Protests over asylum seekers

DEMONSTRATORS chained themselves to a vehicle to block the entrance to an immigration office in Portishead in protest over the treatment of failed asylum seekers.

DEMONSTRATORS chained themselves to a vehicle to block the entrance to an immigration office in Portishead in protest over the treatment of failed asylum seekers.

Five people barricaded the car park entrance at the Conference Avenue asylum screening centre at 5am on Tuesday.

The protestors tried to prevent immigration officials leaving, who they believed to be preparing for a dawn raid.

The members of the No Borders network, an organisation that campaigns for an end to migration controls, were objecting to early morning raids being used to remove illegal immigrants.


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The Portishead centre, which conducts interviews for people applying to stay in UK, opened three years ago despite widespread opposition from residents in the town. It was one of four sites in the UK targeted by protestors.

Councillor David Pasley said: "I was afraid of things like this happening when plans for the centre were announced. The centre is too close to a large residential area and members of the public will not be happy having a protest like this right on their doorstep."

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A Border and Immigration Agency spokesperson said: "Failed asylum seekers who have no right to remain in the country and who do not leave will be removed.

"The Government will take a robust approach to removing people from the country who have no legal right to be here.

"We accept that asylum can be a complex and emotive issue, and that people are entitled to use their right to peaceful protest.

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