Report by Chief Inspector of Immigration Criticises Dawn Raids and Treatment of Families

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The report “Family Removals: A Thematic Inspection, January – April 2010” by the Chief Inspector of Immigration, John Vine, challenges the way the UKBA treats families who face deportation and demands that changes be made. Recommendations include that dawn raids be reconsidered, that interpreting services be available in the case of house arrests and to ensure that all other means are exhausted before enforced removal is carried out.

Click here to read full report

See below to read the Foreword from John Vine-

The removal of families who do not have permission to remain in the United Kingdom is one of the most challenging and sensitive areas of work undertaken by the UK Border Agency. The obligation that the UK Border Agency now has to carry out its functions having regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children requires a fundamentally new approach to managing families in the immigration system from start to finish.

It is vital that the detention and removal of families is handled effectively and sensitively, taking into account the individual circumstances of each case. I am concerned therefore to have found significant weaknesses in current procedures, specifically no clear individually tailored plans for families throughout their contact with the UK Border Agency, poor compliance in the completion of health and welfare documentation and, should an arrest be necessary, where and when this should be carried out. In addition, based on the evidence in this report, I consider that the UK Border Agency could be more effective in ensuring families are encouraged to return voluntarily.

I consider it unacceptable that the UK Border Agency has no system or process in place to capture and publish with confidence data on families. Given the potential stress experienced by families who are detained, together with the significant cost to the taxpayer both of detention and supporting families in the community, I would expect to see more comprehensive information collected, analysed, produced and published by the UK Border Agency.

Finally, clear records need to be maintained in each and every family case and appropriate information on how the UK Border Agency exercises its powers of arrest and detention should be placed routinely in the public domain. Transparency in this area is important – the public should have confidence that the UK Border Agency is meeting its obligation to have regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children while still being effective in removing families who have no right to remain in the United Kingdom.

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