BRITAIN is encouraging illegal immigrants by failing to deport tens of thousands of failed asylum seekers, a bombshell report claims.
David Wood, an ex-director general of immigration enforcement, said fewer than half of all “failed” refugees are being sent home – despite them exhausting all avenues for appeal.
Of 80,813 applications refused or withdrawn between 2010 and 2016, only 26,659 were “removed”.
And Mr Wood warned there was a clear risk of the Channel crisis escalating in the same way as in the Mediterranean.
He said: “Comparisons with migrant activity in the Mediterranean are unavoidable.
In a report published by the Civitas think tank, Mr Wood demanded:
- The Home Office start using hi-tech lie detection technology to streamline and speed up the application process.
- Ministers detain more of those whose applications are refused at the end of the appeals process.
- The UK should fly migrants back to their home nation – even if they don’t provide travel documents – having them met by a UK representative in the country.
He said: “Once migrants reach the UK they are usually here to stay whether they have a valid claim to be here or not.
“The failure to deal with this situation provides an incentive to further attempts to come to the UK by people who have no right to be here.”
Civitas claimed the backlog in applications taking more than six months to decide has more than trebled to 14,306 since 2010.
The devastating attack piles further pressure on Home Secretary Sajid Javid after the Channel Crisis fiasco. Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes before Christmas admitted that up to 600 foreign nationals required to report to authorities every month fail to do so – or go on the run.
Border Office insiders have separately claimed immigration enforcement will effectively end in a No Deal Brexit as staff will be redeployed to customs posts to deal with huge queues at Dover and Folkestone.
Mr Wood said: “It is an important principle that people fleeing persecution should be given refuge by countries in a position to offer it.
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“But where asylum processes are being used as a way of facilitating economic migration, it is essential to be able to quickly and efficiently distinguish between the two.”
The Home Office last night insisted it was “clear” that those with no right to be in the UK should return home. A spokesman said the department was working with charities to encourage more to leave “voluntarily”.
He added: “We will seek to enforce the return of those who do not leave voluntarily.”
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