Nine out of ten failed asylum seekers remain in the UK even if their claims fail


September 17, 2002

In evidence to the Home Affairs Committee on September 17, 2002 the Chairman of Migrationwatch UK, Sir Andrew Green, underlined the government's almost total failure to remove those who have no right to remain in this country. As a result nine out of ten asylum seekers remain
in Britain even if their claims fail.

Sir Andrew said that this was despite spending at least £600 million per
year on legal processes.

'Government attempts (in the Asylum and Immigration Bill) to speed up the legal process were meaningless if nearly all stayed anyway,' he said. 'Recent Home Office statistics revealed that in 2001 about 97,500 should have been removed but were not; this is almost the size of the British army. Over the past ten years the total had reached approximately 335,000.'
Sir Andrew explained to the Committee how Migrationwatch UK's estimate of net non-EU immigration approaching a quarter of a million a year was based largely on the Home Office's own figures. He described migration on this scale as 'unsustainable and contrary to the interests of all sections of our society.'

He called on the Government to say how many immigrants
they want and why.

'The Home Office say they have "no view" but the Treasury speak of 150,000 of working age per year. With families, this will come to two million every decade, quite apart from other categories of immigration. On present patterns, two thirds will go to London and the South East,' said Sir Andrew.
'It is hard to see that there is any policy at all - let alone one that makes sense. We already have 1.5 million unemployed and another four million whom the government wish to move from welfare to work. '

He said that a fair and effective removals policy must be at the heart of any immigration strategy if it is to be credible and command the support and acceptance of all parties involved.

'The failure to implement one, as in this case, is only storing up problems
for the future and further eroding public confidence in the whole immigration process,' he said.

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