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Immigration: Children

House of Lords written question – answered on 24th July 2013.

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Photo of Lord Hylton Lord Hylton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what procedures are in place to review immigration cases where parents are detained apart from their children and to ensure that the children’s health and well-being are fully taken into account.

Photo of Lord Taylor of Holbeach Lord Taylor of Holbeach The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

Separation of children under the age of 18 from parents most often occurs where the parent in question is a foreign national offender who is detained pending deportation or removal from the UK at the end of a prison sentence. When deciding whether to detain parents in such circumstances, consideration must take account of the best interests of the child and how their parent's continued detention beyond their prison sentence may impact on them, striking a careful balance between the welfare of the child and the risk of harm posed to the public by the parent. The same considerations apply to the regular reviews of detention carried out in each case should detention be authorised. This is in line with the statutory duty under section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 to have regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in the UK.

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