Home Office inaction risks COVID-19 crisis at detention centres

Following the Government’s response to the Annual inspection of ‘Adults at Risk in Immigration Detention’ (2018–19), which the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration described as “disappointing”, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine said: “Locking people up for months on end – without giving them any idea how long they’ll be detained – is clearly inhumane. It’s also expensive and unnecessary.

Christine Jardine

“The Conservative Government’s refusal to act with urgency on vulnerable people in immigration detention is unacceptable. It is shameful that Ministers took nine months to publish and respond to the independent inspector’s report, and that they refused to accept even its relatively timid recommendations.

“During the coronavirus pandemic, the Home Office’s inaction is even more dangerous. Given the risks of outbreaks within detention centres and zero chance of anyone being deported at the moment, the Home Secretary must release all detainees to prevent a COVID-19 crisis in UK detention centres.

“Liberal Democrats will continue fighting for an end to indefinite detention and for detention itself to be an absolute last resort. That will save taxpayers millions and ensure people are treated with more dignity.”

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