An Eritrea farmer at the Manston processing center in Kent told Sky News he slept on cardboard and was fed cold sausages for lunch.
The 29-year-old, who was asked to be called Samuel, said it was not what he expected after crossing the Channel in a small boat in September and paying smugglers more than $5,000 (4,400). pound).
Samuel said that he was cold and hungry and couldn’t sleep.
And, more than a year after moving from Eritrea, he said he couldn’t take a warm bath for four days at the immigration center.
“They gave me cake for breakfast, hot dogs for lunch and fries for dinner. To me, that was terrible. The food was cold and small. I was very hungry,” he said.
“We don’t have toilet paper. The toilet is very dirty.”
He said asylum seekers look for cardboard to sleep on, because they don’t have mattresses.
Samuel, who told us he had fled Eritrea to avoid military service, said conditions improved when he was moved to other accommodation in London.
He said: “When people come, they need food and safety and warmth. I come to the UK for freedom and peace.”
Home Secretary Chris Philp this week highlighted how divisive the migration issue is when he said asylum seekers had been “a bit annoyed” by complaints about conditions at Manston, which is described as “bad”.
The Home Office says it has reduced overcrowding, and Manston is now understood to have around a few hundred people per its 1,200 capacity.
After more than a week of criticism over the “broken” immigration system, Interior Minister Suella Braverman announced the nationwide rollout of a plan to speed up asylum applications.
Ms Braverman said: “It’s not right that Britons are picking up £2 billion a year because the asylum system has been disrupted by an unprecedented wave of illegal migration.
“We still have a long way to go, but these steps show our commitment to tackling the refugee backlog. Faster processing of asylum applications will help weed out those who have lost their lives. illegally come here from safe countries, and at the same time make sure those who really need our protection.
“There isn’t a single silver bullet, but we are redoubled our efforts on many fronts to address this unacceptable situation.”
Braverman ‘received the message’
The Home Office says it is streamlining processes and increasing the number of employees applying for asylum.
There are currently 100,000 asylum seekers awaiting a decision on their claim.
Kent MP Roger Gale, who has Manston in his constituency, told Sky News: “The Home Secretary has come down and saw her own situation on Thursdayand spent a considerable amount of time with me at the facility.
“I think for the home secretary, that’s an interesting thing. I think she got the message.
“On the one hand, we have to get a handle on the processing of asylum claims, and separately, we also have to find a long-term, pan-European international solution to an international problem.”