Immigration scandal continues

UKBorderAgencyIt was one of the worst scandals of the New Labour years: in 2006 Charles Clarke was sacked as Home Secretary after admitting that more than 1,000 foreign criminals in British jails had been released at the end of their prison sentences rather than being assessed for deportation.

Yet now in 2012 – two years into the Conservative – Liberal Democrat coalition that promised to remedy these New Labour abuses – we find that this scandal has not been remedied.

The House of Commons Home Affairs Committee has today reported that of these 1,013 immigrant criminals, only 397 have been removed from our shores.  57 have proved impossible to trace and – most shocking of all – the remaining 559 have been allowed to remain in this country, either indefinitely or while their cases continue to be looked into!

The problem goes well beyond these thousand or so criminals from 2006.  Of more recent cases, only around two thirds of foreign prisoners released in 2011 have been deported, and there are another 2,670 dating back more than two years who have not yet been removed because they are still appealing. Around 120,000 immigration cases, according to the committee, have been written off because those involved can no longer be traced.  The asylum backlog still contains a further 20,000 unresolved cases.

Britain's failed Home Secretary Theresa May

Britain's failed Home Secretary Theresa May

As the parliamentary committee’s chairman concludes: “The reputation of the Home Office, and by extension, the UK Government, is being tarnished by the inability of the UK Border Agency (UKBA) to fulfil its basic functions. The foreign national prisoner issue and the asylum backlog were scandals which first broke in 2006, six years ago. UKBA appears unable to focus on its key task of tracking and removing illegal immigrants, overstayers or bogus students from the country.”

The England First Party would make a more fundamental criticism: the entire immigration racket should have been terminated long ago.  Our country has become a soft touch for any crook or scrounger who manages to cross the border.

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