UKBA loses track of over 275,000 immigrants
The chair of a House of Commons committee has called upon the head of the UK Border Agency to return their bonuses after it has been revealed that 276,450 immigration and asylum cases have been left “unresolved”.
The Chair of the Home Affairs Committee, Keith Vaz, called for the return of the bonuses, totalling around £3.5million, after the figure comprising all current cases was released for the first time.
24% of UKBA staff received bonuses in 2010-11 and Vaz expressed his concerns that many of those who were under-performing continued to be rewarded, describing the practice as “worse they do, more they get”.
Mr Vaz explained the situation, saying: “The agency seems to have acquired its own Bermuda Triangle. It is easy to get in but near impossible to keep track of anyone, let alone get them out.”
150,000 of the people involved are those in the “migration refusal pool” – people who have been refused leave to stay in Britain but who the agency has lost track of – and 101,500 people are in the “controlled archive” – people who sought asylum before 2007 and who the agency has now lost track of.
The UKBA has received criticism over the matter from MPs and shadow secretaries alike. Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said: “Out of 150,000 people refused leave to remain the Government seems not to know or care how many are still here.”
Immigration Minister Damian Green said the UKBA was actually working through the backlog. He explained: “This summer, the UKBA launched a UK-wide operation to remove over-stayers. 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.”