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Immigration

Volume 977: debated on Thursday 31 January 1980

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18.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement about the refusal by immigration officers to allow black Commonwealth citizens and Cypriots to visit Great Britain for holidays; and if he will make arrangements to inform all passengers travelling to Great Britain of the difficulties they will encounter on reaching a United Kingdom port of entry.

A glance at the published "Control of Immigration Statistics" for 1978 would show that many thousands of citizens of the New Commonwealth are admitted annually as visitors. The vast majority do so without any difficulty and the total numbers refused are small.The published immigration rules already advise would-be visitors about the availability of entry clearances; the grounds for refusal of entry; and rights of appeal.

34.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will improve the administration in his Department to provide for speedier conclusions to cases submitted by hon. Members relating to entry certificates from the Indian Sub-continent for fianc├ęs and dependants of British subjects.

The time taken to deal with entry clearance applications may vary for a number of reasons. If the hon. Member has a particular case in mind in which the delay seems to have been unreasonable perhaps he would let me know.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to be in a position through the use of statistics to estimate the level of illegal immigration through overstaying.

An earlier attempt to make a comprehensive estimate of the extent of evasion through overstaying proved unsuccessful for the reasons which my right hon. Friend gave to the House on 4 December. We are continuing to study ways of tackling overstaying.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been detained under Immigration Act powers at the Harmondsworth and Gatwick detention centres administered by Securicor Limited in the year ended 31 December 1979; and how many such persons were children under 18 years.

In the year 1979, 6,391 persons were detained at the immigration service detention centre at Harmondsworth, of whom 304 were believed to be under 17. The number under 18 is not available. In the same period 2,204 persons were detained at the centre at Gatwick; 82 were believed to be under 18.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what were the numbers and nationalities of persons detained under the Immigration Act 1971 at the Harmondsworth detention centreduring the second six months of 1979 pending further examination by immigration officers or pending removal after being refused entry.

Information on the numbers and nationalities of those detained at Harmondsworth is set out in the following table. The great majority of these people will have been detained pending further examination or pending removal after being refused entry, but a precise breakdown of the grounds for detention could be made only at disproportionate cost.

PERSONS DETAINED UNDER THE IMMIGRATION ACT 1971 AT HARMONDSWORTH
Nationals ofPeriod 1 July 1979 to 31 December 1979
Afghanistan5
Algeria35
Argentina6
Australia6
Bahrain1
Bangladesh158
Barbados1
Benin1
Bermuda6
Brazil3
Cameroons1
Canada7
Chile5
Colombia28
Cyprus14
Czechoslovakia3
Dominica1
Egypt89
Ethiopia14
Finland3
France3
Nationals ofPeriod 1 July 1979 to 31 December 1979
The Gambia1
Ghana168
Greece25
Guyana4
Haiti5
Holland1
Hong Kong78
Hungary4
India628
Indonesia1
Iran905
Iraq22
Israel33
Italy9
Ivory Coast1
Jamaica7
Japan9
Jordan25
Kenya16
Kuwait13
Lebanon22
Libya13
Malawi3
Malaysia17
Malta5
Mauritius2
Mexico2
Morocco17
Nepal1
New Zealand3
Nigeria212
Norway2
Oman1
Pakistan541
Philippines24
Poland18
Portugal26
Rhodesia8
Saudi Arabia20
Seychelles2
Sierra Leone1
Singapore8
Somalia2
South Africa14
Spain54
Sri Lanka19
Sudan39
Sweden4
Switzerland1
Syria11
Tanzania25
Thailand4
Trinidad and Tobago2
Tunisia4
Turkey128
Uganda2
United Arab Emirates1
United Kingdom Passport holders7
USA50
USSR1
Venezuela9
West Germany2
Yemen8
Yugoslavia23
Zaire2
Zambia5
Nationality doubtful9
Total3,719