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Millions wasted on deportations by private jet | Immigration Matters

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The UK Government spent more than £8.2 million last year on chartering private jets to deport immigrants, according to official figures.

The figures, which came to light in response to a parliamentary question, also revealed that £81.5million has been spent on deportation flights since 2005. 

SNP MP Pete Wishart tabled the question in light of the case of the failed asylum seeker Fatou Gaye, who had been living in Scotland and is now back in the UK after bungled attempts to deport her.

She and her son were removed from their Glasgow home in a dawn raid, and later flown to Ivory Coast on a private jet, but were refused entry and returned to the UK. 

Mr Wishart said:

“Fatou Gaye, and her young son, should never have been deported to the Ivory Coast – but they were detained and flown by private jet to Africa and then back here again when they were refused entry. This escapade alone has cost in excess of £70,000.

“Fatou and her four-year-old are now back in the UK and back in a detention centre, held there by a UK Government that has promised time and time again to end the practice of holding children in detention centres.

“Holding children in these prisons is inhumane at the best of times, but this boy, too young to have started school, is now serving his fourth term in a detention centre.”

Ms Gaye and her son are being held at a Home Office facility in London while their case details are clarified.

A spokeswoman for the UK Border Agency said it did not comment on individual cases.

The use of private jets to deport immigrants will be questioned by the SNP Home Affairs spokesman after it emerged the cost of chartering aircraft had almost doubled in the last year to more than £8.2m.

In 2008-09 the UK Border Agency spent £26.8m on chartered and scheduled flights to remove immigrants at the taxpayers’ expense. A total of £81.5 million has been spent since 2005.

Mr Wishart plans to press the issue when the House of Commons debates the remaining stages of the Borders, Immigration and Citizenship Bill in the coming week.

He said:

“These figures are shocking, and the UK Government must explain why the number of chartered flights has soared.

“Nobody would dispute there is a need for removals, but it is not clear why the Border Agency believes that chartering private jets is the best use of taxpayers’ money.”

Source BBC

The UKBA removes an illegal immigrant from the UK every eight minutes.

It is estimated that between 600,000 and 1,000,000 people are illegally in the UK of which around 440,000 are thought to be in London. 

Leading think tank, ippr, said it would it would take at least 20 years to find and remove half a million illegal immigrants at a cost of over £5 billion, presumably based on using economy seats on commercial lights.

But if the UK Border Agency get into the habit of flying people in private jets, who knows what the cost will be.

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See also: UK immigrant amnesty ‘worth £3bn’ say LSE

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10 Responses to “Millions wasted on deportations by private jet”
Read them below or add one

  1. Angelita Harris says :

    Dear sir,I am a Filipino citizen married to a Briton.I have ILR.My daughter,Kyla(aged 9) from my previous marriage had her settlement visa application refused on the grounds of sole responsibility,in May 2009(she lives with her dad).I decided against an appeal,and would like to launch a fresh application with a view to introducing a change of circumstance.
    Her father Ronald is applying to work in Canada as a butcher.
    To date,there has been no decision of his application.
    Her father has had two UK visa applications rejected. In one of those applications,he stated that if he was be accepted to enter the UK he would leave Kyla with his brother.
    Do I have a chance with a fresh application given the history of family refusals?Please advise.
    Many thanks..

  2. liam chesney says :

    Asylum seeker jailed for deceit ….

    Published Date: 08 October 2009 THE SCOTSMAN

    AN AFRICAN mother who lived in Scotland while seeking refugee status in the UK has been jailed for 18 months after admitting lying about her background.
    The removal of Fatou Gaye and her son Arouna, four, from their home in Glasgow in May gained widespread publicity.

    Their case was raised by John Mason MP and Christina McKelvie MSP, who wrote to the Home Secretary. They believed that she came from the Ivory Coast. But Luton Crown Court was told yesterday that Gaye, 38, was from Senegal.

    Prosecutor Claudette Elliott said Gaye had cost taxpayers well over £100,000 by taking out legally-aided cases in an attempt to stay and was given cash, food tokens and accommodation. Ms Elliott said: “The defendant embarked on a web of deceit from February 2005 to July 2009.”

    Gaye arrived in the UK on 27 August, 2004, on a visitor’s visa from Senegal. On 1 February, 2005, she went to UK Border Agency offices in Croydon and asked to remain as a refugee, saying that she was from the Ivory Coast.

    There were two judicial reviews and five appeals into her case in an attempt to prevent her and her son being deported.

    It was only as they were being flown to the Ivory Coast on 28 May that his mother revealed she did not come from there.

  3. […] Millions wasted on deportations by private jet […]

  4. […] Government has even resorted to flying illegal immigrants back to their country in private jets in an effort to speed up […]

  5. […] Earlier this month the Government was criticised for wasting millions of pounds flying illegal immigrants back to their country in private jets. […]

  6. […] Millions wasted on deportations by private jet […]

  7. Helena says :

    This is unfair they ruin people’s lives. This money is going in vain. Instead of spending the money on deportation they could have announced an amnesty and let people work and pay taxes that would have brought more use of it. They do not understand how stupid they are.

  8. […] was criticised for wasting millions of pounds flying illegal immigrants back to their country in private jets during efforts to speed up […]

  9. […] This week the Government was criticised for wasting millions of pounds flying illegal immigrants back to their country in private jets. […]

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