As an ex-detainee, I’ve seen why these immigration centres have to close | Mishka

We urgently need alternatives to a system that facilitates self-harm, emotional distress and the breakup of families

I was detained in Harmondsworth immigration detention centre for five months before I was released. I know the amount of mental and physical deterioration that detention can cause. That is why I hope that a day will come when these immigration detention centres are closed for good.

I know this isn’t something that can happen overnight and will be difficult to achieve swiftly. But simply highlighting that detention centres are inhumane and saying we have to close them down is no longer enough, especially in the present political climate. We have to explain what can be done to tackle this system and propose viable alternatives. That way, hopefully we can change the attitude of the wider public, gain cross-party political support and work together to ensure more and more detention centres are closed for good.

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