They call it ‘Notorious Yarls Wood’, and it is notorious.

They don’t give you a ticket, they give you a window of time. They say, ‘You will go within these three days, or five days.’ They changed this about a month ago. Why is this? Because we would call our solicitors straight away and stop the flight. As I am talking there is a woman next door who is supposed to be taken to the airport today, deported to Pakistan. There were supposed to be 15 women deported yesterday, to Nigeria. There was a flight stop about two months ago, people refused to go. We grouped up for three days in one room, refused to eat and everything, and the charter flight didn’t happen. So now they takes one by one into isolation so we can’t be in solidarity and stop the flight together. The bus comes, the bus is called ‘THE JOURNEY BEGINS HERE’. That is the name of bus that takes the women. This bus took the women to Stansted Airport for a charter flight to go to Nigeria and Ghana. We really fear for our safety here. Our experiences here leave us with depression, sleep disruption and mental health. We are like zombies.

It really reminds us of the history you read about slaves. When they used to take people and put them in the ships, to take them and go and sell them. Now, they are doing this here. Yarls Wood is a slave ship. They take you from here and put you on a charter flight. The G4S, the owners of this place, they get a lot of money when they deport people out of the country. There was a woman here who wanted to go, her daughter bought her a ticket to leave but they didn’t like this because they don’t get all the money from it. They took their time to let her go, but when they want to deport you they move quickly, because they get money from it.

When you look in Yarls Wood there is no white person in here, we are all Indian, Chinese and African. It is racism. They don’t want any people of colour in this country. There are white Zimbabweans who are claiming asylum but they can do it outside. We are treated as animals. One officer said to us they get £300 a week for each of us.

The people in the Mediterranean, we are like this. This is our ship, we are drowning. We don’t have life jackets, we need lifejackets. Our life jackets are you people out there. Please help us.

I have been in England 20 years, I paid my taxes, paid my NI. My back is hurt from lifting older people, working with disabled children. I worked with all my heart. There is one woman here who is 87 years old. An Indian woman. Would you do this to your Grandmother? She cant even walk. If there was a Yarls Wood in Africa it would be all over the news. But it is happening in England and so nobody knows about it. The laws in England remain the most barbaric in the EU.

Out there they don’t know about people in here. We left our family outside. Our children are outside, our husbands are outside. The young girls here just got married and they left their husbands outside. They are breaking up families.

It is like we are in prison, these women have never done anything wrong. We left torture, we ran from rape. Then you think you are running away England where you can be safe.

We really need help in here. this places needs to be shut down. They are depriving us of our liberty. We came to England to be safe. Hearing that if you come to England you will be safe. You are running away from murders and torture, some people have had all their families murdered.

We are not terrorists. We are not harming anyone. There are people who have been killing people who are given bail. We haven’t hurt anyone. They lie, they say you are a threat to society. I am not a killer. Where are we to turn to for help? The whole world needs to know. Tell the BBC. They call it ‘Notorious Yarls Wood’, and it is notorious.

Please help us, they are just taking us and throwing us in the planes.

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I want to talk about work

First of all, I am a fulltime student which give me the right ot education in the UK and is a human right. I am a full time student of construction at a college – The college gave me full support yet the home office put me in detention. I have a partner here and I’m not a criminal. I find it pretty disgusting – it’s a kind of ethnic cleansing. I don’t see why I should be in detention. – I was one of the best students in my department.

I want to talk about work. There is no induction for people who start work in detention. They pay £1 per hour for any job. I was specifically told that I had no right to work outside of detention. If any company out there employ ‘illegal migrant’ then the company get prosecuted and fined and the migrant get arrested and jailed. But G4S, GEO, SERCO and MITIE all run these detention centres contracted to the Home office  and all employ illegal migrants. They should be prosecuted and fined. They make lots of profit and pay us under minimum wage and treating us like slaves. I find this very disgusting. Why are we being treated in this inhuman way.

People work as cleaners, in the kitchen, some people who wash pans, some that work in the library as an attendant, those who clean tables, people who clean the showers. Every essential part of the centre apart from security staff are all done by detainees who are paid £1 an hour.

The health and safety situation is poor as well. One of my colleagues went to the showers. Under the health and safety rules and regulations under the slips trips and falls – wherever there is a hazard of falling they should put a sign so that people don’t. But that was not there until a week ago. A pad mate slipped and fell and almost brought a claim.

In normal circumstances the first thing that gets done when you’re employed is induction. There are no induction packs whatsoever. No one knows their rights from left. I’m quite educated but for most people in here the system is shambolic. IT’s a place where they cage them just to remove them. Everyone is classified as a danger to the public yet they’ve committed no crime and they come from a war torn area. I’ve seen lots of papers and its like a template, they just classify people. IT’s an administrative thing – categorising migrants all into on section. Once an immigrant family, they designate them a danger t the public and need to remove.

It’s not the Britain I used to live in. It’s all politically motivated. No body is talking about this. WE are being used to make profit, as cash cows for the home office and for the security companies. G4S £148 million last year – where are they making this profit? They are making it from those in prison, from detainees. If they employed people outside to work here, they would be paid 6, 7 pounds an hour. Any other job they would punish people for paying £1 an hour. I think this is double standards.

If I’m allowed to work in here, and I get released – I will not be allowed.

Why do I say that the Home office is involved in this? Because before you get a job in a detention centre, the Home office have to clear you. So they know! They have to clear you, so they are involved. If they don’t clear you, then you don’t get a job. They know this is how much they pay. They know exactly what is going. The Home Office, the medical care and the companies are all involved in this. They know about it – so why is it different? Why should we be marginalised and almost enslaved?