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Prisoners: Deportation

Volume 688: debated on Monday 15 January 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How they identify prisoners early in their custodial sentences who are European Economic Area (EEA) nationals and in particular long-term resident EEA nationals who enjoy special protections from expulsion; and what steps they have taken to ensure that decisions to deport in weak cases involving those nations are withdrawn. [HL233]

On arrival in prisons, HM Prison Service provides the Immigration and Nationality Directorate with details of all foreign national prisoners, and all prisoners whose nationality has not been established, to enable the Immigration and Nationality Directorate to conduct inquiries and confirm nationality.

All foreign national prisoners have the opportunity to provide representations against deportation and long-term residency in the United Kingdom is a factor that is taken into consideration when assessing whether a prisoner from a European Economic Area (EEA) country is liable to deportation. Consideration to deport prisoners from EEA countries is made in accordance with the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006.

On 9 October the Secretary of State for the Home Department explained that in view of the interpretation given to current provisions in respect of EEA nationals, HMG will seek to bring forward changes in the law in order to clarify and strengthen the link between criminality and deportation. In the mean time we will ensure that only those cases which have a reasonable prospect of success within the current interpretation of the legislative provisions will be given priority, and robustly pursued.