In a report published yesterday, the first joint report by the Chief Inspectors of prisons and borders and immigration, Nick Hardwick & John Vine criticise the Secretary of State for continued delay in the removal of foreign prisoners. Finding that there had been insufficient progress in concluding the cases, the report recommends that an independent panel should be established to review cases of individuals who have been held for lengthy periods pending removal.
It is worthwhile noting that in the first three months of 2012, there were 3,500 prisoners held in immigration detention who had been refused bail and were awaiting removal. The report concluded that there were insufficient steps taken to progress the actual removal from the UK.
This is a common issue encountered by immigration practitioners. Deportation or administrative removal from the UK must be 'imminent' to justify the continued enforcement of immigration detention. Bail applications should be successful in these circumstances, provided the applicant can satisfy an Immigration Judge that the risk of absconding is low, and immigration bail does not threaten the public interest.