduk.org