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End immigration detention

Green Councillor for Redland, Fi Hance, will be proposing a motion to Full Council on the 11th December calling for an end to immigration detention to support the 'These Walls Must Fall' campaign:

Full Council Motion – 11th Dec 2018

Ending immigration detention

Full Council notes that: 

  • Immigrants and asylum seekers who have committed no crimes continue to be detained in conditions that are sometimes worse than mainstream prisons.
  • The UK is the only country in Europe to not have a time limit on how long immigrants and asylum seekers can be detained. This means that many are detained for months or even years at a time, without any certainty about when they’ll be released or deported, causing significant and unacceptable distress.
  • There are 11 detention centres used for this purpose in the UK, one of the largest number is Europe.
  • Between 2500 and 3500 people are detained at any time and 27,300 ended up in the Centres in 2017 at a cost of over £125 million a year. This is not only a waste of money, but indefinite detention without charge is a clear breach of people’s human rights. 
  • The Home Office is still arriving at asylum seekers’ homes in the middle of the night, here in Bristol or stopping them when they are legitimately signing on at the police station in Patchway, whisking them away to another part of the country, where many are unable to have visits from family and friends due to the cost of travel. The majority of detainees are eventually released if they get the right legal support, as they have done nothing wrong, but many never get over the trauma of detention. 

Full Council:

  • Believes that the Government must end immigration detention now.
  • Restates our commitment as a City of Sanctuary and recognises these issues form an essential part of the Dignity not Destitution Pledge, which has been signed by the Mayor.

Full Council calls on the Mayor to: 

  • Endorse the These Walls Must Fall Campaign (http://detention.org.uk/)
  • Call on the Government to implement the recommendations of the All Party Parliamentary Inquiry into detention.
  • Recognise all the hard work that volunteers do to support local asylum seekers who are detained.
  • Ask our local MPs to support the spirit of the motion, to continue to raise the matter in the House of Commons, and to support changes in current laws and procedures to introduce alternatives to detention.
  • Seek further support for the motion via the Local Government Association, and by encouraging other Councils in the UK to raise the issue. 

Motion Submitted by: Councillor Fi Hance

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