We were really disappointed to see that the amendments tabled by David Davis MP, despite attracting wide cross-party support, were defeated at Report stage of the Immigration Bill last week in Parliament.
But we were really taken by the thread of tweets on the day from one of our members, Women for Refugee Women @4refugeewomen, which sought to convey the strength of support from both sides of the House by quoting directly from some of the MPs taking part in the debate:
“People are detained without trial or due process… and they’re carrying the debilitating psychological burden of having no idea when they will be released…This flies in the face of centuries of British justice,” says David Davis MP
“…the best regime in the world cannot ameliorate the fundamental injustice of a system that arbitrarily imprisons people without time limit, solely for administrative reasons,” said Andrew Mitchell MP
“Ultimately, nobody should be imprisoned because of where they were born, yet the UK is the only country in Europe that does not have a time limit on how long a person can be held in immigration detention,” said Nadia Whittome MP
Yarl’s Wood is within Richard Fuller MP’s constituency. He said, “I can attest to the human tragedies that have occurred in detention over the past decades… We should not have an immigration detention estate; we should not have it at all.”
“It has become too easy for the Home Office to use detention, and that is what needs to be challenged … with no time limits, it has simply become too easy for people to be detained, for too long, with no meaningful way of challenging that detention,” said Paul Blomfield MP
“It is right, morally, that we should treat people equally, wherever they come from, whether they are UK citizens or not. With that in mind, we really should be working towards ending indefinite detention,” said Steve Baker MP
And there were many, many more expressions of support from all of the political parties. Momentum is growing for change. We will keep campaigning. It is #Time4aTimeLimit.