Set-up Detention Centers For Illegal Migrants: Central Government Tells States
The Ministry of Home Affairs has asked all states and union territories to set up at least one detention centre to house illegal migrants (foreigners).
The government has urged the state governments to set up “one detention camp in the city or district where major immigration check post is located,” according to the 11-page manual titled ‘2019 Model Detention Manual’. And “all members (of a family) should be housed in the same detention centre,” it further reads.
The centre has proposed the move to restrict the movement of illegal migrants and ensure that they are physically available at the time of repatriation or deportation, told a senior home ministry official to The Economic Times. “The powers to deport illegally staying foreign nationals have been entrusted under Article 258 (1) of the Constitution to state governments,” the official said.
As stated in the manual states do not require permission from the central government to set up a detention centre.
To Be Set Up Outside Prisons
Considering the condition of detainees in detention centres across states, the Home Ministry has directed the state governments to set up detention centres outside jails. Currently, detention centres in some states including Assam are being run from prisons.
To stop foreigners from escaping from detention centres, the ministry has also called for “A proper boundary wall with dense barbed wire fencing above the boundary wall should be erected. The boundary wall should be minimum 10 feet high with main gate, wicket gate and strict access control measures.”
“We want each state and union territory to set up at least one detention centre with all modern amenities,” the official told The Economic Times.
The manual states that every detention centre should have a cell to facilitate the foreigners so that they can easily contact their family or the concerned embassy or consulate through proper procedure.
It further states the successive governments to provide “skill centre” and “crèche facilities for children”.
Following Footsteps Of Assam
The notification from the home ministry comes at a time when the exercise to finalise the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam is in process.
In Assam, there are only six detention centres where more than 1100 illegal migrants have been detained. According to the home ministry data, 352 alleged foreigners have been lodged at a detention centre in Tezpur, followed by 267 illegal migrants at Goalpara and 215 at Jorhat detention centre.