Less than one in 10 asylum seekers deported
6th April, 2011: As many as 74,500 asylum seekers are reported to be undetectable. Less than one in 10 asylum seekers in the backlog of more than 400,000 claims has been removed from the UK. The information was revealed to the Members Parliament.
The figures were divulged by Jonathan Sedgwick, the acting chief of the UK Border Agency, when he was questioned by MPs on the Home Affairs Committee about clearing the backlog of up to 450,000 asylum applications.
Some of the applications are pending since mid-Nineties. Sedgwick asserted just nine per cent of the cases, that is 36,270, ended up with applicants being removed.
Sedgwick said about 40 per cent two in five of the asylum seekers – were granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
More than 161,000 were given the right to remain in the UK. It was so, as they, were in the country for so long that human rights laws ruled that they could not be deported.
Sedgwick accepted that some claims may have originally been refused, but the time taken to remove them meant they had now gained new rights.
Of the left out files, an estimated 129,000 were errors or duplicates and 75,000 are in the finished controlled archive as they could not be located.
Critics condemned the previous Labour government for controlling over a system that let so many people slip through the net.
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of campaign group Migration Watch, said that this was a terrible inheritance from Labour. He asserted that it was disgraceful that 161,000 people, who probably would not have qualified if the system had been properly run, will now gain access to the welfare state.
The Tory backbench MP Priti Patel, said that the figures yet again highlighted the complete failure of the last Labour government to get to hold with immigration.
Sedgwick denied giving up all hope of finding the thousands who have slipped the net. He said, “It’s absolutely not the case that we’ve simply put these cases in a room and simply closed the door and forgotten about them.”
He added that each case had been subject to the most thorough checks and scrutiny. He indicated that some may have left the country or died.
Sedgwick denied it amounted to an "amnesty" that encouraged people to stay on after being refused asylum in the hope of being allowed to remain in the UK at some point in the future.