Parliamentarians share their concerns about immigration detention

Parliamentarians share their concerns about immigration detention

26 Jan 2012

Parliamentarians and researchers representing a number of MPs met again on 7 Dec 2011 to discuss their shared concerns about immigration detention in the UK.

The Parliamentary Network Meeting on detention was chaired by Dr Julian Huppert MP, and was attended by nine parliamentarians and seven researchers representing MPs’ offices. John Vine, the Independent Chief Inspector of the UK Border Agency, Elizabeth Bowles at Equality and Human Rights Commission and Amy Summerfield at Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons provided presentations on their recent and forthcoming reports on detention.

At the meeting, there was a shared disappointment and frustration with UKBA’s responses to the recommendations made by the Independent Chief Inspector of UKBA and other monitoring bodies.

There was a also consensus at the meeting that the current detention system is leading to substantial numbers of people being detained with serious effects on their lives and health, many of them only to be released later. This is causing a significant waste of resources, both human lives and government finance.

The parliamentarians present at the meeting were keen to work together to highlight detention problems and resolve them through committees and other parliamentary processes, with the help of NGOs via the Detention Forum. The ideas such as publishing regular newsletters for the parliamentarians and forming small cross-party groups in order to lobby on issues of joint concern were discussed.

The Parliamentary Network Meetings on detention are held twice a year and are hosted by the Detention Forum.   The full report is available here.  The next meeting will take place on 23 May 2012, chaired by Dr Julian Huppert MP.