source: Red Pepper
published: 6 September 2017
Almost 30,000 people were detained under immigration powers in the UK last year. Executive and judicial officials have been given generous powers to detain.
But, legally, it is not unfettered. Its purpose is to effect removals from the UK, and it is unlawful to maintain detention past the period necessary for this.
In law, immigration detention must not under any circumstance operate punitively or without a legitimate purpose (I say ‘legitimate’ reluctantly: thinking beyond the confines of the current legal framework, no one should be stripped of their fundamental right to liberty for simply being in a public place that is cordoned off to them by man-made borders).
But it does. National Statistics show that only 48% of those detained were eventually removed from the UK in the year to March 2017. The detention of 52% of the individuals was ultimately pointless under the Home Office’s own policy.