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Detention center for failing asylum seekers

New proposals for an immigration removal centre in Oxfordshire are based on prison design.

24 October 2008. The UK Border Agency (UKBA) unveiled the detailed plans for a new detention centre which would house failed asylum seekers and illegal immigrants awaiting deportation.

The proposed site is ex-military land near Bullingdon prison, Bicester, where the government tried to build an immigrant accommodation centre.

The Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) at Bullingdon represents an turning point for the policy to speed up the removal of illegal immigrants, failed asylum seekers and others who come to the UK and "break the rules", said the UKBA.

The IRC would be almost four times the size of Oxfordshire’s other detention centre – Campsfield House in Kidlington – housing up to 800 men.

If approved it would provide almost 500 jobs with staff working eight-hour shifts, around the clock.

It would be designed and secured to the same standard as a Category C prison, so detainees would be locked inside.

Previous proposals for an open accommodation centre, where asylum seekers would have been free to come and go, caused an outcry among people living in the surrounding area. A huge campaign against it followed and the plans were abandoned three years ago.

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