Government pays out millions to people illegally detained under immigration laws

Posted On: 
27th October 2016

The Government has been forced to shell out millions of pounds to innocent people illegally locked up under immigration laws, a report has revealed.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron branded the bill for mistakes "outrageous"
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Almost £14m in compensation was paid to 573 people who were detained for immigration offences they never committed, according to the Independent.

Such crimes could include failing to leave the country on time, breaking visa terms or obtaining a visa by deception.

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Data released to Parliament show £13.8m was paid out over three financial years, from 2012/13 to 2014/15.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron, who obtained the figures, told the Independent: "It is outrageous that the Government is wasting taxpayers’ money on huge pay-outs for their mistakes.

“Locking innocent people up for administrative convenience is a huge stain on our society and this adds insult to injury.

"The Government should be finding ways to shrink the immigration detention estate but instead they are pouring money down the drain keeping this failing system alive."

A Home Office spokesperson said: “Detention is an important part of a firm but fair immigration system, helping to ensure that those with no right to remain in the UK are returned to their home country if they will not leave voluntarily.

“Decisions to detain or maintain detention are taken after careful consideration – and we are committed to treating all detainees with dignity and respect.

“The fact that a court may subsequently rule that an individual has been unlawfully detained does not necessarily mean the original decision was taken in bad faith. The court's findings may only relate to part of the detention.”

The news comes after Prime Minister Theresa May announced a fresh crackdown on immigration – targeting students and non-EU workers.