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Keep up the pressure – Update on the Immigration Bill

The Lords sent back to the Commons their amendments (again), and that means the Commons are left to consider;

1) Lord Ramsbotham’s 28 day judicial oversight amendment

2) Baroness Lister’s 72 hour time limit on the detention of pregnant women amendment (Note, the conversation is no longer about absolute ban on detention of pregnant women.)

3) Lord Dubs amendment on taking in unaccompanied children who are stranded in Europe to the UK.

You can find more details here.  The document explains which amendments were sent back to the Commons and why the Lords did that.

The Immigration Bill goes back to the Commons on Monday 9th May.

While all the attention is, perhaps rightfully, on the Dubs amendment (taking in unspecified number of unaccompanied children who are stranded in Europe to the UK), these two detention related amendments also need the support of MPs.  STOP PRESS: this has now been won to some extent see the Government statement on 4th May here.

Therefore, in the meantime, City of Sanctuary supporters should be asking their MPs  to back the 28 day judicial oversight amendment; compared to the government’s six-month judicial oversight amendment, it provides much stronger scrutiny over the Home Office’s use of detention (though it falls short of being a time limit).  The content of the Detention Forum briefing  is still relevant.

You can also read the transcript of what the Lords said about these amendments here.

The Detention Amendments are of great importance, even if they do not go far enough. This is especially in the light of the whole Immigration Bill –  all other clauses which no longer attract any meaningful attention of anyone – is here to stay long-term, even after the end of current “crisis” in Europe, to shape our landscape.

They include implementation of “deport first, appeal later” rules for a wide range of cases, restrictions on right to rent based on individuals’ immigration status, increased surveillance over access to essential services, new types of criminalisation including working without a permit or driving while staying in the UK irregularly.

Here too are other organisations’ blogs, which provide more background information.

Right to Remain – Let the light in: ask your MP to back judicial oversight of immigration detention

Detention Action – Lords defeat the Government again over detention