Illegal immigrants will have no place to hide in the United Kingdom, according to the Border and Immigration Agency (BIA).
With one illegal immigrant being deported every eight minutes, the BIA plans to increase deportation of such foreign nationals.
Immigration Minister Liam Byrne has announced that a new BIA removal centre, Brook House, at Gatwick will open in 2008.
“Last year we deported an illegal immigrant every eight minutes, removals of failed asylum seekers hit a record high and we’ve doubled the pace we’re removing foreign national prisoners. Building this new removal centre at Gatwick sends a very clear message to those here illegally. We’ll do everything we can to send you home,” said Byrne.
Over the past 12 months almost 3,000 foreign national prisoners have been removed from the UK. The removal of failed asylum seekers was at its highest level in 2006, while asylum applications have fallen by a massive 76 per cent since their peak in 2002.
Situated within the boundary fence of Gatwick Airport, Brook House will be a secure facility with 426 male and female detention bed spaces providing safe and secure facilities for those who have entered the UK illegally.
Immigration Matters Comment
The sharp rise in removal rates of failed asylum seekers and illegal immigrants has more to do with the ‘fast track’ processing of asylum claims upon arrival in the UK than an increase in the detection and arrest rates.
It is not known how many illegal immigrants are in the UK, with estimates varying widely from 300,000 to 900,000.
The Home Office has estimated it would take more than 30 years to deport them all, by which time many would apply to stay under the 14 year concession.
In a recent report the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) claimed it would cost £4.7 billion to remove all of the illegal immigrants in the UK.
The government has yet to come up with a workable solution to this problem, but has ruled out a wholesale amnesty for illegal immigrants,
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For all the latest Home Office announcements see www.immigrationmatters.co.uk