A new Home Secretary, a new Immigration Minister – a new challenge? What you can do

by

After the Cabinet reshuffle, we now have a new Home Secretary (Amber Rudd) and a new Immigration Minister (Robert Goodwill).

goodwill

It is important that the new Minister is made aware, while he is still new to the post, that there is so much more that needs to be done about immigration detention in the UK.

In particular, we need to ensure that the reform programme which was started by the previous Immigration Minister, James Brokenshire, will not stall.

As you remember, in response to the findings of the Shaw Review, James Brokenshire said in a written statement on 14 January 2016 that the Government “accepts the broad thrust” of the recommendations Mr Shaw made.  He also made explicit the Government’s commitment to publish the Immigration Enforcement Business Plan for 2016/17, which would say more about the Government’s plans for the future shape and size of the detention estate.  The Plan has not been published yet.

As members of the Detention Forum, we are asking supporters to contact their MPs and urge them to write to the new Minister asking him to promise to continue with the detention reform agenda.

In addition, you could also ask your MPs to submit written questions so that the Minister is aware that there continues to be cross-party support for detention reform.

Below are some sample written questions for your information.  There is no need to ask your MPs to submit all the questions; perhaps you can choose one or two that you feel most strongly about and say why.  You should feel free to develop your own questions as well.

  • To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she expects Stephen Shaw to complete his follow-up review of the use of immigration detention
  • To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will introduce a maximum time limit on the length of time an individual can be detained under immigration powers
  • To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Written Statement of 14 January 2016, HCWS470, when does she intend to publish the Immigration Enforcement’s Business Plan for 2016/17
  • To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the evidence of the impact the lack of a time limit on immigration detention has on people detained in immigration removal centres
  • To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what mechanisms are in place to monitor the application of section 60 of the Immigration Act 2016
  • To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she believes that fewer people will be detained in immigration removal powers as a result of the Immigration Act 2016 and her Department’s response to Stephen Shaw’s report in the Welfare in Detention of Vulnerable Persons
  • To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how the impact of the Adults at Risk policy for vulnerable people detained under immigration powers will be measured
  • To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what consultation has taken place on the draft Adults at Risk policy for vulnerable people detained under immigration powers