HC Deb 15 January 1998 vol 304 cc279-80W
Miss Widdecombe

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what changes he proposes to the policy governing the use of imprisonment for asylum seekers. [21296]

Mr. Mike O'Brien

People are not detained merely because they have sought asylum. However, it is sometimes necessary to detain a small proportion of those liable to detention under powers conferred by the Immigration Act, some of whom may at some stage also have sought asylum in the United Kingdom, because it is felt that they might otherwise abscond.

The use of prisons for immigration detainees is one of the areas included in the review of detention policy which is under consideration. We expect to make the results available in the near future.

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