Deportation, detention and dispersal have formed an occasional part of Britain’s migration regime throughout the twentieth century, though they tended to be used in response to particular events or crises. By the end of the twentieth century, however, deportation, detention and, most recently, dispersal have become normalized, essential instruments in the ongoing attempt to control or manage immigration to Britain. This article outlines the use of detention, deportation and dispersal in the twentieth century exploring how they have evolved and then become an integral part of the migration regime into the twenty-first century. Where appropriate, British practices are compared with those of its European neighbours, where to differing degrees, deportation, detention and dispersal have also become everyday practices. In examining these practices in Britain, we consider the rationale and stated aims of their employment, as well as describing some of the consequences, where known, of detention, deportation and dispersal.