Last week, the Home Secretary responded to the Shaw review – a report into immigration detention in the UK. There were a number of welcome announcements in the Home Secretary’s statement, not least the piloting of community programmes acting as an alternative to the detention of vulnerable women in facilities such as Yarl’s Wood.
But there was also a glimmer of hope that the government might bring an end to the practice of indefinite immigration detention. There are a number of reasons why individuals may find themselves detained with no time limit – either their countries of origin are unsafe, or because their Embassy refuses to allow them to return.
I have long believed that it is #timeforatimelimit on immigration detention, so I pointed the Home Secretary to the findings of a report carried out by my predecessor as the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Refugees – co-chaired by my Labour colleague Paul Blomfield MP. I’m pleased that the Home Secretary agreed to read the report, and committed to meet with Paul and I when Parliament returns in September. I will be sure to continue to push for an end to indefinite detention when the government brings the Immigration Bill before Parliament later this year.