Immigration detention separates children from parents – in the UK

While may in the UK have been shocked at stories of the Trump administration’s separation of migrant children from their parents as they cross into the USA, immigration solicitors in London and those involved in immigration bail applications will not be surprised by the latest reports that the British government is itself responsible for separating children from parents taken into immigration detention.

Parents separated from children through immigration detention

The charity Bail for immigration Detainees reports that it has represented 155 parents who have been separated from a child (or children) so far this year. While the numbers are nothing compared to the levels seen in the USA, it is significant given that the charity usually handles around 170 cases a year – and we’re only in July. In the last 16 months, 3 families have had children taken into care following immigration detention of the parent - despite the fact that Home Office guidelines state that separation should not happen if the result will be that the child goes into care.

With no time limit on immigration detention, and no access to legal representation, parents can be separated from their children for significant periods of time A study published by Bail for immigration Detainees suggested that the average was 270 days. In some cases, parents were being removed or deported from the UK without their children. And while in many cases, the other parent was not in immigration detention, the charity had handled cases on behalf of single parents, and those whose partner was unable to care for the child concerned, meaning they ended up in care.

Applying for immigration Bail

Anyone detained for immigration reasons can apply for immigration bail. If bail is granted, it is usually subject to at least one condition, for example regularly reporting to an immigration official, or living in a specific place. Whether or not someone has responsibilities towards a child is not listed as a reason for (or against) granting immigration bail, but the Home Office has a statutory duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children – and where a child is involved, should take any decision in the best interests of that child.

OTS Solicitors are experienced in handling applications for immigration bail and for dealing with refusals of immigration bail. We are Legal 500 recommended immigration solicitors and advise on all aspects of Immigration Law. Book your appointment with us today by calling 0203 959 9123.

 

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