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IMMIGRATION BACKLOG IS THE SIZE OF ICELAND

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IMMIGRATION BACKLOG IS THE SIZE OF ICELAND

Post  Panda on Fri 9 Nov - 8:09









  1. Immigration backlog is the size of Iceland

The immigration system is “spiralling out of control” as officials run up a backlog of more than 300,000 cases, MPs have warned.








The agency now lists 174,000 people who should not be in the UK but who cannot be located Photo: REX FEATURES






By James Kirkup, Deputy Political Editor

8:38PM GMT 08 Nov 2012





The Commons home affairs select committee said the growing number of immigration cases — which includes almost 174,000 missing illegal immigrants — is equivalent of the population of Iceland.


Mismanagement by the UK Border Agency could lead to tens of thousands more illegal immigrants being granted an “effective amnesty” as officials write off their cases, the MPs said.


The number of unresolved immigration cases rose by 25,000 between April and June this year. The UK Border Agency had 302,064 cases to investigate, trace or conclude, the MPs found.


Most of the increase was in illegal immigrants who have not been removed from the UK and have gone missing.


The agency’s “migration refusal pool”, which lists people refused permission to remain in the UK but who have not been traced, rose by 24,000. The agency now lists 174,000 people who should not be in the UK but who cannot be located.



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The outstanding cases included the 95,000 in the “controlled archives”, effectively the backlog of immigration and asylum cases, which the agency promised to close by the end of the year. To do so, it will have to assess all these cases in three months. Over the previous year, officials managed to remove only 29,000 cases from the archive in a year.

The committee warned that a rush to clear the archives could result in many people without permission to be in the UK having their cases closed, effectively allowing them to remain permanently.

“The closure of the controlled archives may result in a significant number of people being granted effective amnesty in the United Kingdom, irrespective of the merits of their case,” the MPs said.

The committee raised fears that people who should be given asylum and allowed to remain in the UK could be removed.

Keith Vaz, the Labour chairman of the committee, said: “There are about the same number of cases awaiting resolution as there are people living in Iceland. The backlog is spiralling out of control and stands at a third of a million. It has grown by 25,000 cases in just three months.”

He accused officials of trying to “camouflage” the backlog. “Entering the world of the UKBA is like falling through the looking glass. The closer we look the more backlogs we find, their existence obscured by opaque names,” he said.

Mark Harper, the immigration minister, said: “This report raises some legitimate concerns but we are taking robust action and it is working.”

A UK Border Agency spokesman said there was “no question of an amnesty”.

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Don't you despair at the inefficiency of the most important dept for the safety of Britain ?????? How the Hell didi it get so out of hand?

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Re: IMMIGRATION BACKLOG IS THE SIZE OF ICELAND

Post  Panda on Fri 9 Nov - 8:19

Mark Harper , Immigration Minister says 170,000 illegals not given permission to stay are being investigated. Charlie Stait asked him to give him a specific figure for the immigrants who have been escorted out of the Country .....much evasive replies by Harper clearly shows he doesn't have a clue.

Harper says his Government inherited 500,000 from the last Goverment says the number has decreased , but cannot say how many resolved during the last 2 years and how many new cases.

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Re: IMMIGRATION BACKLOG IS THE SIZE OF ICELAND

Post  Panda on Thu 22 Nov - 14:35

Immigration fiasco: this is one problem we can't blame on the EU. No, it's the UN's fault





By Ed WestPoliticsLast updated: November 22nd, 2012

5 CommentsComment on this article




Bumbling immigration fiascos have become such a part of the fabric of British life that they should probably include a couple of questions about them in the next Life in the UK Test. In the latest asylum farce, this paper reports:


Some 37,500 applicants whose cases were effectively written off as there was no apparent trace of them are now expected to be located after a review.

The agency was so overwhelmed with work that at one point more than 150 boxes of post, including letters from applicants, MPs and their legal representatives, simply lay unopened in a room in Liverpool, the report found.
This is nothing new, and by the standards of previous immigration cock-ups, it's pretty competent stuff. It’s been over a decade since Harriet Sergeant wrote Welcome to the Asylum, a damning report into the chaotic system in which she recalled how the Home Office had lost thousands of files:


Desperately, staff tried to find the discarded paper files. Forty thousand were lost. Others, in improvised storage including a garage whose crumbling asbestos ceiling made it a danger for anyone to enter, proved irretrievable. When a file did appear, several sections would compete to get it, trying their best to be "multi-functional". As a result, decisions fell from 3,480 a month in July 1997 to 800 in December 1998.
I’m sure this time, once again, lessons will be learned. The only problem is that, whatever the politicians decide must be done, it will have unintended consequences: many current problems arose from attempts to placate the press following previous disasters. As Sergeant reported, before the 2001 election the Government was able to reduce the backlog of cases in which no decision had been made from 100,000 down to 30,000; this, according to lawyers, was achieved hastily, so that it lead to an increase in appeals.

That’s why calls for amnesties make no sense whatsoever; no immigration amnesty in history has led to any result other than more illegal immigration. Amnesties only make the problem worse, but the more a system becomes overwhelmed by sheer numbers the more attractive it appears.

No amount of managerial initiatives will change the fact that the current asylum system is a 1950s model trying to deal with the 21st century. Britain is signed up to UN treaties devised after the Second World War to help central Europeans displaced by that conflict; because of that, anyone who arrives in the country illegally can claim asylum. This is unworkable in a world where the numbers of legitimate refugees is in the tens of millions, and when it is almost impossible to distinguish between a genuine refugee and an economic migrant. Besides, the distinction between the two is quite vague, and many economic migrants, trying to lift their families out of destitution and misery, are just as worthy of our sympathy.

Britain has not withdrawn from its UN obligations because any politician who did so would be crucified by the BBC. So instead we devise a system whereby claimants are treated inhumanely (placed in prison, even) and forbidden from working, while proportionately very few people are deported (in fact, as many magistrates can tell you, even foreign nationals who routinely commit petty crime are not deported).

It’s a tragedy without villains – the incomers want a better life, and as individuals most of the natives want them to have a better life too – but nonetheless it’s a system that can’t last indefinitely. To allow a de facto amnesty is not just wrong in a practical sense, but morally wrong too, because the Border Agency, and even more so the politicians who decide asylum policy, have a job as gatekeepers. This is the most basic job a state can do, but also today the most unfashionable; perhaps it’s because the UN Convention on Refugees was written with the shadow of the Holocaust in the background, with the world shamed by the 1938 Evian Conference, and that tragedy still colours media discourse. Partly it’s because the idea of borders and barriers is so politically unfashionable to people who spend much of their time in the sky. But we cannot have an effective asylum system that offers limited places to needy people while we are bound by the United Nations; never mind the EU, when are we going to start repatriating power from the UN?


Tags: asylum, europe, immigration, UN, United Nations

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Re: IMMIGRATION BACKLOG IS THE SIZE OF ICELAND

Post  Badboy on Thu 22 Nov - 19:49

THEIR ARCHIVE WAS IN A CARPARK? WHERE DAMP DIDN'T DO A LOT OF GOOD.

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Re: IMMIGRATION BACKLOG IS THE SIZE OF ICELAND

Post  Panda on Thu 29 Nov - 13:33







  1. Bogus student warnings ignored

The UK Border Agency ignored more than 150,000 warnings in three years from universities and colleges concerned that their foreign students were bogus, a damning report reveals.








The UK Border Agency ignored more than 150,000 warnings in three years from universities and colleges concerned that their foreign students were bogus Photo: ALAMY





By Wesley Johnson, Home Affairs Correspondent

9:39PM GMT 28 Nov 2012




Staff failed to check tens of thousands of tips-offs about overseas students including worries that some had not even enrolled at the start of term.


The blunder meant 23,000 bogus students were allowed to remain in Britain when they should have been sent home, many of whom have still not been traced.


John Vine, the independent chief inspector of borders and immigration, said it demonstrated a ‘significant failure,’ while MPs called for officials to hand back their bonuses.


