HC Deb 02 March 1978 vol 945 cc317-8W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, when giving consideration to per- mitting illegal immigrants to remain in Great Britain, he will bear in mind the adverse effects this has on the employment problem and on the social welfare payments.

Dr. Summerskill

Yes—except in considering the cases of those Commonwealth and Pakistan citizens who entered the United Kingdom illegally before 1st January 1973 and who fall within the scope of the arrangements set out in the announcements made by my predecessor in April 1974 and by me in November 1977, reflecting our decision not to use retrospective powers against such people.

However, citizens of other foreign countries who entered illegally at any time, and all those who did so on or after 1st January 1973, are normally sent away. Fewer than 100 people in this group were allowed to remain between 1st January 1973 and 31st December 1977—usually for wholly exceptional compassionate reasons. In the same period 1,229 illegal entrants were removed.