MPs and Lords battle it out over detention issues in Immigration BillPosted: April 28, 2016
Lords stand firm on detention amendments
The Lords have returned the UK immigration bill to the House of Commons for fresh debate after insisting on time limits and protection for pregnant women.
Amendment 84, which proposes a 28-day time limit on immigration detention without judicial review, and Amendment 85, which proposes the exclusion of pregnant women from immigration detention, were both rejected by 302 votes to 266 by MPs on Tuesday.
There is currently no statutory restriction on the category of adults who may be kept in UK immigration detention or for how long. Home Secretary Theresa May recently pledged to introduce a 72-hour time limit on the detention of pregnant women.
Lords “insist” on time limit
The Lords came back yesterday with suggested revisions to their amendments, but made few concessions.
Their new draft insists that pregnant women should only be detained for up to 72 hours “in the most exceptional of circumstances“.
On the question of a detention time limit, the Lords rejected outright the Commons’ proposed alternative of a six month maximum period without judicial review, refusing to budge on a 28 day limit.
Their statement reads: “The Lords insist on their Amendment 84 for the following reason— Because Commons Amendment 84A does not make adequate provision for time limiting and judicial oversight of immigration detention.”
The bill is currently in the Consideration of Amendments phase, commonly referred to as “Ping Pong”, in which it will pass back and forth between the Commons and the Lords until they reach agreement. This is the final stage before the bill passes into law.