Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) has published a report, examining cases of parents who were separated from their children due to immigration detention in the UK. The study reveals that, during their parents’ detention, some children were placed in unstable fostering and care arrangements, where they were neglected or at risk of serious harm. The report also disclosed that parents were detained without a maximum time limit, for an average of 270 days; that in some cases, the parents’ detention had not served any purpose; and that there were cases where parents were deported or removed from the UK without their children.
According to the research, children were found to have suffered substantially, manifested through weight loss, nightmares, insomnia, frequent crying and extreme isolation during their parents’ detention.
BID also warned that as legal aid ceased to be available from 1 April 2013 to the vast majority of people making immigration claims and given the complexity of immigration law, it will be extremely difficult for most parents to successfully make their case without professional legal representation, thus leading to “very many more cases where parents are separated from their children by detention and removal from the UK.”