UK Border Agency loses 150,000 migrants staying illegally
Thursday 05 July 2012
A backlog of more than 150,000 migrants refused leave to remain in Britain could be living in the country illegally with their location unknown to border authorities, a watchdog has warned.
UK Border Agency (UKBA) officials did not know how many migrants they were supposed to track down, while as many as one in 10 overstaying visitors had not been told their time was up, John Vine, the independent chief inspector of borders and immigration, said.
"We did find that there are over 150,000 cases nationally of migrants who have been refused an extension to stay in the UK," said Mr Vine.
He said: "The agency does not know how many of these individuals have left the country or who are waiting to be removed.
"I also saw no evidence that there is a clear plan in place for the agency to deal with this stream of work to ensure this does not become another backlog."
Inspectors probed the performance of immigration officers in Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight and disclosed the size of the "migration refusal pool" – a list of workers refused permission to stay after their visas had expired.
Inspectors found that in Hampshire staff gave "contradictory" information and were unsure how many overstayers were still in the country.
Officials were supposed to be looking for three times as many illegal migrants as they actually were, the inspectors found.
About 40 per cent of migrant overstayers had not been served with forms telling them to leave the country.
Overall, there were 153,821 people in the refusal pool in October last year. That figure rose to 159,313 by December.
The shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, said the inspector's "damning conclusion" showed the Government was giving the issues very low priority.
"Out of 150,000 people refused leave to remain the Government seems not to know or care how many are still here," she said.
But Damian Green, the Immigration Minister, said UKBA was working through the backlog of overstayers.
"This summer, the UKBA launched a UK-wide operation to remove overstayers and we have already seen 1,800 removals since the campaign started.
"We are also working closely with other government departments to create a hostile environment which makes it much harder for migrants to live in the UK illegally."
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 4 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
UK weather: Warning for more snow and ice as freezing temperatures and gales hit Britain
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
AirAsia flight QZ8501 missing: Search for plane carrying 162 passengers from Indonesia to Singapore suspended overnight
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...
£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have previous experience...