UK Government responds to the Home Affairs Committee Report on immigration detention: Despite public outrage and reflection post-Windrush, the Home Office is determined to preserve the immigration detention system.
The Home Affairs Committee has published the government's response to its damning report on immigration detention.
Sile Reynolds, Lead Asylum Policy Advisor at Freedom from Torture, said:
Today’s response demonstrates that the Home Office has stubbornly rejected progressive reforms to the detention system, proposed by the Home Affairs Committee. These reforms have been proposed to address the injustices suffered by our clients in detention and in the wider asylum and immigration system. This failure is represented by the continued delivery of erroneous and harmful decisions to detain. Despite more than a year of public outrage and Government reflection on the errors of the Windrush scandal, the Home Office seems determined to preserve an immigration system that in too many respects is inefficient, inhumane and expensive.
The Home Office must learn the lessons of past mistakes and undertake root and branch reform, starting with its Adults at Risk policy. Freedom from Torture is frustrated to hear the Home Office defend a policy that has been so comprehensively denounced by the Committee and by so many of those who provided evidence to it. This is yet more evidence of immigration policy built on the politics of hostility and blind to the experiences of the human to whom it applies.
We are pleased that the Government has accepted and begun to act on one of our recommendations adopted by the Committee: the improvement of screening of those encountered during enforcement action. It has also committed to enhancing induction processes to improve the assessment and consideration of vulnerability once someone has entered detention. But this does not go far enough: unless urgent and fundamental changes are made, torture survivors will continue to be detained and denied the safety and recovery to which they are entitled.
Read the full response here.