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Immigration: Undocumented Migrants

Volume 703: debated on Monday 30 June 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

When they will make an assessment of the new European Union directive on the detention of undocumented migrants; whether they will publish it; whether this directive covers those whose documents have expired or who are overstaying leave to enter; and whether a maximum 18-month detention period is appropriate in the absence of a sentence imposed by a court and of other legal safeguards. [HL4352]

Agreement was reached on 18 June 2008 in the European Parliament on the European Returns Directive and it now stands to be adopted at a meeting of the Council of Ministers.

The directive covers all categories of illegal migrants including overstayers and those whose documents have expired.

The UK has not opted into this directive. While there are no plans to undertake an assessment we shall now follow the implementation in member states and its impact on the UK.

We shall provide the European Committees of the Lords and Commons with an update on the directive once final amendments are presented.