ANYONE who knows me (and thousands who don’t) knows that I am passionate on the subject of fair immigration. Let me get started, and I can rant for hours on the subject. There’s very little that stuns me into speechlessness. But I’ve been staring at one particular story for hours without being able to put my fury into words.

I don’t care what your immigration status is, there is no excuse – none, none at all – for torturing innocent children by ripping them away from their parents.

The Home Office knows this, and that is why their own rules say that they are NOT ALLOWED to do it. But it’s happening.

Kishi dropped off her two- year-old child to a nursery while she attended an immigration reporting centre interview. Kishi was detained, despite having had absolutely no indication that this would occur (after all, she left her child at a nursery for the day).

You can easily imagine that Kishi’s first, last and only concern was to ask immigration officials what was going to happen to her daughter. In the event, the child was put into emergency care when nobody came to collect her.

The National: Theresa May’s comments came as a new poll suggests that trust in her ability to handle Brexit is falling. Photograph: PA

'Theresa May is the architect of the Hostile Environment policy'

Kishi was not told where her child was for two days; it was a month before she saw her daughter.

Another, darker case – if that’s even possible – is the case of Leysa, forcibly separated from her six-month- old daughter and two-year-old son for four months while she was detained.

The Home Office then actually tried to argue that Leysa could be deported because she wasn’t the children’s primary care-giver. Of course, the only reason that they could even say this was because it was the Home Office that had separated them and put the children into care in the first place!!!

These are just two of more than 300 such cases, just in the last year, and numbers are exploding.

It’s worth noting that at the time I read it, four of the most recent ten comments on The Guardian’s story had been deleted by the moderator, such are the nature of the comments being posted.

I have always believed that the ridiculous initial decision the Home Office made for our family was not born out of malice. Bureaucratic incompetence and monolithic contempt, perhaps; but not malice. I even think that our subsequent rather horrific treatment by both the Westminster government and various trolls was motivated far more by embarrassment and pride than actual evil.

But what happened to Leysa? That took three successive steps: to detain her; separate her from her children in defiance of departmental rules; and to then make the argument that she could therefore be deported. That was not accidental incompetence or contempt. It was methodical, deliberate planning.

This was a purposeful, carefully planned decision to torture two children. And they were tortured to achieve only one pitiful goal: it was all so a departmental official could – completely artificially! – improve the quality of their argument in an immigration case.

Again, there are absolutely no words to describe this evil.

If you thought that this only happened in Trump’s America – actions that Theresa May once described as “deeply disturbing” – and somehow thought the UK was better than this, you now know you are wrong. This same Theresa May is the architect of the Hostile Environment policy, and her department is operating exactly as designed.

If you think immigration status justifies torturing children – children who have had no say in their current circumstances – then I have no words for you. None at all.
Gregg Brain