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Volume 978: debated on Wednesday 13 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many immigrants were refused entry certificates by his Department in January; and what was their country of origin.

The only readily available information relates to entry clearances for settlement in the United Kingdom applied for in the Indian Subcontinent and dealt with by the end of September 1979. In the first three-quarters of 1979, 1,631 persons were refused in Bangladesh, 868 in India and 3,198 in Pakistan. Statistics on the citizenship-nationality of these persons could be provided only at disproportionate cost, but normally applicants would be citizens-nationals of the country in which they apply.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what has been the number of people detained as illegal immigrants for each of the last five years.

The numbers detained under the provisions of schedule 2 to the Immigration Act 1971 as having entered the United Kingdom illegally on or after 1 January 1973 were published, for the years 1973 to 1978, in table 15 of the annual Command Paper "Control of Immigration: Statistics 1978"(Cmnd. 7565). Figures for the first three-quarters of 1979 were published on 17 December 1979 in table XI of Home Office statistical bulletin "Control of Immigration Statistics—Third Quarter 1979", issue 12/79, a copy of which is in the Library of the House.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what has been the total cost to the taxpayer in each of the last five years for detaining illegal immigrants and over-stayers in prisons and detention centres;(2) what is the cost to the taxpayer of detaining each illegal immigrant or over-stayer in a prison or detention centre.

Illegal immigrants and over-stayers are normally held in custody in local prisons or remand centres and not in immigration service detention centres. The cost of keeping a particular category of inmate in custody is not separately recorded. In 1978–79, the latest year for which information is available, the average annual costs in England and Wales of keeping a male in a local prison or remand centre and a female in custody were £5,403 and £7,301 respectively. On this basis the total costs of holding illegal immigrants and over-stayers was about £1,084,000. On the same basis the total costs in 1974–75, 1975–76, 1976–77 and 1977–78 were£236,000, £279,000, £582,000and£986,000 respectively.