Economic impacts of immigration detention reform
We concluded that there was scope for net savings of £25‑35m or more each year.
The UK is the only country in Europe without a statutory time limit for holding someone in immigration detention and pressure has been mounting, from a wide range of organisations, for the government to introduce a 28-day time limit.
We modelled the potential cost savings of holding people for shorter lengths of time. We also considered the possibility of avoiding compensation payments for wrongful detention, for which claims should be less likely if detention is less prolonged.
We found that the cost savings under a 28-day time limit (£55-65m) would likely far exceed the cost of any alternative (£30m, as an upper estimate) leading to the overall estimated savings figure of £25-35m or more.