Immigrants: Detainees

Home Office written question – answered on 7th October 2019.

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

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that children are not detained for immigration reasons.

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

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many children have been detained in immigration detention for longer than 28 days since January 2018.

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

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many children who have been detained in immigration detention at any point since January 2018 were subsequently deported.

Photo of Baroness Williams of Trafford Baroness Williams of Trafford The Minister of State, Home Department, Minister for Equalities (Department for International Development)

The UK ended the routine detention of families with children in immigration removal centres in 2010, and enshrined this in law under the Immigration Act 2014. Children may be detained in family groups for removal in our pre-departure accommodation for up to 72 hours, extendable to a week with Ministerial approval. This provision is used sparingly and only after all other avenues have failed. Families with children may also be detained at the border pending a decision on whether they should be admitted to the country, or until the next available return flight if they are refused entry to the UK. There remain limited circumstances where unaccompanied children may be held under immigration powers at port for up to 24 hours, usually until they can be transferred into the care of social services.

Information on the number of children leaving detention and in the detention estate, is available in tables dt_09_q and dt_13_q of the detention tables in the latest release of ‘Immigration Statistics, year ending June 2019’.

The term 'deportations' refers to a legally-defined subset of returns which are enforced either following a criminal conviction or when it is judged that a person’s removal from the UK is conducive to the public good. Information on those deported is not separately available and therefore the published detention statistics refer to all enforced returns and voluntary departures.

Detention Tables - June 2019 (Excel SpreadSheet, 5.98 MB)

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