Churches' Refugee Network welcomes MPs report on immigration detention
The Churches' Refugee Network (CRN) has welcomed a call by MPs for a cap on the number of days immigrants can be detained in the UK.
The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Refugees and the APPG on Migration said in its recent report, published after a six month inquiry, that detention should be capped at 28 days. The report also found that Home Office guidance stating that detention should only be used sparingly and for the shortest time possible was not being followed.
“The report is a searing indictment of the UK practice,” said Jonathan Clark, Bishop of Croydon and chair of CRN. “As the report makes clear, in detaining people for indefinite periods of time, and for administrative purposes alone, the UK goes well beyond the practice in other European countries.”
The UK is the only country in the European Union not to have a set limit on how long asylum seekers can be detained. There are between 2,000 and 3,500 migrants in detention at any given time.
In its report the cross-party group of MPs found that current government policy was putting detainees’ health at risk, with some people being locked up for long periods, resulting in huge and unnecessary costs to the public purse.
The Churches’ Refugee Network urges voters at the coming General Election to seek candidates’ commitments to bring about the changes called for by this Inquiry, especially the setting of 28-days as a maximum time limit to detention.