Bishop slams 'inhumane' detention of 30,000 migrants

Yarls Wood Immigration Removal Centre. Detainees can be held for more than two years.YWIRC

An Anglican bishop has joined calls for the reform of Britain's immigration system, with a time limit for holding people detained under immigration law.

More than 30,000 people were held in the year ending March 2014 at centres including Yarl's Wood, according to Government figures. Britain is the only European country where migrants can be detained indefinitely. Of those who left detention, most (61 per cent) were held for less than 29 days, but some had been detained for longer than two years.

A campaign to impose time limits on detentions has been launched by Citizens UK, which mobilized support against the detention of children before the last general election.

It is being backed by the Bishop of Croydon, Rt Rev Jonathan Clark, who said: "Detaining people indefinitely in prison-like conditions without judicial oversight is unjust, ineffective and inhumane. That's why Citizens UK are calling on people of goodwill across the country to join them in taking this issue to their parliamentary candidates. We will ask the politicians to pledge their support for a time limit on the detention of adults – and to work with us if they get elected to make it happen."

Zrinka Bralo, Executive Director of the Migrant and Refugee Communities Forum, said: "The scandal of indefinite detention is being done in our name and with our money. It is a complete affront to dignity. It's important that everyone knows and does something about it."​