BRITAIN’S border chiefs have been slammed in a scathing report today which reveals how one in seven asylum seekers has gone missing.
A programme to clear the backlog of 450,000 asylum cases will end this summer with at least 61,000 applicants unaccounted for, MPs found.
And the UK Border Agency has even marked such cases “concluded” having decided it is pointless trying to pursue them. There is also a “real danger” of a secondary backlog building up because the UKBA is unable to deal with new applications quickly enough.
Angry MPs on the Home Affairs select committee are now demanding the salary of the agency’s £208,000-a-year chief executive is slashed by a third and for senior staff bonuses to be blocked. Alp Mehmet, of MigrationWatch, said last night: “This figure of 61,000 missing refugees is a clear indication of the mess the former government got us into through its inaction.
“It is incumbent on the coalition to deal with it rather than brush it under the carpet.”
The MPs’ investigation found widespread evidence of delays and backlogs in processing asylum cases, which gave applicants a greater chance of blocking their deportation by getting married or having children.
Committee chairman Keith Vaz blamed “poor quality decision-making”, adding: “The UKBA has made some progress over the last few years in relation to new procedures but is still failing to meet expectations.”
He went on to say “more consistent and rigorous scrutiny of applications” would lead to fewer delays and lower costs for the taxpayer.
In 2006, it emerged that the Home Office had a backlog of up to 450,000 unresolved asylum cases, dating back more than a decade. The UKBA said it aimed to clear these cases by July 2011.