Immigrants: Detainees

Home Office written question – answered on 29th December 2015.

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Photo of Lord Hylton Lord Hylton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their response to the Resolution of the House of Commons of 10 September calling on them to implement the recommendations of the report of the Inquiry into the Use of Immigration Detention in the United Kingdom, by the All Party Parliamentary Groups on Refugees and Migration.

Photo of Lord Bates Lord Bates The Minister of State, Home Department

Detention plays a vital role in maintaining effective immigration control and there are safeguards in place to prevent unnecessary or arbitrary detention.

Turning to the principal recommendations of the APPG report, though a common misconception, we cannot detain indefinitely under immigration powers. There are significant, long standing and highly effective protections for individuals against indefinite detention in the current system. A statutory limit is therefore not necessary.

An arbitrary time limit would potentially allow criminals and non-compliant individuals to play the system knowing that if they refuse to cooperate with removal for long enough they will be released.

The Home Office is conducting detailed analysis of the use of immigration detention including looking at the checks and balances in the systems to ensure that there is a more efficient and more effective process so that people are removed more swiftly.

The Home Secretary commissioned an independent review of the policies and operating procedures that have an impact on detainee welfare earlier this year. Stephen Shaw CBE, former Prisons and Probation Ombudsman for England and Wales, undertook the review and has recently submitted his report. The report will be published by laying it before Parliament, alongside the Government’s response to its recommendations, before the Lords Committee stage for the Immigration Bill.

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