More than half a billion pounds has been spent on immigration detention in four years, figures show, prompting renewed calls for a limit on length of time immigrants can be held in removal centres. The Government shelled out £523.5 million on detaining people for immigration reasons between April 2013 and March 2017, with an additional £16.2 million spent on damages awarded to immigrants who were detained unlawfully in the same period. The figures, revealed in response to a written question by the Liberal Democrats, have led to renewed criticism of Britain for being the only EU country without a statutory time limit for the detention of immigrants, with Tory MPs and lawyers now calling on ministers to impose a strict 28-day limit.
The practice has been blamed for inflicting mental breakdowns on people charged with no crime and given no release date, with last year seeing six people die in detention – the highest annual count on record. Survivors of torture, trafficking and rape are among the tens of thousands held in overcrowded centres.
Read more: May Bulman, Independent, https://ind.pn/2BciFmq