Just about 39 people at the Morton Hall detention centre have been deported in the five months since it reopened last May. The UK Border Agency officials put the total number of people there at 456
The Border Force has revealed another 116 inmates moved out of the former prison during the same period. But the UKBA does not know how many of them stayed in the country, were bailed or shifted to another holding centre.
A former women’s prison in Lincolnshire, Morton Hall was designed to expedite deportations. It reopened as an immigration removal centre after about £6million were spend on its refit.
One of 13 secure centres established to hold foreign prisoners, failed asylum seekers and over staying migrants, the inmates at Morton Hall have access to computer suites, a hairdressing salon, 24-hour medical care, DVD library and a wide range of sports facilities.
The Home Office said attempts to remove illegal immigrants were being hindered as the Human Rights Act was getting in way. The detainees were using the right to a family life, protected in the Act, to launch legal battles to remain in Britain.
Coming out with the statistics, Tory MP Priti Patel, said: “Illegal immigrants should be thrown out of Britain and not left to live a life of luxury at the expense of Britain’s hard-pressed taxpayers.
“The last Labour government left a horrendous mess in the immigration system and ministers in the Home Office today must change the law to remove illegal immigrants from Britain and protect taxpayers from these outrageous costs.”
Another set of figures showed more than £24.4million has been handed over to about 20,000 illegal immigrants and foreign prisoners, after they agreed to leave under the Facilitated Return Scheme.
Earlier estimates suggest up to £74 million has been spent during the past five years on a voluntary return scheme for those having no right to remain in the UK. Approximately 2,406 applicants were given such support in the first nine months of 2011.
The scheme offers packages of up to £2,000 as support. The amount is to be spent on assistance such as setting up home or a business. It is paid in lieu of their not fighting removal.
The support is also provided to destitute asylum seekers with cases still under consideration. Those who are not detained are also given the support.