“Excessively Cruel”: Detention, deportation and separated families

New research being launched on 8th June explores the impact of the UK’s immigration system on mixed-nationality families. At a webinar chaired by Baroness Shami Chakrabati, Dr Melanie Griffiths will speak about research she conducted looking how UK families are affected by one member’s insecure immigration status and the threat (or reality) of separation through immigration detention, removal or deportation.

In-depth interviews with 30 couples were combined with interviews with practitioners, observation of deportation appeals and analysis of changing Article 8 protections, to show how the precarious immigration status of one family member has significant and wide-ranging impact on the whole family, including British citizens and children. As a result of a parent or partner’s immigration status, British citizens find themselves also living under chronic insecurity, with the ongoing threat of either being separated or forced to leave the UK. The whole family find themselves harmed; often in extreme ways and across all aspects of their lives. People are made sicker, poorer, unhappier and disenfranchised from their citizenship. Children’s behaviour, mental health, education, financial security and feelings of Britishness and belonging are significantly affected.

The report is being launched at an online webinar at 4pm on 8th June 2021, in collaboration with the NGO Bail for Immigration Detainees and Chaired by Baroness Shami Chakrabati CBE. Speakers include Sonali Naik QC and a parent directly affected by these issues. It’s free and open to all, please register here.  Please circulate widely.

For more information about the project and its outputs (including blog posts, journal articles and policy briefings), and to download the report after 8th June, please visit the project webpage.

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