Immigrants: Caribbean

Home Office written question – answered on 5th September 2018.

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Photo of Harriet Harman Harriet Harman Chair, Human Rights (Joint Committee), Chair, Human Rights (Joint Committee)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department has taken to ensure the legality of the admission process of members of the Windrush generation that were detained.

Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Minister for Immigration

Any decision to detain an individual is taken on the basis of careful consideration of the facts of the individual case. In order to detain an individual there must be a power to detain in legislation. Detention decisions must be in line with statutory detention powers and relevant case law as well as published policy on their use. As the policy makes clear, there is a presumption against detention.

Detention decisions are subject to internal assurance processes, including an initial decision by an operationally independent “Detention Gatekeeper” and initial and subsequent detention reviews. Reviews are conducted regularly at successively more senior levels throughout the period of detention to ensure that detention remains both lawful and appropriate. Case Progression Panels are held for those where detention reaches three months and at three monthly intervals thereafter.

Furthermore, any individual who is detained is entitled to make an application for immigration bail to the First Tier Tribunal. Those not subject to deportation orders are also automatically referred for immigration judge bail every four months. Individuals may also seek to determine the lawfulness of their detention by making an application to the High Court.

Whether we acted lawfully or not in detaining an individual is a matter which could only be determined by the courts looking at the facts of the individual cases.

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