It also emerged that compliance officers who visited universities and colleges had no powers of arrest, so could take ‘little or no action’ even if they found someone had no right to be in the country.


Some 153,000 warnings were issued by sponsors in the three years to March this year, but inspectors found the agency had no targets to address them and “they were only dealt with when resources permitted”.



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“There is little point in requiring universities and colleges to notify the agency of such cases unless the agency develops the willingness and capacity to identify, curtail the leave of, and remove students who are no longer complying with the terms of their entry clearance,” Mr Vine said.

It comes after a damning report last week found the agency made virtually no effort to trace more than 120,000 asylum seekers and migrants, despite reassuring MPs that “extensive checks” were being carried out.

Jonathan Sedgwick, the agency’s director of international operations and visas, and its former chief executive Lin Homer both apologised to MPs for inadvertently supplying the wrong information.

Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons home affairs select committee, said it was “extremely disappointing that last week’s damning report did not mark the end of revelations about UKBA’s incompetence”.

“Both the committee and the government have been clear about the importance of removing bogus students from this country,” he said.

“On the basis of these two reports, senior officials at the UKBA who oversaw this shambles should hand their bonuses back immediately.”

The figures will make uncomfortable reading for the Coalition which has pledged to clampdown on bogus students and has closed down 500 colleges in the past 18 months.

In August border officials stripped London Metropolitan University of its right to sponsor non-EU students leaving more than 2,000 students facing deportation.

In today’s report, Mr Vine said he could find “no evidence that targets were in place to effectively manage notifications to the agency from sponsors that students were, for example, not attending courses”.

“Over 150,000 notifications had accumulated and were awaiting action, meaning that potentially thousands of students had retained leave to remain when they should not have done so,” he said.

“This was a significant failure.”

Mr Vine also drew a “concerning parallel between the agency’s lack of proactivity on these cases and its failure to deal with the 159,000 cases in the migration refusal pool”, which lists people refused permission to stay in the UK but who have not been traced.

More than 350,000 applications for student visas were made in 2010/11 and, at the time of the inspection between the end of April and July, 2,100 universities, colleges and language schools were registered as sponsors.

The 153,000 warnings over potential bogus students included 62,085 reports of a significant change to a student’s circumstances, 29,001 reports of a university or college having stopped sponsoring a student and 16,314 warnings that a student had discontinued his or her studies.

A further 31,930 notifications warned that a student had failed to enrol on the course within the correct timeframe, 11,697 said students had missed contacts without permission and 1,766 reported a student may have breached the conditions of his or her leave to remain in the UK.

Mr Vine added that compliance officers who visited universities and colleges “did not have a power of arrest and could take little or no action if they encountered someone who was in breach of immigration laws”.

If they found a student who had overstayed under the terms of their existing visa, the officer could only refer the issue to an enforcement team, he said.

“They had to leave the sponsor premises and the student and hope that the follow-up action was carried out.

“This was an area of weakness which the agency should address.”

Chris Bryant, the shadow immigration minister, said: “Time and time again the chief inspector has found problems with UKBA.

“The blame for this lies squarely at Theresa May’s door for cutting 5,000 staff from UKBA.”

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the Migration Watch UK campaign group, added the report showed “tens of thousands of students seem to have disappeared”.

“Bogus students are running circles round the Home Office who are seriously under-staffed,” he said.

“The way to deal with this is to weed out these students before they arrive and interviews are the way to do it.”

But Mark Harper, the immigration minister, said the government was tackling the “historically high levels of abuse in the student visa system”, toughening up the rules “to ensure that genuine students are not taken advantage of by organisations looking to sell immigration not education”.

A UKBA spokesman added the agency reviewed all the cases in May and curtailed the leave of 23,000 students. Work is under way to trace them and remove them from the UK.

“There were a number of notifications that were outstanding - these have now been worked through,” he said.

“Compliance action has been taken where necessary and as a result over 23,000 students have had their leave curtailed.

“We have taken action to make sure these people have left the country through our work with Capita.

“We prefer people to leave the UK voluntarily - those who do not depart voluntarily will continue to be removed.”

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