The charity Detention Action is
calling for an end to indefinite immigration detention in the
UK, arguing that the system currently in place does not work
"In the UK, migrants
are deprived of their liberty without charge or trial,"
says the charity's campaign briefing. "The UK Border Agency
detains migrants for longer than any other country in Europe.
Asylum-seekers, foreign ex-offenders and other migrants are held
in prison-like conditions without time limit." 
The charity is calling
for people to raise the matter with their MP by either writing
a letter or booking an appointment, or by planning an event with
the help of Detention Action. 
A campaign video features
a narrative based on a letter sent by a detained migrant to a
"I don't feel
safe here. I am living in a nightmare. Struggling day, after
day, after day, not knowing when they will let me out. Every
part of my individual identity and dignity has been removed,
without any hope. I feel totally degraded and dehumanised. By
imposing this extreme, indefinite confinement, they have taken
away my freedom - emotional, physical and intellectual freedom
"After more than
three years of being locked up in here, they still won't tell
me when they will let me free. I am going through torture. The
fear and despair I feel is overwhelming."
Detention Action say that
the cost to the taxpayer to detain one person for a year is £47,000,
which "wastes £75,000,000,000 a year" in total.
The UK is the only country
in Europe that routinely detains migrants indefinitely - including
survivors of torture, as documented by Medical Justice  -
and has opted out of European legislation (the Returns Directive)
that would limit the length of detention periods.
According to joint report
by HM Inspectorate of Prisons and the Independent Chief Inspector
of Borders and Immigration in December 2012, 3,034 detainees
were held under immigration law in March 2012. This included
children and victims of trafficking and torture. 42 detainees
had spent more than two years in detention. The longest detained
person amongst interviewees had spent nearly five years locked
The absence of automatic
judicial review of detention orders and the lack of regular,
coherent and appropriate reviews of detention raised concern
for the inspectors. In 59% of cases detention was not reviewed
by the right authority.
The report stressed that
detention should only occur when detainees can be deported or
removed within a reasonable period. The UK's bail guidance for
immigration judges says that "three months would be considered
a substantial period of time and six months a long period."
More information on Detention Action's campaign is available
on their website.
doesn't work... for anyone campaign briefing, December
 Detention Action, Take
 Natasha Tsangarides, "The
Second Torture": The immigration detention of torture survivors,
Medical Justice, May 2012
 HM Inspectorate of Prisons and the independent Chief Inspector
of Borders and Immigration, The
effectiveness and impact of immigration detention casework,
 Mr Clements, Bail
guidance for judges presiding over immigration and asylum hearings,
11 June 2012