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The Invisible Prison Refugees Inhabit

posted on 2022-10-03, 10:27 authored by Wefail (Artist)

Anonymous Contributor:

When I saw these images of Priti Patel, I thought that’s just how I imagine the face of the Home Office – its double standards, its hypocrisy and the fear that it instils – how it classifies refugees as ‘deserving’ or ‘underserving’, according to the colour of their skin. If you ask me what I dread, I would say: first the Syrian government, and second the Home Office.

“The Home Office places refugees in an invisible open prison, through the deliberate cruelty they inflict.”

It is quite sad because people seek refugee status through hope, and those hopes are crushed through cruelty. It is a kind of horror that we feel when we think of Home Office. It has become even worse as the work of the Home Office has been outsourced. Their responsibilities of monitoring and surveilling us have been delegated to ordinary people, like landlords, employers, public services carrying out Right to Work checks – who are now forced to act like police and ask for our status, our ID, for proof to right to access public services. It is not unlike a police state. It is not unlike the Syria so many fled and so many are now fleeing in Ukraine. Everyone is an immigration officer.  Yet unless you have been in the system, this suffering and cruelty is invisible.

‘Turn Back’ artwork by Wefail


This material is part of the Covid Chronicles from the Margins project, funded by The Open University and The Hague. The project aims to highlight the impact of the pandemic on refugees, asylum seekers & undocumented migrants.

This item can also be found on the Covid Chronicles website.


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