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Asylum

Volume 507: debated on Tuesday 9 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he has taken to increase the rate of removal of failed asylum seekers since May 2005. (320607)

The Government's measures include memoranda of understanding and readmission agreements with overseas governments to increase returns and re-documentation rates; regular charter services to countries where it would otherwise be difficult to return significant numbers because of lack of capacity on scheduled services; joint charters with other EU member states; Assisted Voluntary Return schemes offering enhanced packages to encourage voluntary return; close liaison with the judiciary to allow for the expeditious processing of legal challenges and changes to the judicial review policy to counter vexatious applications for judicial review; and expansion of the UK Border Agency detention estate.

In addition, we have made it increasingly difficult for people to live and work here who have no right to do so through toughening the illegal working legislation. Employers now face large fines if they hire illegal migrant workers including failed asylum seekers. Also, local immigration teams, backed by Immigration Crime Partnerships with the police, are in the process of being established across the country to track down, detain and remove all immigration offenders.