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Asylum

Volume 481: debated on Tuesday 21 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she plans to determine the immigration status of Zardash Budarham Hussain, reference: H1079437. (221794)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many failed asylum seekers remained in the UK following the failure of their asylum application in each of the last five years; for what reasons failed asylum seekers are not removed from the UK; and if she will make a statement. (221894)

Since the phasing out of embarkation controls in 1994, no Government has been able to produce an accurate figure for the number of people who are in the country illegally and that includes failed asylum seekers. By its very nature it is impossible to quantify accurately and that remains the case.

As part of the Government's 10-point plan for delivery, by December 2008 the majority of foreign nationals will be counted in and out of the country. This is part of a sweeping programme of border protection which also includes the global roll-out of fingerprint visas, compulsory watch-list checks for all travellers from high-risk countries before they land in Britain and ID cards for foreign nationals.

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) will only seek to enforce removal when the asylum application has been unsuccessful having been fully determined, including the exhaustion of suspensive appeal rights.

The Enforcement business plan 'Enforcing the Deal' published in June 2008, sets out the UKBA's priorities for enforcing the immigration laws in the UK communities and increasing removals. Copies of this document are placed in the Library of the House. It is also available to view at:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/managingourborders/enforcementbusinessplan08_09/enforcementbusinessplan08_09.pdf?view=Binary

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have claimed asylum in the UK in each year since 2000; and how many of those people came from Commonwealth countries, other than Zimbabwe, in each year. (227834)

Information on the number of people (principal applicants and dependants) who have claimed asylum is unavailable, by nationality, prior to 2002. The following table shows all nationalities and total Commonwealth principal asylum applications from 2000 to 2007. The Commonwealth total comprises 51 countries: this excludes United Kingdom, Fiji and Zimbabwe (Fiji was suspended from the Councils of the Commonwealth in December 2006 and Zimbabwe withdrew from the Commonwealth in 2003).

Asylum applications received in the United Kingdom, excluding dependants, 2000-071

Total

Commonwealth total

20002

22,880

17,370

2001

71,025

15,820

2002

84,130

14,345

2003

49,405

10,425

2004

33,960

7,575

2005

25,710

5,665

2006

23,610

4,775

20073

23,430

5,110

1 Figures rounded to the nearest five.

2 Excludes Antigua and Barbuda, Canada, Malta, Samoa, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad And Tobago.

3 Provisional figures.