Backing for car wash boss

I am writing in support of Frankie Khan and his courageous stance in employing asylum seekers at his car wash in South Shields.

I worked with Frankie and the men last summer to produce a documentary film for Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, commissioned by Tyne & Wear Archives.

The film, Asylum Carwash, was about our hypocrisy over illegal migrant labour.

Many of the asylum seekers who wash our cars arrive from countries which have experienced war or civil unrest, often because of our own interest in their home countries' oil resources. It is what our Government does on our behalf that ends up creating the very situation which causes them to come to the UK in the first place.

The reality is our country is in need of low-skilled labour.

The Government allows failed asylum seekers to remain in this country without any recourse to public money and without the right to work. If the Government allows them to stay, surely it is society's responsibility to look after these people, not to force them into black-market work.

The authorities are very aware what is happening but have chosen instead to criminalise people, like those at Frankie's car wash.

Frankie's car wash is a haven for those looking to make a honest wage and support themselves.

I have witnessed Frankie and his sons working alongside the men who come with little to this country and work hard to support their families. These are not workshy men.

I find it strange that it is Frankie and the working men who are being harassed. Why doesn't the Government either send these men home, which it often won't because it is unable or unwilling to, or offer them a chance to contribute to society and even pay tax.

Much of the reason for these scaremongering tactics is so that the Government can show it is doing something about immigration to keep the general public happy. However, don't be fooled. The jobs these illegal migrants come and do, no one at the jobcentre would be likely to queue for.

Asylum Carwash, an eight-hour documentary installation about Frankie's F1 Handwash, in Commercial Road, can be seen at Salford Museum until March 16.

If you can, consider what it would be like working outside in a car wash today for eight hours. Do you really imagine people do this because they want to?

Tina Gharavi,

Newcastle University.