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Bishop calls for ‘humane’ UK immigration policies

Bishop Patrick Lynch ©Mazur/

Bishop Patrick Lynch, spokesman for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference for England and Wales, has welcomed a parliamentary report calling for a time limit on the detention of immigrants.

Bishop Lynch said: “I welcome the report and recommendations put forward by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees and Migration.

“Now, I sincerely hope that the findings will be translated into humane immigration policies for those who need protection and support from the state.”

The report was published following a joint inquiry by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Migration into the use of the Immigration Detention in the UK. The report recommended that the next government should introduce a maximum time limit of 28 days on the length of time anyone can be detained in immigration detention.

Helen O’Brien, chief executive of the Catholic Social Action Network, said: “A time limit on detention would be an important first step in changing the culture of detention and the immigration system in the UK. Currently too many vulnerable people, who have already survived the most traumatic experiences, are suffering further harm by being detained with no idea as to when they will be released.

“The work of this cross-party parliamentary group is very encouraging and we hope this will lead to a Government, whichever form it may take, that will be committed to tackling this most pressing issue.”

The Jesuit Refugee Service hailed the report as an “important milestone in the debate around the immigration detention practices of the UK.”