Immigration detention

By Oshin Shahiean, managing partner at OTS Solicitors 
 
immigration detention has hit the headlines again. However, the best London immigration solicitors believe that this time immigration detention is in the news for the right reasons with the announcement that Harriet Harman, chair of the joint committee on Human Rights, has cross-party agreement to address the issue of immigration detention exceeding 28 days. The cross party group of Members of Parliament plans to seek amendments to the immigration Bill that is passing through Parliament to stop the indefinite detention of people in immigration detention centres.
 
Many people assume that immigration detention is a rare occurrence affecting very few migrants. However, Top London immigration solicitors and immigration campaigners will tell you that around 27,000 people are detained in immigration detention centres. Some of the periods of detention are short, some for over 28 days and a small number in excess of a year.
 
The Windrush scandal and the £108 million cost of the immigration detention centres may go some way to explain the contents of the joint committee report on Human Rights that said detention should not exceed 28 days and should be authorised by decision-makers who are independent of the Home Office.
 
The report highlights the fact that the lack of a time limit to the length of time that a detainee can be held in an immigration detention centre does not encourage Home Office officials to progress immigration cases promptly. That is a comment that most Top London immigration solicitors would agree with. Without a deadline to work to, it is all too easy for detainee immigration cases to drift even though there is an argument that their cases should be dealt with efficiently because of the emotional cost to the detainee of detention and the £108 million annual immigration detention costs.
 
How can OTS Solicitors help? 
 
If you are at risk of deportation or administrative removal or are concerned about detention in a detention centre or are detained and want to apply for bail or challenge Home Office decisions the specialist immigration solicitors at London based OTS Solicitors will be happy to talk to you to see how we can help you.
 
Please call us on 0203 959 9123 to discuss how a member of our specialist team of immigration solicitors can help you.
 
The recommendations of the cross party joint committee on Human Rights
 
The best London immigration solicitors have welcomed the recommendations of the joint committee on Human Rights, namely: 
• An end to indefinite detention with it being recommended that there is a 28-day time limit to detention in immigration detention centres and in exceptional circumstances the Home Office should be able to apply to a judge for a further period of detention of no more than an additional 28 days;
• The decision to detain a person in an immigration  detention centre should be made by a judge or an official working for an independent body rather than a Home Office caseworker;
• Those detained in immigration detention centres should have improved access to legal aid so that they can instruct immigration solicitors to challenge detention;
• Foreign nationals who are liable to deportation at the end of their prison sentences should be able to challenge the deportation order after it is made rather than having to wait until the end of their sentence to begin a challenge;
• Vulnerable individuals in immigration detention centres need to be identified and appropriately treated.
 
If the government were to implement all the recommendations of the cross party committee then campaigners and the best London immigration solicitors would certainly welcome the long awaited review and the change of practices at immigration detention centres.
 
Current Home Office rules on immigration detention centres 
 
Sadly, Top London immigration solicitors have to advise that currently immigration detention can happen to almost anyone with an immigration case. However, with advice from the best London immigration solicitors’ detention can be challenged.
 
The Home Office guidance says that it is suitable to detain someone in an immigration detention centre if:
• There is a need to establish a person’s identity; or
• There is a need to establish the basis of a person’s immigration claim; or 
• To effect the administrative removal of a person or to effect a deportation order; or
• There is reason to believe that the person will fail to comply with any conditions attached to a grant of immigration bail.
 
Release from immigration detention centres 
 
Once detained in an immigration detention centre it can be hard to secure release. That is why the Top London immigration solicitors encourage people to take early immigration advice about their immigration status to try to avoid immigration application mistakes, or failure to deal with immigration status issues and to try to avoid detention in an immigration detention centre.
 
If a person ends up detained in an immigration detention centre there are a limited number of ways for the best London immigration solicitors to secure their release, namely:
• To persuade the Home Office that detention in an immigration detention centres is not appropriate.  A recent example of where persuasion worked is the case of an eight-month British baby detained in an immigration detention centres whilst the Home Office established if the child was British;
• Release from an immigration detention centre can be on immigration detention bail with, for example, residence and reporting conditions or even  electronic tagging restrictions;
• Resolution of the immigration status or visa issues that led to detention in the immigration detention centre. 
 
immigration detention bail 
 
Top London immigration solicitors say that if you are detained in an immigration detention centre you can apply for immigration detention bail. A person is more likely to get bail if:
• There is evidence of their identity; and 
• They have a place to stay whilst their immigration status is resolved; and 
• They have what a financial condition supporter. A financial condition supporter is a person who will attend the bail hearing and pay money if the person released on bail does not comply with their bail conditions.
 
With the best London immigration solicitors on your side, a case can be made for immigration bail if, for example, you are a vulnerable individual who is at risk in an immigration detention centre or on the grounds of health.
 
Refusal of an immigration bail application
 
If the Home Office has refused your immigration bail application, you may think that your situation is hopeless. It is not. If the Home Office refuse a request for bail, the next step is to seek bail from an independent tribunal judge at a first tier tribunal. The Top London immigration solicitors recommend that applicants for first tier tribunal bail take specialist legal advice from immigration experts. That is because if the Tribunal refuses a bail application the applicant cannot make a new application for 28-days unless there has been a significant change of circumstances. It is therefore essential that an expert prepare the bail application to maximise the prospects of success.
 
How can OTS Solicitors help? 
 
OTS Solicitors are specialist in immigration law matters. OTS Solicitors are recommended for immigration law in the Legal 500. OTS Solicitors have Law Society accredited solicitors status as trusted specialists in immigration law. 
 
For more information on applying for bail from an immigration detention centre or  challenging a deportation order or for advice on your immigration  status or help with an administrative removal, please call us on 0203 959 9123 to arrange an appointment to speak to one of our experienced London immigration solicitors who will be happy to help.
 

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