Waterside Court in Kirkstall is the home of the regional office of NASS – the National Asylum Support Service – and the Immigration Nationality Directorate. Asylum seekers must report here with their identity card and papers every month, fortnight, week and even every day, or risk imprisonment and deportation.
The reporting system is a form of mental torture and a humiliating process. For some it’s a 25 mile trip and many have no transport. Asylum seekers and their children are forced to queue outside the building come rain or snow for up to an hour. Their bags, wallets, even the inside of their mobile phones are searched. All this just to show your ID and confirm your address!
Every time they report, asylum seekers face the prospect of being suddenly detained and deported, ripped from their families and friends and returned to face possible persecution and death.
Leeds No Borders holds a demonstration outside Waterside Court every two weeks, all welcome.