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Illegal Immigrants: Deportation

Volume 490: debated on Monday 23 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what procedures her Department has put in place for the deportation of illegal immigrants; what (a) funding and (b) other resources her Department has provided for such procedures in the last 12 months; how much on average it cost to deport an illegal immigrant in 2008; how many people are awaiting a decision on deportation from her Department; and to which country the most illegal immigrants have been deported in the last 12 months. (263556)

The procedures the UK Border Agency has in place for the removal and deportation of all categories of immigration offenders are set out in the Enforcement Instructions and Guidance (EIG) manual available to view on the UK Border Agency website via the link below. Procedures for deportation can be found in chapters 11-15; illegal entrants at chapter 47 and those subject to administrative removal at chapters 50 and 51. This is a ‘live’ document which is subject to constant change.

Appendix A of the UK Border Agency business plan for April 2008-March 2011 contains a table which shows the overall budget allocation and staffing plans for the agency for the current financial year. This document is available to view in the Library of the House and at the following website:

There are many staff involved, including seconded police officers, in the enforcement process across the UK Border Agency and the funding and other resources in place to support the removals process can not be disaggregated from the overall budget and resources. However, UK Border Agency plans for enforcing the immigrations laws including removing the most harmful first and the additional resources put in place to support enforcement and compliance activities are set out in the enforcement business plan, ‘Enforcing the Deal’, copies of which are available to view in the Library of the House and at the following web-link:

The UK Border Agency is not able to provide the average cost of a removal because there are many different factors which may or may not be involved in the cost of a case (such as detention costs, travel costs, and the cost of escorting the individual in question). We are therefore unable to disaggregate the specific costs and any attempt to do so would incur disproportionate cost.

However, the National Audit Office (NAO) gave a breakdown of what it costs to enforce the removal of a failed asylum seeker in appendix 2 of their report “Returning Failed Asylum applicants”, published on 19 July 2005. In this they estimated the average cost of an enforced removal as being £11,000. This report has since been superseded by their report “Management of Asylum Applications by the UK Border Agency” which was published on 23 January 2009. This does not give a single average figure for the cost of removal but instead (on page 36 of the report) breaks it down into upper- and lower-end estimates for a range of people in different circumstances (for example, a single undetained adult who is removed after exhausting his/her appeal rights, the cost range given is between £7,900 and £17,000 excluding accommodation and support costs, and between £12,000 and £25,600 including accommodation and support costs). This report is available to view at the following website: _asylum_appl.aspx

There is no central pool of information on the numbers awaiting a removal/deportation decision on their case and this information could be obtained by the detailed examination of individual case records only at disproportionate cost.

The destination country to which the most number of people were removed or departed voluntarily from the UK in 2008 was France; this includes non-asylum cases refused entry at port (including cases dealt with at juxtaposed controls) and subsequently removed. Excluding such cases, the destination country to which the most number of people were removed or departed voluntarily from the UK in 2008 was India. This is the latest 12 month period for which published statistics are available; the information is provisional.

The Home Office publishes statistics on the number of persons removed and departed voluntarily from the UK, broken down by destination, on a quarterly and annual basis. National Statistics on immigration and asylum are placed in the Library of the House and are available from the Home Office’s Research, Development and Statistics website at: