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Filipino faces deportation after UK Border Agency raid in Watford | Immigration Matters

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The Watford Observer reports that two illegal immigrants face deportation from Britain following their arrest during a UK Border Agency raid in Watford, Hertfordshire.

The unnamed 37-year-old Filipino woman was arrested at an address in Market Street and a 24-year-old Brazilian man was arrested at an address in Clare Court on Thursday.

Both had overstayed their visas and had stayed in the UK illegally.

They have now been placed in UK Border Agency detention while arrangements are made for their deportation or removal from the UK. They will also be slapped with an automatic 10 year ban from returning to the UK.

Immigration Officer Debra Johnson, from the Local Immigration Team for Essex and Herts, said:

“Yesterday’s successful operation demonstrates our commitment to crack down on those living and working in the UK unlawfully.”

The UK Border Agency was accompanied by officers from the Professional Development Unit of Hertfordshire Constabulary on the intelligence led visits.

The UK has an estimated 500,000 – 750,000 illegal workers, and leading think tank, ippr, says it would take 20 years and £5 billion to remove them.

The UK Border Agency’s operation in Watford involved a number of officers and the police. It is not unusual for interpreters, legal and medical staff to be drawn in, and there’s all the staff and facilities in the detention centres. Add in the cost of fighting appeals, staff to accompany illegal immigrants onto flights, in some cases all the way back to their countries, the air ticket and/chartering planes, the ippr figures of around £10,000 to deport each person looks about right.

Viewers of Sky TV’s UK Border Force will know that a large number of illegal immigrants caught during these expensive raids are actually released (and asked to report each week) because their own Government’s will not allow them back in without travel documents which can take months to arrange.

The LSE (London School of Economics) said in a recent report that granting amnesty to long-term illegal immigrants in the UK, could add up to £3bn to the economy. The LSE report added that an amnesty would not lead to a rise in migration but would raise spending on welfare services and housing. 

There is no easy answer to this problem which has taxed the minds of several administrations.

Last week, UK Home Secretary Alan Johnson has admitted for the first time that the Government has made mistakes in handling immigration and said that Labour and Conservative administrations had been “maladroit” in dealing with the issue.

Related article:

Home Secretary Alan Johnson admits immigration mistakes

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