subscribe: Posts | Comments

Help end indefinite detention

1 comment

Liberty, indefinite detention, postbug, petition, 28 days, campaignThe current chaos is unfair to everyone: send your MP a campaign postcard now.

The world has been shocked by Trump’s separation of families at his detention centres on America’s border with Mexico.

But it’s not just the United States Government that tears families apart…

Every year the UK’s Home Office locks up nearly 30,000 people, among them asylum seekers, children, elderly people, pregnant women and survivors of torture, trafficking and rape.

They have no idea when they will be freed.

No judge authorises their incarceration – the Home Office alone makes the call. And some people are held for years in chaotic detention centres where neglect and abuse are rife.

Indefinite detention separates families and devastates people’s mental health. Self-harm and suicide attempts are common.

Immigration detention should be used only as an absolute last resort. But in the UK it’s the brutal everyday reality for thousands and thousands of people.

And not only is the human cost of immigration detention huge – but it also fails to deliver the gains politicians want.

Every year, the government wastes around £76 million of taxpayers’ money on the long-term detention of people who it ultimately releases.

And as the Guardian reported recently, the Home Office also mistakenly detained more than 850 people between 2012 and 2017, some of whom were living in the UK legally, and the government was forced to pay out more than £21m in compensation as a result.

There is now support for change, and calls for ministers to impose a strict 28-day limit.

Other countries use a range of effective alternatives to detention which have led to low rates of detention and high rates of voluntary return.

And Liberty has produced a report outlining alternatives to detention – which you can read here.

The government will soon publish a draft law establishing the UK’s post-Brexit immigration system, so this is a chance to put a time limit into UK law – a crucial first step towards ending the suffering and uncertainty.

Liberty’s campaign to bring in a 28-day limit on detention has been gaining momentum; over 46,000 people have already signed Liberty’s petitions to the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid.

If you have not already done so, please sign this petition to the Home Secretary asking him to end indefinite detention and include a 28-day limit on immigration detention in the upcoming immigration legislation.

Liberty also now needs as many people as possible to send a message to their MP, to ask them to sign Liberty’s pledge that they will support a 28-day time limit.

Please help. You can help by sending a postcard to your MP, using the Postbug website.

Postbug will take your message, print it on a postcard and send it to your MP. This is a great way for us to get their attention as it is a physical card landing on their desk rather than just another email in their inbox.

Each card costs £1.75 to send. If you feel able to cover this cost, that’s great. If not, don’t worry – Liberty also has a number of postcards which have already been prepaid for, which you can send via this link.

This is important, please help. Nobody should be locked up without knowing when they will be released.

As Shadow Home Secretary Dianne Abbot told the Independent: “Immigration detention is a highly unusual system, and when introduced it we were assured it would be for a matter of weeks only. Yet we now have people being kept for years.

“Children are still being detained.

“We spend enormous sums on detention, yet most detainees have a right to be here and are given leave to stay. We need a much better, more efficient system.

“The current chaos is unfair to everyone, both those who are allowed to stay and those deported.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *