HC Deb 26 July 1979 vol 971 cc867-9
10. Mr. Norman Atkinson

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were deported from the United Kingdom during 1978.

Mr. Raison

A total of 767, Sir.

Mr. Atkinson

Does the Minister agree that, to judge from the evidence since 3 May this year, those figures are likely to double in the coming 12 months, and that the country now has the most formidable and strict system of immigration control anywhere in the world? Does he accept that all those who are about to be deported, either by order of the court or order of the Home Secretary, should have the right of appeal in this country, particularly when they have been payers for a long time of national insurance contributions and income tax?

Mr. Raison

My Department is determined to take firm action against all those who disregard the immigration laws. We believe that that is essential. We also believe, however, that the system for reviewing deportation matters is extremely careful and thorough. During May and June this year the numbers deported were below those deported during the equivalent months last year.

Mr. Merlyn Rees

There is one matter about the working of administrative deportation that perhaps I may ask the Minister to examine. I found—and I started to have the matter looked at—that someone can be locked up for a long period, purely by administrative order. I ask the Home Office to keep looking at that, because it should not happen in this country unless we are sure that it is necessary and that the procedures are right. I was beginning to question that.

Mr. Raison

In view of what the right hon. Gentleman has said, I am prepared to look at that matter.

Mr. Christopher Price

Is the Minister willing to have one more look at the case of Mr. Savvas Christophi, my constituent, who is due to be deported this weekend? If he is deported there will be a large amount of unemployment in South-East London, because he is an immigrant who has been here for seven years and has worked hard and built up a thriving business, which now, owing to the action of the Minister's Department, will be taken to pieces.

Mr. Raison

I do not think that it is appropriate to deal here with individual cases.

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