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Keith Vaz warned UKBA backlog was 'spiralling out of control'

The damning report follows comments by the chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Keith Vaz, earlier this month.

Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee Keith Vaz Credit: Andrew Parsons/PA Archive

Mr Vaz said the number of unresolved cases that UKBA is dealing with - more than 300,000 - is "spiralling out of control".

He said: "There are now about the same number of cases awaiting resolution by UKBA as there are people living in Iceland."

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Chief inspector issues damning report on UK Border Agency

Chief inspector of the UK Border Agency John Vine was asked to evaluate how well UKBA had handled the backlog of thousands of unresolved immigration cases.

Chief inspector of the UK Border Agency John Vine Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive

Mr Vine said he believed little had been done to try to resolve the cases before they were passed over.

He said: "Through the inefficiency and delay of the agency, those who would otherwise have faced removal will have accrued rights to remain in the UK."

Mr Vine also criticised "poor" customer service, and said that a lack of resources meant that deadlines were often missed, even when legal action was threatened.

The report said: "The issue of limited resources also created a significant impediment to case clearance.

"As a result, timescales given to applicants or their representatives about the resolution of cases were frequently missed, even where litigation was being threatened."

'100,000 letters left unopened' by UK Border Agency

  • UK Border Agency (UKBA) staff dealt with a backlog of immigration cases so inefficiently that at one point 100,000 pieces of post were unopened.
  • In March 2011, there were 147,000 unfinished cases that were passed to an audit unit tasked with dealing with the backlog.
  • More than 150 boxes of post, including letters from applicants, MPs and lawyers, lay unopened.
  • In a sample of 135 files examined as part of the inspection, each case had lain dormant for an average of 87 months before they were reopened in 2010 for consideration.
  • The shortest period of inactivity was six months and the longest period of inactivity was 17 years and nine months.
  • A total of 115 cases were found to have entered the UK illegally, and there were only 10 cases where active efforts had been made to trace absconders.

Immigration chiefs accused of misleading Parliament

An examination of controlled archive cases showed that the security checks - which the agency stated were being done on these cases - had not been undertaken routinely or consistently since April 2011.

I also found that no thorough comparison of data from controlled archive cases was undertaken with other Government departments or financial institutions in order to trace applicants until April 2012.

This was unacceptable and at odds with the assurances given to the Home Affairs Select Committee that 124,000 cases were only archived after 'exhaustive checks' to trace the applicant had been made.

– Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration John Vine

UK Border Agency condemned over immigration backlog

UK Border Agency (UKBA) staff dealt with a backlog of immigration cases so inefficiently that at one point 100,000 pieces of post were unopened, a report said today.

Immigration
UKBA have been condemned for a backlog of immigration cases Credit: PA Wire

Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration John Vine found that security checks were not properly carried out on old cases and that workers had failed to check the records of other Government departments.

Applications were placed into an archive of unresolved cases after "very minimal work", despite the agency assuring MPs that "exhaustive" checks had been carried out, he concluded.

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UK Border Agency caseload 'out of control'

The number of outstanding immigration and asylum cases rose by 25,000 in three months and is "spiralling out of control", making the total caseload the equivalent of the population of Iceland, the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee Chairman Keith Vaz has said.

More than 300,000 cases needed to be dealt with at the end of June, up 9% over the previous three months, the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee revealed.

But clearing the backlog should not be a rushed job done without the proper checks, the committee's report on the UK Border Agency (UKBA) warned.

Court ruling allows rapist to remain in Britain

Ali was reportedly jailed for three years at Sheffield Crown Court and released in 2008, when the Home Office ordered that he return to Sudan and he was locked up in an immigration removal centre.

But he appealed to an immigration court and though a judge rejected his bid, he mounted a fresh appeal to the Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber, the Mail on Sunday reported.

He was allowed to stay because deporting him, the court ruling showed, would be contrary to the United Kingdom's obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights.

Child rapist's deportation barred

The UK Border Agency has reacted with fury to a court ruling allowing a Sudanese asylum seeker who raped a 12-year-old girl to remain in Britain.

Sani Adil Ali, 28, originally from Darfur and part of a threatened tribe, originally came to Britain in 2003 and was awarded refugee status in February 2005, it was reported.

But only a few months later he was arrested at his home in Middlesbrough and later admitted one count of raping the girl, who was Hungarian.

Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to take action on the legislation that helps foreign criminals stay in the UK.

Labour: Home Secretary 'lurching from shambles to shambles'

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said the Home Secretary needed to "to get a grip" this evening. She said:

The UK Border Agency and Border Force are lurching from shambles to shambles. Yet ministers don't seem to have a clue what's going on. Instead of getting a grip, the Government just keeps making it worse."

– Yvette Cooper, Shadow Home Secretary
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