Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The shambolic immigration system exposed

Needless to say it's a commonly held view that the Asylum and Immigration system in this country is tad - shall we say - shagged. Yesterday, in front of the Home Affairs Select Committee it was confirmed in all it's shagged up splendour by the director of enforcement and removals at the Immigration and Nationality Directorate, Dave Roberts. Rather than hearing me bang on about it here's the transcript courtesy of the Telegraph.

David Winnick, Labour MP for Walsall: How many people do you think are here illegally at the moment in the UK?

Dave Roberts, director of enforcement and removals, Immigration and Nationality Directorate: Well, I haven't the faintest idea.

Winnick: How many people do not comply with reporting requirements?

Roberts: Compliance issues around reporting is an interesting question for us.

John Denham, committee chairman: How many don't comply with reporting requirements?

Roberts: I can't answer that question in the direct way you ask it.

Winnick: Are you in a position to tell us about the number of people who are not removed when all their appeal processes are exhausted?

Roberts: I haven't got that figure … We don't track individual cases.

Winnick: You've got me there, as a simple person. If X isn't entitled to be here, the question is why isn't X removed? That is an individual case, to my simple mind … What about the number of people sent letters from the Home Office saying they must leave compared with the number of those who are actually removed? That is a simple question.

Roberts: It was a simple question and we simply don't keep that information … in terms of the number of letters sent to people who are refused permission to stay here.

Denham: You must know how many people have been told to leave the country.

Roberts: I don't have that information, Mr Chairman.

Winnick: I am amazed. This seems to illustrate a mockery of the immigration control system.

Roberts: I can understand the committee's frustration here.

Winnick: The public's frustration, Mr Roberts.

I'm lost for words... seriously.

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