I am assured that Home Office published policy is centred on a presumption in favour of liberty, and depriving someone of their liberty is subject to careful consideration and scrutiny, with appropriate account taken of individual circumstances.
I cannot pretend that I am totally comfortable with what is in theory unlimited detention for migrants. However I do recognise that it could lead to deep concerns were an arbitrary time limit to be introduced: illegal immigrants and even some wanted for crimes in other jurisdictions could be released even when their removal was imminent. This would undermine confidence in a fair immigration process for those coming from overseas and domestic residents. Home Office guidance is clear that detention must be used sparingly and for the shortest period reasonably necessary to achieve its purpose. I am glad that published statistics show that, in the year to December 2015, over 90 per cent of individuals leaving detention had been detained for no longer than four months.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.