Casework insights: no one wins

Removing immigrants impoverishes Britain’s culture, writes Fraser Paterson, DDVG’s new caseworker

© Mark Ingle and made available through the CC Attribution 2.0 Generic licence

I am a new caseworker at DDVG and now that I am in my second week of work I thought I’d share my first impressions after a few meetings with detainees in Dover.

Unexpectedly, my first thought has been what our current immigration system wastes in human talent. This is a well documented problem but one that all to often focuses on entrepreneurs and higher education.

I met an asylum seeker last Wednesday and today was his flight returning him to his country of origin. He gave us a written account of his life as a gay man who had fled violence in his country of origin, so that we could help him in a last-minute effort to find legal advice. What stunned me was not so much the rejection of his claim – this was sound but he had previously lacked legal advice – but the quality of his writing.

His English, while not perfect, was peppered with inventive turns of phrase to express how he truly felt, in a way that really dragged me along with his emotions. When I met him again I told him this and I hope that he’ll be able to write about his next experiences, even if I won’t get the chance to read it.

As he is deported today, I’ll be thinking of the loss to Britain’s depth of culture, as well as the pain of a man returned to a country he had been forced to flee.

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