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Immigrants: Somalia

Volume 505: debated on Friday 5 February 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Somali nationals are estimated to be in the UK illegally. (314059)

The information requested is not available. By its very nature, illegal immigration is exceptionally difficult to quantify and no Government have previously been able to produce a definitive figure for the number of people who are in the country illegally, including Somali nationals.

We are continuing to strengthen UK Border Controls. The e-Borders system screens passenger information against watch lists to identify high risk individuals before they travel and will also enable us to count people in and out of the country. The system will screen 95 per cent. of all passenger and crew movements in and out of the UK by December 2010 and 100 per cent. by March 2014.

Local immigration teams are being established to serve every community in the UK. Each team will work closely with police, local authorities and many other local partners to target immigration crime, including working to detect and remove those who are in the UK illegally.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Somali nationals have arrived in the UK in each year since 1998. (314060)

The latest available statistics relate to the number of Somali nationals given leave to enter the United Kingdom, 1998 to 2008, and are given in the following table. Data for 2009 are scheduled for publication in August 2010.

The statistics are based on landing card information and may include the same individuals more than once if they visited the United Kingdom on multiple occasions in the period.

Statistics on passengers given leave to enter the United Kingdom by country of nationality and purpose of journey are published annually in the series “Control of Immigration: Statistics United Kingdom”. These publications are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics website at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration-asylum-stats.html

Somali nationals given leave to enter the United Kingdom, 1998 to 2008Number of journeysPassengers admitted199819992000200120022003200420052006120072, 320082, 4Somalia4,9003,6808,1609,43010,2007,4605,3305,6103,5403,2403,000 1 Due to some gaps in the data from ports, estimates have been used.2 May understate due to some administrative records on non-EEA nationals being unavailable for statistical analysis. The Border Control Chapter Notes in the "Control of Immigration: Statistics United Kingdom 2008" gives further details. 3 Revised4 ProvisionalNote:Data rounded to three significant figures.