Statement on Government plans to reopen Campsfield House Immigration Detention Centre

Published: Wednesday, 29th June 2022

A statement from Councillor Susan Brown, Leader, Oxford City Council and Councillor Shaista Aziz, Cabinet Member Inclusive Communities and Culture.

"Oxford is a proud city of sanctuary. Oxford City Council along with residents, charities, and voluntary groups, have a long record of standing in solidarity with all refugees and those seeking sanctuary, safety and a life of dignity and hope.

"The government’s decision to reopen Campsfield House Immigration Detention Centre is wrong and inhumane and further demonises refugees and negatively impacts communities across our city. It creates an atmosphere of fear, mistrust, and further divides people and communities at a time when people are facing huge challenges in their day to day lives – the exact opposite is needed.

"For over twenty five years, residents, campaigners and organisations across the city have worked together tirelessly to get the centre closed down. Campsfield saw hunger strikes, self-harm and even suicide before it closed.

"It should stay closed.

"Oxford City Council is unequivocally opposed to the re-opening of Campsfield House Immigration Detention Centre and calls on the government to create a fair, humane and compassionate immigration system. Oxford City Council will continue to ensure our services do not report people’s immigration status. We reaffirm our commitment to support refugees and asylum seekers as a city of sanctuary, and our support for the fantastic organisations across our city doing this work.”