Socialist Worker

Home Office stuffs refugees into hotel as media fans scare stories

by Ken Olende
Issue No. 2422

The Home Office has crammed nearly 800 asylum seekers at a time into Queen’s Hotel in Crystal Palace, south London. 

Yet the capacity of the hotel is just 98 rooms.

Most of the residents are refugees who arrived at Gatwick airport, including people who had fled from Syria, Eritrea and Sudan.

Eritrean refugee Mero told the Daily Mail, “We didn’t want to run. We have nothing—no money, only the clothes we are wearing, and nothing to wash them with. 

“We went to a police station, because we know the Home Office will find us somewhere to sleep and give us food.”

Croydon borough council has demanded the number of residents is reduced by 68 in order to prevent severe overcrowding. 

One room contained nine people.

The Home Office booked every room in the hotel for four months, netting the hotel’s owners about £500,000.

The media have taken up complaints from local residents.

The residents are complaining that they find it intimidating to see “gangs of people hanging round outside at all hours”. 

Refugees have said that while they are housed and fed in the hotel, there is nothing for them  to do.


Migrants are welcome here

The media scare about “illegal” migrants seems to grow day by day.

The BBC has been outraged that some gay marriages are being performed in order to get the right to remain in Britain. 

Yet it says less about the LGBT people who the UK Border Agency (UKBA) deports to countries where they will face oppression. 

Some 24 Eritrean migrants were heard calling “Oxygen, oxygen!” from the back of a lorry near Dover last week. They were saved from suffocation when a passerby broke the security seal on the lorry. 

Another three African men fell from a lorry on the M6.

The UKBA has detained all of these migrants. 

Their arrival in Britain is often the end of a harrowing journey. Only 11 people are known to have survived when traffickers rammed a boat carrying some 500 refugees in the Mediterranean earlier this month. 

The massacre brought the number of refugees killed trying to cross the Mediterranean to 3,000 this year.


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