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Asylum: Zimbabwe

Volume 489: debated on Tuesday 17 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people from Zimbabwe who (a) have been and (b) have not been convicted of a criminal offence in the UK were held in immigration detention centres on 1 December 2008. (243485)

[holding answer 15 December 2008]: The UK Border Agency only detains those Zimbabwean nationals who have committed crimes within the United Kingdom and are subject to deportation action and have been assessed as unsuitable for release due to being either a threat to the public and/or are likely to abscond. During December 2008 there were around 35 Zimbabwean criminals who have been detained beyond their sentence.

All foreign criminals detained pending deportation action have their detention regularly reviewed and have the opportunity to apply for release on bail to the independent Asylum and Immigration Tribunal.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if the Government will grant temporary leave to remain to refused Zimbabwean asylum seekers until it is safe for them to return home. (255892)

[holding answer 12 February 2009]: Following the recent Asylum and Immigration Tribunal country guidance judgment, all cases are being reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Those asylum seekers deemed to need protection will be granted it.

Where the independent courts have confirmed that it is safe for an individual to return home, we expect them to return home voluntarily. Hundreds of Zimbabweans have voluntarily returned home since we suspended enforced removals in September 2006.