Families With Children Facing Deportation Given Two-Week Ultimatum Before Removal

Families with children facing deportation given two-week ultimatum before removal

The Telegraph (U.K.), August 6, 2010

The scheme, aimed at ending the detention of youngsters in immigration centres, threatens deporting families 'at some point' without warning, if they fail to leave within the fortnight period of grace.

The pilot, launched by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) last month, has been running in the north west of England as part of the review of alternatives to detaining children, it has been disclosed.

Failed asylum seekers and illegal immigrants whose appeal rights have been exhausted are being told they are taking part in the pilot when they report to the UKBA's Reliance House in Liverpool, the Guardian reported.

The coalition agreement between the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats has pledged to end the detention of children for immigration purposes.

Last month Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg told MPs it was a ''moral outrage'' that the previous Labour government locked up 1,000 children ''who were innocent of any wrongdoing whatsoever''.

He announced that the family unit at Yarl's Wood immigration removal centre would shut, although his comments had to be clarified by the Home Office after he originally said the removal centre itself would be closed ''for good''.

The Yarl's Wood site in Bedfordshire holds people awaiting deportation but has been strongly criticised over reports children have been denied medical treatment, subjected to violence and forced to undress in front of officers of the opposite sex.