After drawing international outrage, a private company hired by the British government to provide accommodation and meals for asylum-seekers living in Cardiff, Wales, will no longer require them to wear wristbands.
Previously, Clearsprings Ready Homes not only used the brightly colored bands to identify asylum-seekers staying at Lynx House but also forced them to wear those so they could claim basic services such as food.
The would-be migrants are not allowed to work and depend on a £36.95 (US $52.57) weekly payment by the Home Office.
After the company’s outrageous demand made headlines, it drew comparisons to Nazi Germany where Jews were forced to wear a Star of David to stand out.
"If we refused to wear the wristbands, we were told we would be reported to the Home Office," Eric Ngalle, who stayed at the Lynx House shelter for a month, told The Guardian. Ngalle added that some people would notice the wristbands and tell the migrants to “Go back to your country.”
Asylum seeker is to Jew under Nazi Germany it seems. This wristband is equivalent to the Star of David stitching. pic.twitter.com/jPst0wo92H— Dale McDermott (@dalemcdermott) January 24, 2016
Yellow star. Pink triangle. Red wristband. Asylum seekers to wear wristbands in Cardiff. Have we learned nothing? https://t.co/teszWiBTt2— Joanna Semlyen (@Dr_Jo_S) January 24, 2016
Don't worry, the system is soon to be superceded with new mandatory badges - yellow stars, pink triangles and so on. https://t.co/ckvV1XrwDH— Duncan Hothersall (@dhothersall) January 24, 2016
Yet another shameful practice proving absence of historical memory "Asylum seekers made to wear coloured wristbands" https://t.co/xHtL3tWXYD— Dr Tanja Bueltmann (@scotsdiaspora) January 24, 2016
Although the policy has been axed and wristbands, it is being reported, will be replaced by photo identification, questions remain as to how the divisive measure was put into practice in the first place.
The wristband controversy comes just days after a private firm under contract by the Home Office in Middlesbrough, G4S, was criticized by asylum-seekers for allegedly painting the doors of their houses a red color, which made them easy targets of abuse.