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Expand immigrants’ family return project: MPS

Scottish Government, UKBA run the project

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Pete Wishart

20th May 2010: Scots MPs Pete Wishart and Mark Lazarowicz have called for expansion of the Family Return Project expanded. The suggestion of expanding the project as an alternative to child detention at Yarl’s Wood has, so far, not found favour with the Home Office. 

The MPs call follows the Home Office decision of sending the children to Yarl’s Wood detention centre, where the conditions were "distressing and harmful" for children, despite recent improvements in conditions.

Only about two days back, the Home Office had decided to send the children to the Yarl’s Wood removal centre following announcement of its decision to end child detention at the controversial Dungavel centre.

The Family Return Project is a £125,000-a-year programme funded by the Scottish Government and the UK Borders Agency. The project provides five flats and houses in Glasgow for families not posing a risk of absconding.

A UK Border Agency spokeswoman, on the other hand, said Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre was specially designed for families and has extensive child facilities and support services. The Glasgow alternative to detention project is a small, ongoing pilot that is not suitable, or available, for all families.

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