Call for 28 time limit on immigration detention

4 June 2020: [update 20.6.2020 This call has been shelved for now due to the nature of the current Immigration Bill, but the issue has not gone away]

Urgent, please contact your MP regarding this call from Detention Action

David Davis MP (Conservative, Haltemprice and Howden) has tabled amendments to the Immigration Bill to introduce a time limit for immigration detention. These are the amendments, which came so close to succeeding in the last Parliament. His amendments are receiving strong cross party support across the House of Commons.

The amendments are set out in the House of Commons Notices of Amendments (attached).

The proposed new law would:

  • Make sure that no one is detained for longer than 28 days
  • Put independent judges in charge not Home Office staff
  • Protect vulnerable people like torture and trafficking survivors from prolonged detention 

With this wide-ranging cross party support and in the current very uncertain political climate, we feel that this is a great opportunity to push once again for a time limit to be introduced for immigration detention in the UK.

Urgent Action

As Detention Forum, we are urging all of our member organisations to contact Conservative (and DUP) Members of Parliament as soon as possible to ask them to support David Davis MP’s amendments. 

It would be great if you could reach out to as many of these MPs as you feel able to in the next few days. In particular, it will be helpful if you can make use of any local connections to MPs.

You can find contact details for all MPs here:

We suggest that you keep your communication short and to the point.

We’d like you to ask the MP to support these amendments to the Immigration Bill on a time limit for detention tabled by David Davis MP with cross party support.

We’d also like you to make one point as to why you and/or your organisation thinks a time limit is so important. You might want to refer to:

  • We currently have no time limit and people can be detained indefinitely
  • Britain has a long tradition of legal protection for civil liberties. This tradition is undermined each day that migrants are detained without a time limit.
  • Detention has a damaging mental health impact
  • The longer people are detained, the less likely is that they will be removed from the UK.
  • Last year both the Home Affairs Select Committee and the Joint Committee on Human Rights supported the introduction of a time limit on detention.

And do please let us know which MPs you are contacting and any responses – [you can email us at – please put ’28 day time limit’ in the subject heading].

Thank you for your support! 

Detention Action is also running an individual campaign action on this issue. It would be great if you could support this action too, and help to spread the word: