In 1993 250 migrants were detained in immigration detention centres. Compare this figure with the record number of 28,909 migrants who were detained in 2012 . With the detention estate expanding rapidly year-by-year it has become clear that civil society needs to form a response. Should we promote ‘alternatives’ to detention? But, what do we mean by alternatives? Could these end up referring to a variety of measures which might prove more harmful to migrants or might they offer more ‘humane’ forms of immigration control? On the other hand, should we reject alternatives and stand by a principled opposition to border controls and advocate for the end of immigration detention full stop? Are these positions as mutually exclusive as they appear? It is these questions that we will address during the conference ‘A Future Without Immigration Detention’.
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