You can use this template letter to raise the issue of immigration detention with your MP.
Remember, it’s best to send personalised letters to your MP – wherever possible using local, individual examples of the impact that immigration detention has – so feel free to add and amend to this letter! For example, check if your local council has passed a These Walls Must Fall council motion, and if so, let your MP know.
You can use the text below, or use it to help write your own letter.
I am writing to you to express my concern over the government’s use of immigration detention.
People are being taken from our communities and deprived of their liberty and dignity, solely because they do not have or cannot prove they have the correct immigration papers. There is no time limit on how long people can be detained under these powers, and the decision to detain is an administrative process – it is not a judicial procedure.
People are detained for months, if not years, on end, and decisions to detain are frequently not – as should be the case under current law and policy – taken as a last resort. Most people are eventually released, but have often suffered long-lasting trauma. Some are detained several times.
Calls for a time limit and far-reaching detention reform have gained increasing momentum over the last few years, notably with the inquiry of the All Party Parliamentary Groups on Refugees and Migration (2015), the Joint Committee on Human Rights (2019) and the Home Affairs Committee Inquiry (2019). The Home Affairs Committee report found “serious problems with almost every element of the immigration detention system“. All three reports called on the government to implement a 28 day time limit on immigration detention with immediate effect.
We do not want our friends and neighbours taken from us and treated in this way. As my MP, I ask that you raise this issue with the government and call on them to immediately implement the urgent reforms, starting with a time limit, and to work towards building an immigration system where detention has no place.