According to the UK Home Office, in 2017, of the 27,000 individuals who entered the “immigration estate”, just over 12,000 were forcibly returned to their home countries. But even for those released, the effects can be devastating. Many are left traumatised by their time in detention and have to pick up the pieces after periods of separation from their children, friends and community.
After months of investigation, a Guardian survey has found that, of 188 people who were in detention as of 31 August 2018, 30% had dependent children here in the UK. But this is just one of the many issues facing those in immigration detention centres today.
In this special two-part series, we hear from people who have experienced immigration detention at first hand, how they ended up there, and what life was like inside the centres at the heart of Theresa May’s “hostile environment” policy.