Our lives are very difficult now. For twelve weeks we have had all benefits taken away and, as we aren’t allowed to work, we have to survive on the charity of others. It’s inhuman and degrading. The government, they’re not treating us like people, like human beings. We’re just targets or statistics to them: but we’re not statistics, we’re real people. There aren’t really words to express how we’re feeling.
The government say their policy is fair. How can it be fair for my mum to be so depressed she’s had to go on medication, she’s crying all the time, for us to be spending sleepless nights? Is it fair for me to have missed another day of college to come here to plead for our lives when I should be studying so I can become a midwife and help British women? Is it fair to say to a mother, “How would you feel if we took your children off you?” which was said to my mum back in August? I was there but you can imagine. What kind of question is that? Is it fair? Or is it degrading?
This was part of a speech made by 19-year-old Flores Sukula to a meeting in parliament this week. She is an asylum seeker from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), whose family was one of the first to be made destitute under new asylum laws.
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