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Calls to Help Immigration Detainees on Portland


7:56am 17th February 2014

A National Group are asking if you could help people being held at Portland's new Immigration Removal Centre.

The Association of Visitors to Immigration Detainees send volunteers to visit people being held by the Government under the Immigration Removal Act.

They're hosting a meeting in Weymouth on the 27th of February to talk with people about the future of the former Verne prison and gauge interest in creating a local visitors group.

Ali McGinley, Director of the Association of Visitors to Immigration Detainees, spoke to Wessex FM about the people who'll be in the second largest Immigration Removal Centre in the Country, "Unlike a prison sentence, these people have no idea how long they're going to be held for. In our experience this causes quite high levels of anxiety and leads to a lot of mental health problems."

She continued to say how local visitors can help detainees, "A visitor just essentially acts as a friend or family member would and provides practical and emotional support to that person."

Ali told us the meeting will be a chance to hear from a former detainee and learn more about what the experience is like. She also added there'll be a chance to discuss some of the problems with Immigration Removal centres and anyone can come along.

The meeting will be held at St John's Church in Weymouth at 6.45pm on the 27th of February.

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