Immigrants: Detainees

House of Lords written question – answered on 15th January 2015.

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Photo of Lord Roberts of Llandudno Lord Roberts of Llandudno Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty’s Government on what ground an individual can be detained for immigration purpose for periods in excess of 30 days.

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

Individuals may be detained to effect their removal from the UK, to establish their identity or basis of claim, or where there is reason to believe that they will fail to comply with any conditions attached to the grant of temporary admission or temporary release. In addition, asylum applicants whose claims are considered to be straightforward and capable of speedy resolution may be detained under the asylum fast track process.

Immigration detention is not subject to a fixed time limit but it must comply with the principles established in leading case law. These broadly provide that: the power to detain can only be exercised for a permitted purpose; detention is limited to a period that is reasonably necessary for the purpose for which it was authorised; what is a reasonable period will depend on all the circumstances of the case; and, if it becomes apparent that the purpose of detention cannot be achieved within that reasonable period, detention should be brought to an end.

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