Immigration Detention Dispatch – 18 January 2017

Third immigration detention death in six weeks as report finds mental health services “patchy”

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

Revealed this fortnight

  1. Third immigration detention death in six weeks. A 27-year-old Polish man has died of suspected suicide in Morton Hall detention centre after reportedly having been refused bail to attend the birth of his child. His death follows those of Tarek Chowdhury in Colnbrook and an unnamed 49-year-old man in Morton Hall in December 2016. The Guardian has more.
  2. Detained Afghan teen vows to kill himself if deported. 18-year-old Idress Wazeer, detained in Brook House, claimed asylum from the Taliban as a minor four years ago. He has attempted suicide twice in the past month. The Guardian has more.
  3. UK detention mental health provision “patchy”. Mental health support for traumatised detainees varies significantly across the UK’s immigration detention centres and is often inadequate, according to a report commissioned by NHS England. The Guernsey Press and Care Appointments have more.

In other news

  1. Virtual Reality documentary gives viewers a glimpse of detention. The documentary “Indefinite“, narrated by former immigration detainees and published on the New York Times Op-Docs channel, aims to give viewers insight into the experience of indefinite detention in the UK. has more.
  2. Defunct detention centre may become hotel. Dover MP Charlie Elphicke has said that Dover immigration detention centre, abruptly closed in October 2015, could be converted into residential homes or a hotel. Kent Live has more.

Immigration Detention in Parliament

Deaths and Suicides

How many people have died in detention since 2007, and how many people currently in detention are on suicide watch, asked Alison Thewliss, SNP MP for Glasgow Central.

Records of deaths in detention can be found in published government statistics, and there were 78 people on suicide watch as of 21st December 2016, replied Robert Goodwill, the Immigration Minister.

Pregnant Women

How many pregnant women have been held in immigration detention and subsequently removed from the UK since the Immigration Act 2016 came into force, asked South Cambridgeshire Conservative MP Heidi Allen.

12 pregnant women were held in immigration detention between 12th July 2016 (when the Immigration Act 2016 came into force) and 30th September 2016, of which one was removed from the UK, answered Robert Goodwill.

Children in Detention

How many children below the age of 16 are currently in immigration detention, and how long have they been there, asked Lord Smith of Hindhead, Conservative.

There were no children in immigration detention at the end of the second quarter of 2016, replied Baroness Williams of Trafford, Minister of State for the Home Office.

Operation Magnify

Is it the government’s policy, as part of its Operation Magnify programme (which targets businesses’ use of undocumented migrants in the construction industry), to detain workers who report that they have been trafficked or are victims of modern slavery, asked Labour Edmonton MP and Shadow International Development Secretary Kate Osamor.

There are no special conditions applied to people detained as a result of Operation Magnify, answered Sarah Newton, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Office. Detained victims of modern slavery can appeal to the National Referral Mechanism, and will be released for a minimum of 45 days if their application is found to have grounds.

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