The indefinite immigration detention of migrants who cannot be deported is ineffective, inefficient and enormously damaging, according to a new report, “No Return No Release No Reason: Challenging Indefinite Detention”, by London Detainee Support Group.
Only one in three people held in immigration detention for over a year are eventually deported, according to LDSG’s research. A full 57% of long-term detainees are released, having spent years in prison-like detention centres to no purpose. The report features testimonies from and art by indefinite detainees, powerfully expressing the human impact of the practice.
The report also tracks the growing challenges to indefinite detention over the last two years. A series of High Court rulings have found indefinite detention without prospect of removal to be unlawful. International and domestic monitoring bodies have increasingly raised concerns over the growing numbers of long-term detainees. Campaigning is putting increasing political pressure on the government to reform the dysfunctional detention system.
In January 2009, London Detainee Support Group (LDSG) published research on the hidden practice of indefinite immigration detention. The research investigated the cases of 188 people supported by LDSG who had been detained for over a year, and interviewed 24 of them. It concluded that indefinite detention is ineffective, inefficient, opaque, and entails a terrible human cost. Following the report, LDSG launched a campaign, Detained Lives , to bring an end to indefinite detention. This report revisits those cases to find out what happened, and assesses what has changed since then.
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