A former prison, newly designated as an Immigration Removal Centre, will be officially opened by Immigration Minister Damian Green on 1st June. Media representatives have been invited to the opening. Protesters for liberty and human rights are not invited to the event which starts at 10am, and should not consider trying to voice any dissent when the press meet the Minister at 11:30.
Previously an RAF base, Morton Hall has operated as a prison since 1985. Plans to change it’s purpose seemed dashed last summer, when it was announced that the government could not afford the high costs of locking up yet more refugees and migrants. Sadly however the Coalition has found the money, presumably from savings made by cutting public services.
Detention Action and other organisations have been campaigning against the expansion of detention. In a joint letter to the Immigration Minister last year, 25 organisations criticised the Morton Hall plans in the light of the UKBA’s “inefficient and damaging” use of existing detention centres and called for a moratorium on expansion.