Comment Sought on Immigration Amendment Bill

Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs

A draft bill that seeks to ensure that detained illegal foreigners are brought before a court within 48 hours of their arrest has been drawn up.

The Draft Immigration Amendment Bill, published in Government Gazette 41698, was drafted by the portfolio committee on home affairs.

It flows from the Constitutional Court judgement in Lawyers for Human Rights vs Minister of Home Affairs and Others [2017] that declared sections 34(1)(b) and (d) of the Immigration Act of 2002 inconsistent with sections 12(1) and 35(2)(d) of the Constitution.

The proposed legislation also provides that detained illegal foreigners may not be held for longer than 30 days without appearing in court.

The draft bill also seeks to provide guidance to an immigration officer as to when he or she may arrest and detain an illegal foreigner for purposes of deportation.

The draft bill aims to amend the Immigration Act of 2002, so as to:

•    insert a definition;
•    revise and align the provisions relating to the detention of illegal foreigners for purposes of deportation with constitutional principles;
•    provide for further extensions of detention of an illegal foreigner in certain circumstances;
•    provide guidance to an immigration officer as to when he or she may arrest and detain an illegal foreigner for purposes of deportation; and
•    provide for matters connected therewith.

Comment on the draft bill is invited until 23 July 2018.

It can be emailed to emathonsi@parliament.gov.za.

Sabinet Cape Town Office

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