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An Update on the Immigration Bill


Thank you for all your hard work campaigning on the Immigration Bill and amendment 84 (judicial oversight on immigration detention).

Here is a helpful storify about the Immigration Bill and its journey through Parliament.

We're grateful to the Detention Forum for the briefing about what happened yesterday in Parliament and what will be in the Immigration Act when the bill receives royal assent in the next few days. The bill will re-shape the way immigration detention is currently used by the UK government. For full details, you can read the transcript here.

The Immigration Act will now include:

1) automatic bail hearings for those who have been in detention for four months.

2) 72 hour time limit on detention of pregnant women

Although these changes fall far short of what we would have liked to see, they are also very significant given the current very politically hostile context and none of these provisions was in the initial draft of the bill or anticipated at all when the bill process began.

We welcome these changes, while acknowledging their limitations: they are very important milestones of the work Detention Action has been doing since 2009, to get politicians to take immigration detention seriously.

The Government also acknowledged during the passage of the bill that they have heard parliamentarians' (and our) strong feelings about the current state of immigration detention.

Those MPs and peers who are supportive fought very hard during the passage of the Bill, so we need to thank them. If you have time, we would recommend that you watch the very powerful and graceful speeches made by Lord Ramsbotham and Baroness Hamwee in yesterday's session - check Parliament TV.

Thank you for all of your work on this issue.

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Tzelem is a cross-communal campaigning organisation which provides rabbinic and cantorial voices on matters of social and economic justice in the UK.

 

 

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