Duncan Lewis


Asylum, Detention/ Fast Track

Managed Migration, Public Law

Computer data base on immigration to help track down overstayers in the UK

Date: (22 August 2012)    |    

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A computer database for immigration is being established to lead the way in tracking down the 150,000 people who were staying in Britain illegally, it was revealed yesterday.
Bosses at the border office would be launching the project from next month to deal with the huge backlog of foreign nationals who have remained in the UK after their study or temporary visas had expired.
Notices would be sent to the people who are in the ‘migration refusal pool’ warning them that they will be deported and barred from entering the UK if they did not leave within 28 days.
Private companies currently tendering for the multi-million pound contract include G4S, the controversial security firm which failed to deliver enough staff for the Olympic Games.

The records of all flights outside Europe to and from Britain which are held in the e-borders database would be monitored carefully of all those 100 immigrants whose visas expire daily.
It comes after it was revealed last month that 40 per cent of immigrants who have been refused leave to stay in the country have not been sent the forms demanding they leave.
Thousands of visas which have expired date back to more than five years and are being blamed as legacy of Labour’s catastrophic mismanagement operations and reduce the backlog.
Immigration minister Damian Green said that he hoped the new scheme would allow Border Agency staff more time to carry out enforcement operations and reduce the backlog.
He said they were putting more efforts on enforcement. Intelligence gathered from interviews has shown that a third of people decide to overstay at the point their visa expires.
Sending them letters of warning and the consequences of illegally overstaying would surely reduce the total number of over stayers he added.
The move follows a UKBA summer-long drive to remove visa 'overstayers' that has led to thousands being removed, with 2,000 of those being in London alone.
The majority of those targeted entered the country on student visas which have now expired. Mr Green said they mainly came from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Brazil and Nigeria and were now working illegally.
The chief inspector of immigration, John Vine, criticised the UKBA for not having a strategy for reducing the pool of overstayers last month.
The only guidance the staff were given for dealing with cases in this 150,000-strong group was that the total size of the pool should not be allowed to increase.
The chief inspector concluded that UKBA staff reported it being impossible to know whether the 150,000 were still in Britain or had left voluntarily.