Liberal Democrats for Seekers of Sanctuary are grateful to Lib Dem MP Sarah Teather for uncovering the scandal that not just wastes money, but wastes lives. It is Lib Dem policy that we end indefinite detention, and put an end to the disgraceful policy that is not necessary, there could be much better alternatives.
Sarah has uncovered that the Home Office have had to pay out nearly £15 million over three years for breaking the law when detaining people showing that they are unable to even comply with their own rules. This cost is in addition to the £47,000 a year it costs to keep each person in indefinite detention. Also it only reflects how many times the Home Office has acted illegally by those who have been unable to pursue their claim. Countless others will not have been in a position to do so.
Sarah Teather said ‘The UK is the only country in the EU that doesn’t have a time limit on how long people can be kept in immigration detention but it appears that the Home Office would sometimes rather detain people indefinitely than treat them humanely, even if this ends up costing the taxpayer millions of pounds.
‘But these figures shouldn’t obscure the considerable emotional and mental cost that not knowing how long you might be detained for, or if you’re going to be deported tomorrow, or moved hundreds of miles away to a different detention centre, has on detainees.’