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Asylum Seekers: Deportation

Volume 715: debated on Tuesday 15 December 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many failed deportations of illegal asylum seekers there were in each of the past five years. [HL310]

A centrally recorded robust mechanism for identifying unsuccessful removals was not in place until 2008; therefore, figures for the number of removals which failed before the point of departure are only available for the last two financial years, as set out in the table below. Figures prior to that would only be available through the examination of individual records at disproportionate cost.

2008-09 (1 April to 31 March)

2009 (1 April to 30 November)

Total number of unsuccessful removals of failed asylum seekers before point of departure

5,610 individuals

3,665 individuals

There are a number of reasons why a removal might be unsuccessful—for example, last-minute legal challenges or the disruptive behaviour of the individual. It should be noted that in many cases, the circumstances that led to the failure of the original attempt to remove will have been quickly resolved and a subsequent removal attempt been successful.

The Home Office publishes statistics on the number of persons removed and departed voluntarily from the UK 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