Immigration backlog 'will take nearly 40 years to clear'


Bonuses for senior Home Office officials should be frozen until the “staggering” backlog of immigration cases is cleared, a senior MP has urged.

The number of cases still to be dealt with by the border service has reached 502,462 and at the present rate will take 37 years to clear.

MP Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee which identified the extent of the backlog, was appalled and called for senior managers to be held to account.

“There should be no more bonuses paid to any senior management at the Home Office until the backlogs are cleared,” he said.

”The backlog of cases has now hit a staggering half a million people. This could fill Wembley Stadium to capacity six times over. At the current rate it will take 37 years to clear and the Home Office cannot confirm that this is the last of the backlogs.“

The Committee’s latest report into the work of the now defunct UK Border Agency also found there has been a rise in the number of foreign-national offenders living in the community as they await deportation.

Home Secretary Theresa May abolished the UK Border Agency to replace it with UK Visas and Immigration and an Immigration Enforcement command, which were brought back under the control of ministers.

Mr Vaz added: ”Despite abolition nothing appears to have changed apart from the name. If people at the top are not replaced this will only be an exercise in rebranding as has happened in previous reincarnations.”

Sarah Rapson, Director General of the UK Visas and Immigration section recently admitted to the  the Committee that the immigration service will never be completely fixed or seen as “perfect”. In their report MPs expressed their unhappiness at the situation: “We are concerned this is an admission that Ms Rapson does not have the resources necessary to 'fix' the service.”