Minister Robert Jenrick gave the order to paint over the murals in the child asylum area.

The immigration minister told people to paint over murals of Mickey Mouse and other cartoon figures that were meant to welcome children seeking asylum to a center in Dover.

Robert Jenrick told them to be taken down, supposedly because he thought they were too inviting.

The Home Office said that the Kent Intake Unit (KIU) started in November 2017 to take care of unaccompanied children who came to the UK alone.

It also said that the facilities had softer interview rooms and a place outside.

The Home Office said there were also prayer rooms, a larger reception area, and better security steps to make sure the children were safe.


A spokesperson confirmed that the murals were taken down on Tuesday and said, “We do everything we can to make sure children are safe, supported, and cared for while we urgently look for placements with local authorities.”

“When a kid arrives at a shelter, they all have a welfare interview. The questions are meant to find out if there are any signs of trafficking or safety issues.

“Stopping the boats and making it hard for people smugglers to work is our top priority.”

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Stephen Kinnock, who is Labour’s shadow immigration minister, said that Mr. Jenrick’s order was wrong and that the idea that removing the paintings would somehow stop the boats was “completely ridiculous.”

He said it was a sign of a “chaotic government in crisis whose only options are tough talk and cruel and callous policies because their strategy isn’t working.”

He also said that Labour had a plan to “stop the dangerous crossings, beat the criminal smuggler gangs, and stop people from staying in hotels by getting rid of the asylum backlog.”

Sources told the i newspaper, which broke the story first, that workers at the center were “horrified” by Mr. Jenrick’s order and didn’t want to do the work.

His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons went to KIU and the nearby processing centers at Manston and Western Jet Foil last month. They found that the facilities had gotten better since the last time they were checked.

But there are still problems, like medical isolation at KIU. The report said, “During this inspection, inspectors did not find any good practices that stood out.”

The Home Office said that it had taken some of the suggestions into account.

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