Home Office refuses to publish internal analysis of immigration detention systemPosted: February 24, 2016
Home Office will not release detention review findings, minister confirms
A Conservative Minister has confirmed that the Home Office will not publish the findings of its upcoming review into the purposes of the UK immigration detention system.
In an answer to a written parliamentary question from Shadow Culture, Media and Sport Minister Thangam Debbonaire about the proposed scope of the review, Home Office Parliamentary Under-Secretary Karen Bradley stated on Tuesday:
“The analysis referred to is regarded as internal policy advice, and the Home Office does not intend to release this piece of work.”
Immigration Bill assurances
The response appears to be at odds with assurances made in December by Immigration Minister James Brokenshire in a House of Commons debate on the new Immigration Bill. Coming under pressure from members of his own party to take steps to reduce the UK’s use of immigration detention, Brokenshire stated during the debate:
“The Home Office is conducting a detailed analysis of the purposes behind [immigration detention] […] including looking at the checks and balances in the systems to ensure that we have a more efficient and more effective process so that people are removed more swiftly and speedily.”
The Minister added:
“We will come back to this House in the new year—and we intend this to be before the Bill has passed through both Houses—setting out the much broader piece of work that we are undertaking.”
Bradley’s reply implies a renewed reluctance on the part of the Home Office to engage in debate about its beleaguered immigration detention system. It comes less than a week after a young Moroccan man, Amir Siman-Tov, was found dead in Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre on 17 February.
Last month the Home Office published the long-awaited independent Shaw Review into the Treatment of Vulnerable People in Immigration Detention. The findings made by former Prisons and Probation Ombudsman Stephen Shaw were generally welcomed by campaigning groups, but critics argued that the report’s remit was too narrow as it did not address the ultimate purpose of detention or the lack of a statutory time limit.
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