HC Deb 13 February 2004 vol 418 cc234-6W
Mr. Lilley

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people who originally entered the UK illegally in 2002 and previous years were(a) granted asylum, (b) granted exceptional leave to remain and (c) removed in 2002. [152861]

Beverley Hughes

[holding answer 4 February 2004]: The information requested is not available. Information is not collated centrally on how many asylum applicants enter the UK illegally in any given year. The available information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost by examination of individual case records and would be unreliable.

Overall it is estimated that 42 per cent. of total asylum applications made in 2002 resulted in grants of asylum (10 per cent.), or of exceptional leave to remain (23 per cent.) or in allowed appeals (10 per cent.), including outcomes occurring after 2002. Corresponding information on the numbers of failed asylum seekers who applied in 2002 and have subsequently been removed is not available and could be produced only at disproportionate cost by examination of individual case files.

Information on the outcomes of asylum-related initial decisions, and appeals, and removals is published in the annual statistical bulletin 'Asylum Statistics United Kingdom 2002', a copy of which is available from the Library, and quarterly on the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate website at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration I.html. The next publication will be available on 24 February 2004.

Mr. Hoyle

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of how many illegal immigrants will be prevented from entering the UK in a year by photocopying air passengers' passports. [153125]

Beverley Hughes

A requirement for carriers to provide copies of travel documents would enable quicker determination of genuine identity, thereby speeding up processing times for asylum claims, which reduces detention and support costs. This would also assist with the redocumentation and removal process for those passengers who subsequently make unfounded asylum claims. The application of such a power should also deter a number of unfounded asylum applicants and illegal entrants from travelling to the UK in the first place. The proposed targeted approach of this power would allow effort to be concentrated on routes and areas of greatest concern. We are discussing with the airlines proposals for a voluntary trial scheme, whose results will help to establish how the new power would be most effective.

As at end: Cardiff Neath Port Talbot Newport Swansea Wrexham Other1
December 2002
Subsistence 70 25 15 70
Accomodation 1,000 * 115 410 55
March 2003
Subsistence 75 20 20 70
Accommodation 1,105 5 135 585 45
June 2003
Subsistence 65 25 85
Accommodation 1,165 5 200 710 50
September 2003
Subsistence 60 20 75
Accommodation 1,230 5 280 790 45
1Local authorities with fewer than 20 asylum seekers in receipt of subsistence only support are grouped as 'other'.
Figures are rounded to the nearest 5 with ★ = 1 or 2.