The Transfer to Freedom Routine
After two weeks it feels like we have a routine, I set up the transfers at the end of the week for the following week then move out of the farmhouse on the day of the transfer. I then stay with my uncle for two days, until the men make their way to the Inner Fortress.
This week we will run multiple trips by mini vans into the Inner Fortress and move 40 men from the immigration detention centres DEX35 and DEX52. We have an operation that no one is really aware of or cares about. The staff at the immigration detention centres are happy to see less people imprisoned and consequently less work. Anything to reduce the crowding has a positive impact on the atmosphere. There are always new arrivals and a similar number who are released after more than 18 months usually onto the street. Very few people ever get deported or not in recent history. The detention centre for the immigration department is too far out of the way and is filled up from the overflow of police stations bursting at the seams from people caught crossing the border.
If we can manage to increase the number of transfers we can start to have an impact on the prison population. Once we get the DEX52 below 1000 people it will start to improve the conditions in the centre. We look like we will run into trouble with finding in the coming weeks because of the use of the minivans. In terms of security and flexibility the minivans are making a real difference. We launched an appeal last week and it is bring in a trickle of cash which is helping.
I am getting quite proficient at the use of the immigration databases in DEX52 and DEX35 and discovered some tricks that might just allow me to allow the cancelling/deletion of detainee records in the system. A lot of the records in the system are junk detainee records. Because of the poor administration skills and general carelessness of the staff a large number of junk detainee records have been created. So a record is entered with incorrect registration details and false cross references from the main immigration database. This means that a large amount of polluted data exists. The only way for this mess to be cleaned up is for the polluted data to be removed from the database, this means archiving and deleting records from the DEX35 and DEX52 immigration detention centre systems. With the record deleted or archived the record can’t be seen by central Fortress database searches. If the people we help are caught in the Inner Fortress by the authorities the Fortress would find no record that the person has been arrested and detained anywhere in the Fortress previously. They can apply for asylum in a country of their choosing as if their case if being heard for the first time.
This week I made the database administrators aware I am cleaning up the DEX35 and DEX52 database and sent the first tranche of detainee records for deletion and archiving. The tranche of records were around 70% corrupted data records and 30% records of people we have freed from the detention. I will keep on doing this every week as a regular event for as long as I can.
The true significance of this ability of ask for records to be deleted is that we can now release the unaccompanied minors and women with children. We can get them into access with direct services in the inner Fortress and give them a chance to apply for asylum if they choose. Once in the Inner Fortress they can access free legal services and counselling (from financially stressed NGOs) that can advise and give options for their next stage of their lives.
That is our little update and significant news on our operation Transfers to Freedom.