Our Mission

At GARAS (Gloucestershire Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers) we offer support to those seeking asylum in Gloucestershire, welcoming them when they arrive, advocating for them in their daily struggles, supporting them if they face being sent back as well as helping them adjust to their long term future if they are recognised as refugees.

Contact Information

Gloucestershire Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (GARAS)
The Trust Centre
Falkner St

Telephone: 01452 550528
General enquiries: info@garas.org.uk
Administrative enquiries: admin@garas.org.uk

Adele Owen

Where is the scariest place in the UK?

August 24, 2015

On a fortnightly basis many asylum seekers and others monitored for immigration purposes have to present to Immigration Officers to sign to show their compliance with their requirements under their claim.

For some this will involve going to an Immigration centre and for others a visit to a local police station is required and the Immigration Officers will be present to witness the signatures.

This is scary and takes emotional and physical resources to comply. Because you just never know. You just don’t know if today will be the day they pick you up to start removal proceedings. Today may be the day day they take you from your house and community and put you in a detention centre while they decide what happens next.

Today you may just be humiliated by someone with all the power and a row of witnesses all feeling vulnerable. This is not some kind of punishment for criminals just a form of humiliation for those who have requested a basic human right, the right to be safe.

This is not a short term fear but a fear that can be enacted many times over while waiting court cases and decision makers. And don’t make the mistake of missing your signing because it will come back to affect you in the future.

I have witnessed this fear, it is palpable, even the local police will avoid the signing session held at the police station as they find it uncomfortable.