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UK is ‘no longer a soft touch’ for illegal immigrants Minister warns | Immigration Matters

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The BBC reports this week that the UK is “no longer a soft touch” and must become better at deporting illegal immigrants, Damian Green has pledged.

The immigration minister said there were “many failures in the asylum system” which needed tackling.

He was speaking at the opening of Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre, near Heathrow Airport.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that 17,473 appeals against immigration decisions were won last year without a Home Office worker at the hearings.

Mr Green said: “In the past, Britain’s not been good at removing people who aren’t meant to be here.

He added: “Britain is open for business but Britain has been too often a soft touch for illegal immigration.

“Britain is no longer a soft touch. Those who have no right to be here need to be removed.”

The centre is the largest of its kind in Europe, with the capacity to hold as many as 615 people.

It was rebuilt after two wings of the centre were burned down during riots by detainees in November 2006.

They lit fires and ruined some of the detention cells as they protested about their living conditions.

Some used sheets and other material to spell out the words “Help” and “SOS” for the benefit of television crews flying overhead.

Mr Green said the centre would house some of the UK Borders Agency’s “most challenging” detainees, including foreign criminals who had been released from jail and were waiting to be deported.

Mr Green said doubling the size of the centre would ensure “a safer regime” was run this time.

He said: “It’s more secure, it’s built to higher standards and the fact of it being more secure means you can run a regime inside the detention centre that will allow tensions to be kept at a low level so you’re less likely to see the scenes we saw in 2006.

“No-one wants to see a repeat of the fire we had in 2006 when clearly things had gone badly wrong.

“The many failures in the asylum system will be tackled vigorously.”

His comments come after a parliamentary written answer revealed that more than 17,000 appeals against immigration decisions were won in 2009 without a Home Office representative.

In all, 36% of appeals in 2009 were not attended by a representative, compared with 24% in 2008.

Admin review replaces full right of appeal against visa refusals

The volume of immigration appeals peaked at more than 188,000 in 2008/9.

But the introduction of an administrative review process for some visa application casework cut this to about 160,000 the following year.

Earlier Mr Green said: “Our appeal process is designed so that many appeals should be, and are, determined on the documentary evidence without a need for representation.”

He added: “I made clear, when I launched the Asylum Improvement Project, the government is committed to improving the immigration system so we target our resources more effectively – including in court.

“As part of this, we must focus our resources on defending the right cases in court. This is why we represent in over 90% of asylum, bail, deportations and high harm cases and why team managers carefully scrutinise and identify suitable cases to proceed without representation.”

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4 Responses to “UK is ‘no longer a soft touch’ for illegal immigrants Minister warns”
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  1. […] UK is ‘no longer a soft touch’ for illegal immigrants Minister warns […]

  2. mukish dhanbir says :

    it is nice read the minister’s speach on immigration being a soft touch as he sees it and many others. some people would do almost anything to be able to remain here in the uk at the expense of others as this woman sharon mendonza of whom i have been trying to have my life back for over two years who purchased false certificates which was accepted by the HO which granteed her an extension on her student’s visa which she use only as a means of entry in the UK to execute her elaborate scam. she never attended any school but was working full time, even double and night shifts also on some weekends. the company UNIVISAS which supplied her with the false certificates have since been closed down and the directors arrested, charged and imprisioned for fraud and sham marriages. her stay was curtailed by changed her application to domestic violence which again was accepted by the HO and was granted leave to remain. for the past two years she has changed six solicitors, all financed through legal aid with her excessive lies and false accussations. as one learns the truth they then refuse to represent her and soon after finds another. so all her lies and false accussations are paying off for her with none being the wiser to do anything just throwing taxpayers money away on someone who is laughing at the authorities.hurrayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

  3. […] UK is ‘no longer a soft touch’ for illegal immigrants Minister warns […]

  4. […] UK is ‘no longer a soft touch’ for illegal immigrants Minister warns […]

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