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Detention Centres: Families

Home Department written question – answered on 3rd May 2011.

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Photo of Julian Huppert Julian Huppert Liberal Democrat, Cambridge

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many children remained in one parent's care while the other parent was detained for immigration purposes (a) in the most recent period and (b) in the last 10 years for which figures are available.

Photo of Damian Green Damian Green The Minister for Immigration

The information requested is not recorded centrally by the UK Border Agency and could be obtained only through examination of individual case records at disproportionate cost. However, in response to the Family Removals: Thematic Inspection report by the Independent Chief Inspector of the UK Border Agency, the UK Border Agency has committed to improving the management information held on families. The UK Border Agency takes its responsibilities for safeguarding children seriously and where possible ensures that families remain together. Typically, separations would take place only in cases where a member of the family is also a former foreign national prisoner and a decision has been made to maintain their detention pending deportation. Under the new arrangements for managing family returns, families without any criminal history would only be separated in exceptional circumstances and after advice had been sought from the independent Family Returns Panel.

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