MPs have warned that Thousands of illegal immigrants may be given an amnesty to stay in the UK because of the attempts to clear a growing backlog of immigration cases. According to Keith Vaz – the chairman of the Home Affairs Committee the situation was ” spiralling out of control ” as the it was almost the same as Iceland’s population (320,000) During the last 3 months, the unresolved immigration cases have increased with 25,000.
The committee is also concerned about the so called “controlled archives”. These are unresolved applications from people that the UKBA has no contact with. The UKBA has the intention to clear those archives by the end of 2012, however there are warnings from the committee, which concern the scrutiny given to each case. They are afraid the huge number of cases to be closed and the paucity of staff may lead to unreasonable amnesty for some immigrants.
In its report on the UKBA the Committee said: “We are concerned that 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.”
On the other hand minister Mark Harper Speaking to the BBC, he said: “We’re absolutely not granting an amnesty. If those people ever show up again we will take very firm action against them. We’re working through that backlog steadily and we’re making good progress.”
He also stated it was becoming increasingly harder to live illegally in the UK.
In addition there is a “migration refusal pool”, which consists of the cases ( about 174,00 cases) of people, who have been denied the right to stay in the UK, however it is not clear, whether they have left the UK, or they live illegally on its territory.
The report continued: “While many of the people in the backlog of cases will have already left the country, we are not convinced that the agency’s limited checking regime will have picked up all of the applicants who remain in the country.
“For this reason we are concerned that the final checks made on these cases should be thorough and that they should not be rushed to meet an artificial deadline.”
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