Christmas in the UK is traditionally a time of year for celebration, parties, spending time with close family and friends, and exchanging gifts. But for thousands of people held in immigration detention in a prison or detention centre, it will be just another day. A day like any other spent locked up, waiting for a release that never seems to come. There is no time limit on immigration detention in the UK.
Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) is delighted to have reached their initial ‘all or nothing’ fundraising target. Their stretch target is £25,000 so that we can reach another 100 people with our Separated Families’ Project and so please continue to support this important campaign.
BID (Bail for Immigration Detainees) is an independent charity that exists to challenge immigration detention. Last year, they helped reunite 110 families torn apart by immigration detention by providing vital legal advice to parents in detention, supporting them to apply for bail and to challenge their deportation. Emma's partner, Ali, is from Afghanistan and has been living in the UK for 15 years. They met in 2002 and have been together since. They have four sons: Sam (13), David (9), and twins Joseph and James (4). The children are all British. Ali was in prison, but instead of being released once he had served his time, he found himself transferred to an immigration detention centre while the government tried to deport him to Afghanistan, a country he had fled in fear of his life and had not set foot in for 15 years. Neither Ali, nor Emma or the children knew how long he would be kept locked up.
Immigration detention is the only form of detention in the UK without limits. The government doesn’t have to get a judge’s permission to detain someone. There is no time limit on detention. People can be detained for six months, a year, two years or even longer. Last year 32,446 people subject to immigration control in the UK were detained by the government.
Last year 32,446 people subject to immigration control in the UK were detained by the government. Some had entered the country irregularly and were quickly removed. Others were detained pending removal or deportation. More than half of them were released back into the community, meaning that their detention had served no purpose.
Today (Monday 13th June), Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) has launched a Crowd Justice campaign aimed at securing funding for their vital Separated Families project. Details can be found at https://www.crowdjustice.co.uk/case/bid/
BID’s Christmas 2014 appeal, ‘Free for Christmas’, highlighted the work done by BID’s legal managers, our trained and accredited volunteer legal caseworkers, and the barristers who generously give their time to work pro bono to seek the release of parents separated by immigration detention from their children.
Every day in Britain children are separated from their parents. For these particular children, it’s not because their parents have abused or neglected them, but because their parents are subject to immigration control and the government has decided to detain them while they try to remove or deport them from the UK. Despite the fact that the Home Office has a statutory duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, decisions are regularly made to place parents in immigration detention.
'I still find it shocking that parents are taken away from their children for immigration detention purposes when it is clearly in the best interests of the child to be looked after by their mum or dad.’ - Elli
Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) is a registered Charity No. 1077187. Registered in England as a Limited Company No. 03803669. Accredited by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner Ref. No. N200100147.
We are a member of the Fundraising Regulator, committed to best practice in fundraising and follow the standards for fundraising as set out in the Code of Fundraising Practice.