The UK Border Agency has published its response to a media report on detainees in immigration removal centres.
David Wood, strategic director for criminality and detention, said:
‘People who are in detention are there because both the UK Border Agency and the independent courts deem them to have no legal right to be here.
‘Each case is considered carefully on its own merits, and the presumption in all cases continues to be in favour of granting temporary admission or release wherever possible. If detention is deemed necessary, we always aim to keep it to the minimum period possible. But that period will vary from case to case depending on individual circumstances. Detainees can also voluntarily leave the UK at any point, and are free to apply for bail to an independent immigration judge.
‘There are also ex foreign national prisoners who are detained pending deportation, and who are judged as a risk to the public. Some of these seek to avoid deportation, which delays removal and extends detention.
‘We are concluding cases faster than ever before. Our aim to conclude all asylum cases within six months means that removal will occur soon after an individual has exhausted their rights of appeal, meaning all legal challenges should have been dealt with before a decision to remove and detain if necessary.’ Source UK Border Agency