"If they refuse me that’s alright, because I don’t want to stay in this country, because I don’t want to waste my life in the detention centre. It just makes me mentally and physically upset here."
Dilip has spent the best part of two years being moved from one detention centre to another while the Home Office decides how to proceed with his case. He has given up seeking the right to remain in the UK and is instead now trying to leave the country so he can end his detention. At the time BID meet with Dilip [March 2009] he had been in detention for 20 months with no immediate prospect of removal or release.
"If they refuse me that’s alright, because I don’t want to stay in this country, because I don’t want to waste my life in the detention centre. It just makes me mentally and physically upset here... I just want to go, they don’t want to send me, I don’t know why."
Dilip was just 14 when he entered the UK in 2003. His journey began in his native India, from where he flew to Prague before carrying on to Britain hidden in the back of a lorry. Having completed the considerable journey, alone, Dilip applied for asylum the day after he arrived in Britain, only to be told by the immigration officer that he was too young to claim asylum. At this point he was put in the care of social services. Twice Dilip ran away from his guest house accommodation, seeking instead to stay with contacts he made through a local temple. In 2004 he was arrested for assault. He was released and granted Temporary Admission, but subsequently failed to meet the reporting conditions of his release. In 2006 he was arrested and charged with possessing false documents. He was given a four-month sentence and completed two months before being taken into detention.
Dilip was refused asylum soon after he was put in to detention. After that he made a total of six bail applications and one application for Temporary Admission. All were unsuccessful.
"I don’t have any interview with the immigration for asylum. They just refused me when I was in Dover."
Originally detained in Dover, Dillip was then sent to Oakington and after that to Dungavel.
"I got a legal aid representative in Dover, but you know what he just applied for me for bail in Dover. When immigration send me to Oakington my solicitor he just called me and said they are moving you to Oakington and it’s not my area so I don’t do anymore your case. After he said I am no more your solicitor.
"In Oakington I say I just want to see any solicitor but they said we don’t go with you to a bail application. They say we will apply for you a bail application but we don’t come with you to court. They say we don’t get pay, no money if we go to the court or something like that. Then after I say if you don’t want to go to court, if you want to just fill the form I’ll do it myself so I don’t want you. I did a lot of bail applications myself and a few bail applications with BID."
At the end of 2007 Dillip gave up on seeking bail or any right to remain in the UK, and sought documentation to return to India. However, neither the Indian High Commission nor the Home Office recognised the information he gave as genuine, leaving him in detention, this time fighting to be allowed to be deported.
"The Home Office they just send me monthly reports and they tell me we are just waiting for travel document, we get very soon your travel document. Last time I’ve been in court October 2nd for bail hearing and then the Home Office say we need just need three or four weeks to get travel documents for you, and then we send you very soon after. They just mention that in the court, and on 15th October they say again the same thing, oh we need three weeks and we get your travel document. Now it is 26th November and I hear nothing.
"We are human beings, we want freedom, we want to go back to our country, but long long time they just keep us here and I don’t know why they want to do it… My question is why am I still waiting?"