Immigration Detention Dispatch – 23 November 2016

TB scare at Yarl’s Wood and film crew gets invite to detention island

Catch up on the fortnight’s immigration detention news and parliamentary debate

Revealed this fortnight

  1. TB scare at Yarl’s Wood. At least four women are being held in isolation and another has been hospitalised amidst fears of a TB breakout at Yarl’s Wood detention centre. One woman said she asked to be tested for the infectious disease weeks ago but was ignored. The Sun has more.
  2. Former G4S family care officer on trial for rape. A family care officer who worked for a G4S immigration detention centre has been on trial at Croydon Crown Court for sustained sexual abuse and rape of a woman over a two year period. The court heard that Scott Webster used techniques learnt in his training at the centre to restrain his victim. Your Local Guardian has more.

In other news

Home Office silence on Dungavel. The Home Office’s refusal to comment on its latest plans for a new immigration detention centre in Scotland has prompted speculation from stakeholders about its next move. Government plans to replace the ageing Dungavel detention centre with a facility near Glasgow airport were recently thwarted by Renfrewshire Council, whose members unanimously voted to refuse planning permission. The National has more.

In other parts

Sky film crew gains access to Nauru. A film crew with Sky News has been granted access to film on Nauru, the highly secretive Pacific island widely known as dumping ground for intercepted migrants to Australia who are detained there by force. The island’s detention centres are notorious for their human rights abuses and suppression of media coverage. The Guardian has more.

Immigration Detention in Parliament

Children in detention

Have unaccompanied minors from Calais been held in UK immigration detention centres in the past month? asked Baroness Doocey, chair of the House of Lords finance committee. The Home Office is not currently accommodating children from Calais in its centres, answered Baroness Williams of Trafford, Minister of State for the Home Office.

Immigration arrests

Labour peer Lord Temple-Morris asked how many arrests of undocumented immigrants, and how many arrests for immigration offences, were made in each of the last five years, and how many of those arrested in each year were detained, deported, or released.

Baroness Williams answered that data on arrests and detention for illegal immigration is not readily available, but that 119,730 arrests for immigration offences were made either by police or by immigration enforcement from the years 2011/2012 to 2015/2016.

Plans for reform

Paul Monaghan, SNP MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, asked what plans the Home Office has to reform its immigration detention estate.

Robert Goodwill, the Immigration Minister, responded that the Home Office has changed its policies and processes since the publication of the Shaw Review, with a view to reducing the numbers of people detained and their length of time in detention.

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